University of Massachusetts Amherst

Department of Sociology



Sociology Major Requirements

The Basics

  • Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of C (2.0) in their Sociology classes.
  • Students must take at least five courses within the UMASS Amherst Sociology Department.
  • Students must take at least 11 courses in Sociology.
  • To count for the major, all courses in Sociology must be graded (not Pass/Fail).
  • Only one 100 level course may count toward the major.

The Required Courses

Sociology majors usually begin the major with a 100-level course. However, a student beginning with a 200-level course may, with permission, substitute another Sociology course for the 100-level requirement.

The following 100-level courses are regularly offered:
  • SOC 103 — Social Problems
  • SOC 105 — Self, Society, and Interpersonal Relations
  • SOC 106 — Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity
  • SOC 107 — Contemporary American Society
  • SOC 110 — General Introduction to Sociology

All students must take the following three (3) courses:

Ideally, SOC 212 and 213 should be taken during the sophomore year and SOC 401 during the junior or senior years.

All students must also satisfy the Junior Year Writing requirement by taking any of the courses designated "writing intensive"; these vary from semester to semester. These courses can meet both the Junior Year Writing and major elective requirements; mandatory enrollment in SOC 396B for one credit is expected.

Distribution Requirement

(This applies to students entering the major after 5/31/2011 and new students entering Fall 2011.)

Take at least one course from each of the following areas:

Crime, Law, and Deviance

241 Criminology (available online every session)
242 Drugs & Society (only offered online)
293M Intro to Human Rights
323 Sociology of Law
342 Deviance & Social Order
343 Hate Crime in America
344 Gender & Crime
346 Communities & Crime
347 Corporate Crime
391M Serial & Mass Murder (only offered online)
394F Crime & Forensics (only offered online)
392J Race & Policing (only offered online)
394S White Collar Crime (only offered online)
397D Delinquency & Juvenile Justice (only offered online)
395K Domestic Violence (only offered online)
481 Sociology of Mental Health

Culture, Organizations, and Institutions

220 Sociology of American Culture
222 The Family
240 Sociology of Asian American Experience
320 Work and Society
321 Sociology of Religion
322 Sociology of Education
325 Political Sociology
352 Media, Technology, and Sociology
384 Sociology of Love
382 Sociology of Childhood
386 Complex Organizations
387 Sexuality and Society
442 Sociology of Medicine (available online Spring Session)

Social Inequality and Diversity

224 Social Class and Inequality (available online Fall & Summer Sessions)
240 Sociology of Asian American Experience
244 Sociology of Immigration
291L Introduction of Latin American Culture
328 Introduction to Social Work (available online Fall & Summer Sessions)
329 Social Movements
335 Radical Movements
340 Race Relations
360 Urban Sociology
361 Demography of Minority Groups
383 Gender and Society
385 Gender and Family
388 Gender and Globalization

AND four additional 200-level or above Sociology electives.


Department of Sociology • Thompson Hall • University of Massachusetts–Amherst, MA 01003