Major Requirements

The field of sociology studies virtually every aspect of human society: the family, gender, race and ethnic relations, aging, education, work, population, and many others. Its principle goal as a discipline is to understand the workings of human society and to explain social behavior. Although sociologists do study what are commonly regarded as social problems—crime, drug addiction, and poverty, for example—they also examine fundamental social processes present in any society: social change, conflict and inequality. Sociology is less concerned with finding practical solutions to social problems than with achieving a fundamental understanding of the social world.

Enrollment in the Major

Students can enroll in the major at anytime by meeting with an advisor.

Please go to our advising page to learn about our advising hours and appointments.

The Basics

- Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of C (2.0) in their Sociology classes.
- Students must take at least six (6) courses within the UMass Amherst Sociology Department.
- Students must take at least forty (40) credits in Sociology.
- To count for the major, all courses in Sociology must be graded (not Pass/Fail).
- Only one (1) 100-level course may count toward the major.

The Required Courses

Check SocOnline for more information about the department's online course offerings, 

Sociology majors usually begin the major with a 100-level course.

The following 100-level courses are regularly offered:

- SOCIOL 103 Social Problems
- SOCIOL 105 Self, Society, and Interpersonal Relations
- SOCIOL 106 Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity
- SOCIOL 107 Contemporary American Society
- SOCIOL 110 General Introduction to Sociology

All students must take the following four (4) courses:

  • SOCIOL 212 Statistics
    (also online Spring & Summer)
    (accepted courses include PSYCH 240, RES-ECON 211 or 212, STATISTC 111 or 240)
  • SOCIOL 213 Data Collection and Analysis
    (also online Summer)
  • SOCIOL 301 Writing in Sociology​
    (Junior Year Writing Requirement)
    Must be taken junior year!
  • SOCIOL 302 Sociological Theories and Perspectives

It is expected that SOCIOL 212 and 213 be taken during the sophomore year and SOCIOL 302 during the junior or senior years.

Distribution Requirement

(Applies to students entering after 5/31/2011.)

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

Crime, Law, and Deviance

SOCIOL 241 Criminology (also online every session)
SOCIOL 242 Drugs & Society (online only)
SOCIOL 248 Conformity and Deviance
SOCIOL 293M Intro to Human Rights
SOCIOL 323 Sociology of Law
SOCIOL 342 Deviance & Social Order
SOCIOL 343 Hate Crime in America
SOCIOL 344 Gender & Crime
SOCIOL 345 Juvenile Delinquency
SOCIOL 346 Communities & Crime
SOCIOL 347 Corporate Crime
SOCIOL 364 Sociology of Mental Health
SOCIOL 391M Serial & Mass Murder (online only)
SOCIOL 392A Race, Class, and Crime
SOCIOL 394F Crime & Forensics (online only)
SOCIOL 392J Race & Policing (online only)
SOCIOL 394S White Collar Crime (online only)
SOCIOL 397D Delinquency & Juvenile Justice (online only)
SOCIOL 395K Domestic Violence (online only)
SOCIOL 481 Sociology of Mental Health

Culture, Organizations, and Institutions

SOCIOL 220 Sociology of American Culture
SOCIOL 222 The Family
SOCIOL 223 Work and Society
SOCIOL 240 Sociology of Asian American Experience
SOCIOL 261 Population Studies
SOCIOL 281 Society and the Individual
SOCIOL 287 Sexuality and Society
SOCIOL 321 Sociology of Religion
SOCIOL 322 Sociology of Education
SOCIOL 325 Political Sociology
SOCIOL 352 Media, Technology, and Sociology
SOCIOL 353 Sociology of Medicine (also online Spring)
SOCIOL 384 Sociology of Love
SOCIOL 382 Sociology of Childhood
SOCIOL 386 Complex Organizations

Social Inequality and Diversity

SOCIOL 224 Social Class and Inequality (also online Fall & Summer)
SOCIOL 240 Sociology of Asian American Experience
SOCIOL 244 Sociology of Immigration
SOCIOL 245 Race and Society
SOCIOL 283 Gender and Society
SOCIOL 288 Introduction of Latin American Culture
SOCIOL 292A Age and Society
SOCIOL 297B Sociology of Globalization and Inequality
SOCIOL 328 Introduction to Social Work (also online Fall & Summer)
SOCIOL 329 Social Movements
SOCIOL 335 Radical Movements
SOCIOL 360 Urban Sociology
SOCIOL 361 Demography of Minority Groups
SOCIOL 385 Gender and Family
SOCIOL 388 Gender and Globalization

AND three (3) additional 200-level or above Sociology electives.