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Sociology | Courses | Faculty

712 Thompson Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Christin Glodek
Office: 704 Thompson
Phone: (413) 545-4056

Head of Department: Professor Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. Chief Undergraduate Adviser: Christin Glodek. Professors Anderton, Clawson, Faulkner, Gerstel, Irvine, Platt, Tessler, Zussman; Associate Professors Budig, Gupta, Lao-Montes, Misra, Thayer; Assistant Professors Branch, Cort, Lundquist, Papachristos, Rymond-Richmond, Lainer-Vos, Wooten; Visiting Assistant Professors Burt, Noriki, Wynn; Senior Lecturer Le; Lecturers Garvey, Glodek, Tomaskovic-Devey.

The Field

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.

The Major

Students interested in the major are encouraged to contact the department directly, or to visit our website at New majors are accepted during the following periods: from September 15 through November 1, and February 15 through April 1. The Sociology major requires a minimum of 10 courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major, including the following:
1. One introductory Sociology course (chosen from SOCIOL 103 through 110). Only one 100-level course can be applied to the major. On request, a higher-level Sociology course can be substituted for the 100-level Sociology course.
2. 212 Elementary Statistics. Note: this requirement is waived for students who have taken an equivalent statistics course in another department.
3. 213 Data Collection and Analysis.
4. Satisfaction of the Junior Year Writing requirement.
5. 401 Theory and Perspectives in Sociology.
6. At least four Sociology courses at the 200 level or above in one of the following areas of concentration: Criminal Justice; Social Service; Social Inequality and Diversity; Culture, Organizations, and Institutions; and an Individual Concentration (General Sociology).
7. At least two other Sociology courses at the 200 level or above.

Note: A maximum of five courses transferred from other institutions may be accepted toward satisfaction of major requirements. Other maxima include no more than 6 credits each of Independent Study at the 296, 396, and 496 levels. In addition, in accordance with university regulations, students are limited to a total of 18 credits in internships and practica, including any combination of courses numbered 298, 398 or 498.

Available in the undergraduate office, Thompson 712, and on the department’s website is a Guide to Undergraduate Studies. It includes a list of the courses required by each concentration, a list of all sociology faculty with their telephone numbers, offices and research interests; descriptions of internship and honors programs; and descriptions of special programs.

Career Opportunities

Studying sociology is a good way to obtain a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Although the major does not provide vocational training, its concentrations offer good preparation for entry-level jobs or for graduate study. Students interested in social work at the individual or community level could profitably concentrate in Social Service. Courses related to criminal justice provide good background for careers in various aspects of law enforcement. Concentrating in Social Research and Data Analysis is useful preparation for careers in market research, opinion polling, and statistical analysis. The Social Inequality and Diversity concentration is useful to students considering a job in teaching or in human resources, as well as those eager to foster social change. Finally, courses in culture, organizations, and institutions offer an excellent introduction to American society and to graduate work in sociology.

The department sponsors two interdisciplinary certificates: one in Criminal Justice and one in Population Studies,which prepares students for jobs and graduate study in the field of demography. It also offers letters in Work/Social Welfare and Social Research Analysis. Participation in these programs is open to majors and non-majors alike.

The Minor


At least 15 credits in sociology

Only one 100-level course can be applied to the Sociology minor.

All courses applied toward the minor must be taken on a graded basis. A minimum 2.000 GPA is required.

Students must take at least 9 of the 15 credits required for the Sociology minor within the university’s Sociology Department.

Criminal Justice Certificate

The Criminal Justice Certificate is intended for majors or minors interested in working in the criminal justice system. It offers guidance through available offerings in criminology, deviance, and delinquency.

Recipients need not be Sociology majors but formal application is made at the Sociology Undergraduate Office, Thompson 712. In selecting courses, students should consult the Chief Undergraduate Adviser, Christin Glodek, Thompson 704, tel. (413) 545-4056.


103 Social Problems (recommended)
241 Criminology
323 Sociology of Law
342 Deviance and Social Order
Two Criminal Justice electives; students should consult the Sociology Advising Office
One course in another department; the Sociology Advising Office advises on choices

Social Research Analysis Letter

The Sociology Department offers an Undergraduate Traineeship in Social Research Analysis (UTSRA) to develop mastery of basic skills in gathering and analyzing data. Students completing the letter can expect to obtain entry-level jobs in environments in which research is conducted. The letter also provides a strong foundation for students wishing to pursue a master’s degree in such fields as survey research, public health, program evaluation, market research, public policy, and public administration.

Recipients need not be Sociology majors but formal application is made at the Sociology Undergraduate Office, Thompson 712. In selecting courses, students should consult the Chief Undergraduate Adviser, Christin Glodek, Thompson 704, tel. (413) 545-4056.


Students take three required courses, one approved elective course and 6 credits of graded internship. To receive the letter, a cumulative GPA of 2.000 is required in the 18 credits associated with the undertaking.

Required Sociology Courses
212 Statistics or an introductory statistics course in another department
213 Data Collection and Analysis
314 Field Research Methods

Elective Course
To be certain of receiving credit, students must consult the Undergraduate Studies Director when choosing their elective. Possibilities include advanced courses in research methods in the Sociology Department as well as in other departments. Potentially acceptable choices include:
SOCIOL 313 Survey Design and Analysis
PSYCH 241 Methods of Inquiry in Psychology
RES-ECON 313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics
GEO-SCI 352 Computer Mapping
PUBHLTH 324 Epidemiology in Public Health
COMM 355 Behavioral Research in Communication

UTSRA Internship
To be certain of receiving credit, students’ internships must be approved by the Chief Undergraduate Adviser. In ordinary circumstances, students enroll in two three-credit internships spread across two consecutive semesters, under the same sponsor. The Chief Undergraduate Adviser can help students locate sponsors. Possible sponsors include faculty members in the Sociology Department, faculty and professional staff registered with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, 1001 Du Bois Library or agencies registered with the Field Experience Office, 417 Goodell. Graded internships appear on students’ records as SOCIOL 398.

Social Welfare/Social Work Letter

The Sociology Department offers a letter in Social Welfare/Social Work to students interested in jobs or graduate work in social service or social policy. Formal application is made at the Sociology Undergraduate Office, Thompson 712. In selecting courses, students may consult Christin Glodek, Chief Undergraduate Adviser, Department of Sociology, Thompson 704; or Faculty: Richard Tessler, Department of Sociology, Machmer W-35B; Dr. Lucille Halgin, Department of Psychology, Tobin 502.


Students must take six of the following courses, two of which must be in Sociology, one in Political Science, and one in Psychology. A grade of C or higher must be attained in all six courses.

Political Science
181 Controversies in Public Policy
214 Urban Government and Politics
220 Public Administration
280 Public Policy
380 Social Welfare Policy
381 Health, Education and Arts Policy

350 Child Psychology
355 Adolescent Psychology
360 Social Psychology
365 Psychology of Aging
370 Personality
380 Abnormal Psychology

244 Sociology of Immigration
328 Introduction to Social Work
340 Race Relations
341 Social Welfare
383 Gender and Society
442 Sociology of Medicine
481 Sociology of Mental Health

Upon receipt of evidence from the university Registrar of satisfactory completion of the required work, the chair of the Sociology Department issues a letter of accomplishment to the student. A copy of the letter is also included in the student’s file maintained by the university.

Sociology | Courses | Faculty