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College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Sociology

Overview

The study of sociology encompasses the individual, groups, and society. Students who major or minor in sociology will systematically study social life - its characteristics, causes, and consequences. Sociology courses examine social issues and the analysis of small-scale social interactions as well as large-scale social institutions. Applied sociology internships are recommended as a service learning component, sometimes leading to employment.

Mission

The Sociology Program delivers a high-quality undergraduate program in the study of social forces and human interaction. Rooted in the teacher-scholar tradition, we foster the development of critical thinking skills in our students and the application of sociological theories and concepts to everyday life. Using a combination of research, sociological knowledge, and writing, we engage our students in the craft of disciplined sociological inquiry. We stress both practical and scholarly applications, which translate into job and life skills.

Goals & Objectives

  • Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to apply the “sociological perspective" to their own lives and to the social environment of which they are a part. They will possess what C. Wright Mills called the "sociological imagination," where they are able to see how their biography relates to the time in history in which they live. Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." The sociological perspective is crucial for "the examined life," a rich interior life in which one's relationships to others and to society are analyzed in this age of rapid social change.
  • Students will have the knowledge and ability to use sociological concepts creatively in analyzing and critically thinking about social phenomena. Graduates in sociology will have acquired an understanding of the need for evidence, not only for public policy decisions, but for life decisions. Graduates will also have acquired sensitivity to people from various ethnic, religious, racial, economic backgrounds, and sexual identities, and will see how prejudice and discrimination are socially created attitudes and behaviors. They will be able to critically analyze the news of the day as well as changes in the global economy and other major social institutions.
  • Graduates will have facility with computer applications, writing and research skills and appreciate ethical considerations. They will also acquire skills necessary to gather, interpret, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data. These skills will allow them to participate in research projects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate critical thinking through verbal and written communication.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Apply, critically interpret and synthesize sociological theory.
  • Display an understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity.
  • Illustrate an understanding of the implications of global forces.
  • Identify processes of social control and how they shape our social institutions and lives.
  • Exhibit an understanding of the structural and interpersonal basis of social inequality;
  • Recognize the relationship between personal agency, social responsibility, and social change (sociological imagination).
  • Display knowledge of the impact of social institutions on everyday lives.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of technology.