Course Descriptions

Sociology Course Descriptions

SOC-designated courses qualify as Social Science or Liberal Arts electives.


Principles of Sociology - 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts in Sociology and an analysis of culture, socialization, stratification, social organization, class, social interaction, social change, and conflict.


Sociology of Marriage and the Family - 3 Credits

This course studies the family as an institution: its structures, problems, functions, and changing patterns in an historical and cross-cultural perspective.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Social Welfare - 3 Credits

This course examines human needs and the resources made available to assist families and individuals in need. The historical and philosophical roots of social welfare from ancient cultures to contemporary America are considered. The course provides an analysis of social welfare systems including their basic concepts and their economic and political determinants. Cross listed with HSV260.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Social Problems - 3 Credits

This course is an in-depth study of the major problems confronting society. Some of the problems studied include crime and violence, sexual inequalities and discrimination, health and illness, poverty and affluence, population and pollution, and crises in the institutions of the family, religion, economics, education, and the political system.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Social Stratification - 3 Credits

An examination of the causes and consequences of inequality historically, cross-culturally, in America and around the world, including difference in wealth, power and prestige. Also considered are the factors of race, ethnicity, age, and gender in social inequality.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Race and Ethnicity - 3 Credits

A study of racial and ethnic minorities and immigrant groups in America.  Classic and contemporary sociological theories are used to examine the social structures and cultural ideologies that promote oppression and domination and their impact on the social stratification and the life chances of minority group members.


Sex Roles and Gender Socialization - 3 Credits

This course examines societal definitions and social evolution of female and male roles with emphasis on the social construction of gender roles. Implications for social location, aspiration, achievement, behavior, deviance, illness, and health are studied from an historical and cross-cultural perspective.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Alcohol & Drugs - 3 Credits

This course is concerned with the use patterns, distribution, and social control of drugs and alcohol in modern society. Special emphasis is given to heavy alcohol and drug usage and its impact on such areas as the family, health, crime and delinquency, and work. Cross-cultural comparisons are considered together with intra-cultural factors such as socio-economic patterns, ethnicity, gender, and urbanization. The approach is interdisciplinary and includes contributions from anthropology, social psychology, as well as sociology.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Aging - 3 Credits

This course examines the physical, social, and psychological problems of the aging in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on the concept of Sociology 203 aging from the early twenties throughout the life cycle. Specific attention is given to the relationship of aging to the family, work, and the community in historical and cross-cultural contexts.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Criminology - 3 Credits

This course examines the origin, causes, history, and theories of crime. Special emphasis is placed on the criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment, the careers of law enforcers and criminals, organized “white collar” crime, organized syndicate crime such as the Mafia, and the “victimless crimes” of prostitution, drug addiction, etc.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Deviant Behavior - 3 Credits

This course presents “deviance” as endemic to society. Consideration is given to processes of social labeling and stigmatization of “deviant” persons and groups, the development of “deviant” identity, together with an examination of the theories of social organization and disorganization which seek to explain “deviant” behavior.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Extraordinary Groups - 3 Credits

This course underscores the varieties of human organization and how extraordinary groups illustrate major sociological principles and meaningful sociological concepts in concrete form.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Medical Sociology - 3 Credits

This course applies sociology to the field of medicine: social and cultural factors in the etiology of illness and wellness, the sick role, physician patient relationship, the social organization of the hospital, medical careers, and health care.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Sociological Theory - 3 Credits

This course traces the development of sociological thought in the Western world from Comte to contemporary social theorists, including Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Simmel, Parsons, Merton, Goffman, Garfinkle, and Collins.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Research Methodology for the Social Sciences - 3 Credits

This course emphasizes the methods and techniques of research in psychology and sociology, including both laboratory and survey techniques. Emphasis is placed on the development of empirical questions from theory, research design and control, construction of survey instruments, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results. Exercises include development of an original research project appropriate to the students' major field.

Prerequisites: MAT220 and either PSY102 or SOC340.


Mental Illnesses and Addictive Behaviors - 3 Credits

This course emphasizes a sociological examination of the medical model, its underlying assumptions, and therapeutic practices as applied to mental illnesses and addictive behaviors; with special emphasis given to the political economy and illness-producing consequences of the modern mental/ rehabilitative sciences.

Prerequisite: SOC101


Human Behavior in the Social Environment - 3 Credits

This course traces the development of human behavior in primary groups throughout the life cycle. It follows maturational, emotional, cognitive, and social systems theory from early life development through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood into old age, with a focus on the individual and primary groups. Prerequisite: SOC101.

SOC398, SOC399, SOC400

Internship in Sociology I, II, III - 3 Credits each

This course is a credit-bearing opportunity for students to apply sociology in a professional setting. Internships are arranged individually for each intern, and may include service in a variety of off-campus settings such as hospitals, residential treatment facilities, social welfare agencies, businesses, correctional and parole organizations, etc. To qualify for an internship, students must provide an acceptable written internship proposal, and must secure the cooperation of a faculty supervisor and a field supervisor at the site of the proposed internship. A minimum of 10 hours work per week at the internship site are required. (Students may have three different internship experiences).

Prerequisite: Junior Sociology Major.

You must speak with your academic advisor as well as the Career Services Office before registering.
Click here for more information.


Sociology of the Community - 3 Credits

This course is a study of communities from small towns to metropolitan centers, with special emphasis on social stratification and political processes as they affect community life.

Prerequisite: SOC101.


Treatment of Substance Abuse and Dependence I - 3 Credits

This course examines methods and underlying theories of the major group approaches to treatment of substance abuse. Emphases on group dynamics and other group processes are presented as this course explores well known group modes. Behavioral and psychological admissions and placement criteria are comprehensively reviewed. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other prominent peer-centered organizations, group and family therapy, multi-modal treatment, and milieu therapy are included. In addition, support systems, such as Al-Anon, for the families of substance abusers are studied. Lectures and discussions are augmented by experiential learning techniques such as visits to residential treatment facilities, group exercises, etc.

Prerequisites: SOC317; PSY318.

SOC420, SOC421

Issues in Contemporary Sociology I, II - 3 Credits each

These courses focus on special areas of interest, such as sociology of mental illness, death and dying, work and leisure, criminal justice, etc.

Prerequisite: SOC340, SOC341 (for both)