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The concentration in Sociology (leading to a Bachelor of Arts) provides a foundation in sociological theory and methods and the opportunity to cultivate more specialized knowledge in the discipline’s substantive interests. Students develop that focus through their coursework, taking courses in diverse areas such as social inequality, family and gender, organizations, environmental sociology, race and ethnicity and globalization.  Students refine their interests during the senior seminar and through their completion of a senior thesis or capstone project. The concentration also allows students to pursue the Engaged Scholars Program (ESP). ESP is for students with an interest in making deeper connections between their concentration and long-term community-engaged activities such as internships, public service, and many other possible forms of community involvement.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

Ten courses are required to complete the concentration.

Required core:
SOC 0010Social Forces: An Introduction to Sociology1
SOC 1010Classical Sociological Theory1
SOC 1020Methods of Social Research1
SOC 1100Introductory Statistics for Social Research1
SOC 1950Senior Seminar1
5 additional courses:5
a) At least three of the optional courses have to be 1000 level and one of them must be a substantive seminar (1870/1871).
b) Students can choose to take up to two (showcase) lower level (0100 level) courses.
c) Students can petition to take two courses outside of the discipline (this will be allowed only when the proposed course makes sense given the insterests of the student, and there is no equivalent sociology course).
Total Credits10

***See the Sociology website for detail regarding Honors and Independent Studies

The Senior Seminar

Sociology requires all concentrators to complete a thesis or capstone project in their senior year. The purpose of the thesis or capstone project is to allow students an opportunity to apply the knowledge they acquired on a topic of their own interests. To fulfill this requirement students enroll in SOC 1950 – Senior Seminar. Participation in this seminar allows each cohort of concentrators to discuss their diverse interests and expose them to the wide range of applications of Sociological knowledge.

An undergraduate thesis must ask an original research question, answer it with appropriate evidence, and place that work within relevant scholarly literature in sociology. The thesis is supervised by a faculty member who serves as the primary advisor, and one additional faculty member who serves as a reader. By the end of the sixth semester, students must submit a prospectus of the senior thesis to the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies. At the start of the seventh semester students should submit to the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies a proposal (not more than four pages) accompanied by the signature of one faculty member indicating that he or she is willing to serve as primary advisor on the thesis. Only a senior thesis qualifies the student for Honors.

A capstone project is an independent, student-initiated project or experience developed during the Senior Seminar (SOC 1950) that connects in a meaningful way to the learning in the concentration. A capstone project differs from a thesis in its scholarly content and form, and it depends only on the evaluation of the senior seminar instructor. Whereas the senior thesis follows the form of a conventional research paper, the project allows a wider array of research and creative outputs, including but not limited to video documentaries, photographic exhibitions, and applied or policy related reports with an off-campus organization. Projects are complemented by a paper or report that situates the central subject matter of the project within the context of sociological scholarship.


In order to be considered for honors, students must receive a grade point average of at least 3.5 (A=4, B=3, C=2) on all concentration courses taken, and can take no more than one (1) of the concentration courses with the "S/NC" option. Honors also requires a senior thesis, with a recommendation of Honors by the advisor and reader, that demonstrates an understanding of empirical research.

Independent Study

Students can use no more than one (1) Independent Study course to meet the concentration course requirements. This course counts  only towards a 1000 level substantive requirement and will not serve as a s substitute for any of the core concentration requirements.