Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Undergraduate Program

Sociologists study how societies are created, maintained, and challenged. They think about the ways in which individuals and social structures interact. The department’s undergraduate program is designed to give students an understanding of these processes throughout the world and of the major patterns of social behavior and organization in the United States. Courses deal with a range of topics including the basic institutions of society such as the economy and industry, education, family, health care and medicine, politics, sciences, mass media, the arts, and technology. Students examine how change occurs in rural and urban communities, in the environment, and in bureaucracies. They consider how knowledge may be used to bring about change. Courses on international development, sex and gender, racial and ethnic inequality, and changes in the lifecycle focus on the rich cultural and social diversity of individual and group behavior. Courses in social psychology and personality enable students to understand how individual behavior is affected by group life. Courses that focus on fundamental methods and techniques of research are important for understanding how to collect and interpret data on individual and group behavior. Opportunities are also available for participation in faculty research projects where the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom can be applied to real world situations. Some students have used their bachelor’s degrees in sociology as a foundation for graduate and professional study in medicine, law, business, urban planning, social work, labor and industrial relations, and public health, or for advanced graduate study in preparation for careers as college teachers and researchers. Others may pursue positions in business, public service, sales research, teaching, public relations, and administration.

A Minor in Sociology is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.  With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. A total of 19 credits in the Department of Sociology are required for the minor.  For further information about the minor in Sociology, visit www.soc.msu.edu.

 


Sociology - Bachelor of Science

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology

1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.
The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Sociology major is met by completing Sociology 488 or 499. Those courses are referenced in item 3. a. below.
The completion of Statistics and Probability 200, 201, 421 or 422, referenced in item 4. below may also satisfy the University mathematics requirement.
2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.
3. The following required major courses (33 credits):
a. All of the following courses:
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 4
SOC 214 Social Inequality 3
SOC 281 Methods of Social Research I 4
SOC 282 Methods of Social Research II 4
SOC 488 Sociological Theory (W) 3
SOC 499 Social Issues and Change in Contemporary Society (W) 3
b. One of the following courses that are related to diversity:
SOC 215 Race and Ethnicity 3
SOC 216 Sex and Gender 3
c. A minimum of three additional Sociology courses at the 300 level or higher, at least one of which must be at the 400 level 9
4. Complete 15 additional credits in the natural sciences selected as follows:
a. One of the following courses in computer science:
CSE 101 Computer Concepts and Competencies 3
CSE 131 Technical Computing and Problem Solving 3
CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4
b. One of the following courses:
STT 200 Statistical Methods 3
STT 201 Statistical Methods 4
STT 421 Statistics I 3
STT 422 Statistics II 3
c. At least 11 or 12 additional credits in the following departments or programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biological Science, Chemistry, Entomology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Physics and Astronomy, Plant Biology, Plant Pathology,  Statistics and Probability, and Integrative Biology. The completion of courses taken in fulfillment of the University Mathematics requirement may not apply towards this requirement. Students should see their academic advisor to obtain a list of approved courses which will meet this requirement.
5. Complete 1 credit of experiential learning which can be satisfied through one of the following courses that is connected to a 300-400 level sociology course:
SOC 496 Individual Readings 1
SOC 497 Individual Research 1
SOC 498 Sociology Internship 1
Enrollment in SOC 496 must be connected to participation in either a study abroad program or study away program.
 


Sociology - Bachelor of Arts

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Sociology major is met by completing Sociology 488 or 499. Those courses are referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following required major courses (33 credits):
    a. All of the following courses:
    SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 4
    SOC 214 Social Inequality 3
    SOC 281 Methods of Social Research I 4
    SOC 282 Methods of Social Research II 4
    SOC 488 Sociological Theory (W) 3
    SOC 499 Social Issues and Change in Contemporary Society (W) 3
    b. One of the following courses that are related to diversity:
    SOC 215 Race and Ethnicity 3
    SOC 216 Sex and Gender 3
    c. A minimum of three additional Sociology courses at the 300 level or higher, at least one of which must be at the 400 level
  4. Complete a 1 credit experiential learning experience through one of the following options, approved by the student's academic advisor:
    a. One of the following courses in computer science:
    SOC 496 Individual Readings (Study Abroad) 1
    SOC 496 Individual Readings (Study Away) 1
    SOC 497 Individual Research 1
    SOC 498 Sociology Internship 1

Minor in Sociology

The Minor in Sociology, which is administered by the Department of Sociology, provides a fundamental understanding of the linkages between agency and structure in society. Students obtain knowledge of the principles of sociology, sociological inquiry, diversity in society, and the ways in which global forces are transforming modern society.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. 

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Sociology.

Requirements for the Minor in Sociology

Complete a minimum of 19 credits in the Department of Sociology from the following:

               
1. Both of the following courses (7 credits):  
  SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 4
  SOC 131 Social Problems 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  SOC 215 Race and Ethnicity 3
  SOC 216 Sex and Gender 3
3. Complete three elective courses in Sociology at the 300-400 level. At least one course must be at the 400-level. Students may use SOC 281 Methods of Social Research I to fulfill this requirement. The courses must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.