The department offers a rigorous liberal arts education with attention to writing skills and numeracy, hands-on research exposure and practice, as well as opportunities for out-of classroom, experiential learning. The curriculum ensures students learn to interrogate social issues by applying sociological frameworks and to generate innovative responses and interpretations of complex social issues. Courses are organized around five areas of concentration including: Culture and Cities, Criminology and Sociology of Law, Gender and Family, Migration and Ethnicity, and Economy, Politics and Society.
A central goal of the program is to ensure that students acquire transferable skills such as strong written and oral presentations skills, the ability to evaluate competing arguments and assess evidence, to design a research proposal, and to identify and apply qualitative and quantitative research methods. Transferable skills are acquired through course work. The department offers a variety of topic-specific c-level writing intensive courses. The department also offers two c-level research practicums (SOCC23, SOCC31) and a d-level capstone course (SOCD50), each of which offers course-based opportunities for acquiring research skills and conducting original research.
Programs in Sociology
The Major Program in Sociology provides students with a thorough education in the theories, methods and substantive areas that comprise the field of sociology. Students will develop sociological ways of knowing through exposure to key paradigms and research methods. Students will choose from a range of elective courses in the B- and C-levels to gain depth within sociological sub-fields.
The Specialist Program in Sociology is intended to provide the professionally oriented student with background preparation of sufficient breadth and depth to pursue specialized training at the graduate level. It is also designed to offer interested students a course structure as background for a wide range of occupations and professions. Specialist students receive a range of opportunities to design and carry out independent research. In their third year, specialist students choose between a quantitative or qualitative research practicum (SOCC23 & SOCC31). They also have the option of taking both. In their fourth year, specialist students complete a capstone seminar (SOCD50) where again they receive hands-on training and experience in conducting sociological research. Students are encouraged to consult with the Supervisor of Studies regarding the selection of a course sequence appropriate to their interests and objectives.
The Minor Program in Sociology provides a course structure for students majoring or specializing in other disciplines who want some directed exposure to sociological thought. Students in the Minor Program develop an appreciation and understanding of a sociological approach to a range of everyday issues and broader social, economic and political concerns of a local and global nature.
The Minor program in Critical Migration Studies offers students an understanding of the causes and consequences of international migration in sending, transit and receiving societies. Issues of race and ethnicity are highlighted along with the role of class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship in understanding how societies decide to include, exclude, and regulate different groups of migrants. The Minor is interdisciplinary in content and method; through data-driven coursework and experiential learning, students will develop a suite of transferable skills in research design, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and written, oral, and digital communication.
The Minor Program in Culture, Creativity and Cities offers students an in-depth understanding of the relationship between culture and cities. The Minor is interdisciplinary in content and method. Through experiential learning, students will develop a suite of transferable skills in written, oral, and digital communication.
Computational social science extends theories and analyses from the social science by leveraging tools and techniques from scientific computing and data science. The Certificate in computational social science provides students with training in statistics, modeling, and programming approaches to the analysis of social problems using data, and fosters critical thinking and communication skills crucial to social science research.