Sociology Requirements

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Sociology is the science of society. It explains how human groups, institutions, and social movements shape our lives. Sociology develops students’ insights into theoretical and practical aspects of life. Sociology students study such topics as deviance, sex and gender roles, social movements, social problems, large-scale business and government organizations, international development, and social change.

Training in sociology is basic both to creative living and to such practical tasks as the development and effective working of businesses, families, community service agencies, political movements and parties, churches, social clubs, government, industry, and schools.

Those with degrees in sociology find meaningful and rewarding employment as consultants to business and government, social change agents (e.g., community organizers), politicians, educators, and diplomats. Like other liberal arts students, sociology majors also enter the business world, particularly in the sales or personnel divisions of major corporations.

An undergraduate major in sociology is excellent preparation for those anticipating graduate study in law, social welfare, business administration, journalism, and many of the technical and scientific fields. In addition, many students have enjoyed the benefits of major-minor combinations between sociology and these other related fields.

The Sociology Major. The major is for students seeking a broad academic background in sociology. Those who want a general liberal arts education in the social sciences or those anticipating graduate study in one of the social sciences usually choose it.

Academic Advisement. A student planning to major or minor in sociology should consult the College of Liberal Arts advising office as early as possible. Subsequently the student will visit a college advisor each semester until all major requirements have been completed.

To graduate with a major in sociology the student must meet all the University Core Curriculum requirements and the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts. The major requires thirty-six hours of course work. Four courses are required: SOC 108, SOC 301, SOC 308 and SOC 312. A capstone course during the senior year, SOC 497 or SOC 498, which requires prior consent of instructor, is also required. Each student must also take two additional 400-level courses in sociology. These requirements are summarized below.

Transfer Students. Credits for some sociology courses taken at community colleges are transferable. Students should have their sociology credits evaluated by the department’s director of undergraduate studies at the earliest opportunity. At least 20 hours of sociology credit must be earned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The two 400-level courses must be taken at a senior level institution and SOC 497 or SOC 498 must be taken at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Sociology Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 11
Requirements for Major in Sociology 36
1) Sociology Requirements: SOC 108, SOC 301, SOC 308 and SOC 312 14
2) Senior Year Work: SOC 497 (or SOC 498) 4
3) At least two additional sociology 400-level courses 6
4) Sociology course electives 12
Electives 34
Total 120
No more than nine hours of Sociology Core Curriculum courses, including SOC 108, can count toward both the University Core Curriculum requirements and the Sociology major.


Sociology Minor

A minor in sociology consists of a minimum of 15 hours, including SOC 108 and at least three more 300- or 400-level sociology courses at SIU Carbondale. An average GPA of 2.0 or higher must be achieved in sociology courses. No more than six hours of Sociology Core Curriculum courses, including Sociology 108, may count toward both the University Core Curriculum requirements and the sociology minor.

Honors Program in Sociology

The department offers an honors program for academically outstanding sociology majors. Qualifications for acceptance into this program are: (1) an overall grade point average of at least 3.00; and (2) completion of 8 hours in sociology courses with a grade point average of at least 3.25 in all sociology courses taken at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the completion of no fewer than six, nor more than fourteen, semester hours in research or independent study which are counted toward the major. Successful completion of the department’s honors program is noted on the academic record at the time the degree is recorded and on the diploma, i.e., Departmental Honors in Sociology. For details, qualified students interested in this program should consult the department’s director of un-dergraduate studies. Concurrent participation in the University Honors Program is encouraged.