Sociology

Introduction

Sociology is the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of small groups to the study of global social change. We hold that social forces external to the individual play an important role in shaping behavior and beliefs. Social forces are the economic and political make-up of society, and cultural influences, such as our beliefs, habits, and values. The sociology major prepares students for a wide variety of careers and graduate fields, including sociology, social work, planning, public administration, education, public health, business, and law.

For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please go to the Sociology website

Qualifications

Students must have a minimum grade of C in all required courses and maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in sociology.

Advisement

All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Major advisors are normally assigned in the sophomore year, but may be requested in the freshman year to supplement a student's freshman advisor (their GRIF 101 facilitator). Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.

Minors

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

In addition to the Sociology minor the department also supports two interdisciplinary minors: Child, Family and Community Studies and Peace and Justice Studies.

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

MAT 131Statistics for Social Sciences3
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
SOC 111Contemporary Social Problems3
SOC 342Social Research Methods3
SOC 432Theories in Sociology3
SOC 461Sociology Capstone1
Six 3 credit sociology electives18
Total Credits34

Major Electives

SOC 234Environment and Society3
SOC 273Social Movements and Social Change3
SOC 291Gender and Society3
SOC 300Special Topics in Sociology3
SOC 324Visual Sociology3
SOC 340Sociology of the City3
SOC 341Race and Ethnic Relations3
SOC 390Marriage and Families3
SOC 498Internship3
SOC 499Independent Study3

The following courses in the other departments count as electives for the sociology major. No more than 2 will count towards the sociology major:

ANT 122Sociocultural Anthropology3
ANT 351Qualitative Research Methods3
ANT 355Sociolinguistics3
ANT 365Gender Issues in Language3
CRJ 320Criminology3
CRJ 354Juvenile Delinquency3

Additional Course Considerations

The department encourages sociology majors to study a foreign language of their choice and to participate in the college study abroad program. Students considering study abroad should consult with their advisor regarding course sequencing.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

Freshman
FallSpring
SOC 110SOC 111
Sophomore
FallSpring
MAT 131SOC elective
SOC elective 
Junior
FallSpring
SOC 342SOC elective
SOC elective 
Senior
FallSpring
SOC 432SOC 461
SOC electiveSOC elective

Learning Goals & Objectives – Sociology

Student Learning Goal 1

Sociology majors will demonstrate that they are able to think critically about sociological concepts.

Students will: 
  • Objective A: apply scientific methodology to the study of sociology
  • Objective B: evaluate the quality of quantitative and qualitative research in sociology

Student Learning Goal 2

Sociology majors will demonstrate that they have the knowledge necessary for careers or graduate school.

Students will:
  • Objective A: become familiar with the major concepts, theories, and theorists in sociology.
  • Objective B: apply sociological theories and methods to real world situations.

Student Learning Goal 3

Sociology majors will appreciate the diverse nature of society.

Students will:
  • Objective A: conceptualize of diversity today and in the past.
  • Objective B: recognize of the vastness of human diversity.

SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology 3 Credits

Topics include theory, methods, culture, socialization, race and ethnicity, groups and organizations, and social inequality; analysis of everyday events, using sociological imagination.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences)

Offered: fall.

SOC 111 Contemporary Social Problems 3 Credits

Exploration of selected social problems from various sociological points of view, emphasizing some of the sociological concepts and methods employed in analyzing these problems.

Fulfills College Core: Diversity, Field 5 (Social Sciences)

Offered: spring.

SOC 234 Environment and Society 3 Credits

Explores connections between environmental issues and their social causes and consequences. Topics of analysis include environmental racism, environmental health, risk and uncertainty, political economy, globalization and sustainability.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences)

Offered: spring.

SOC 273 Social Movements and Social Change 3 Credits

Explores the development of social movements as a force of social change in society. Focus is on theoretical developments in movement theory, as well as explorations of social movements through history.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences), Justice

Offered: spring.

SOC 291 Gender and Society 3 Credits

Exploration of origin of gender roles; socialization into masculine and feminine roles; intersection of gender and social institutions such as family, work and education.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences)

SOC 300 Special Topics in Sociology 3 Credits

Critical examination of a selected topic in sociology. Subject matter determined by the instructor.

SOC 324 Visual Sociology 3 Credits

Emphasizes a visual approach to analyzing social concepts. Analysis of visual media forms to explore core ideas in sociology such as gender, race, environment, social class, family and global diversity.

Offered: spring.

SOC 340 Sociology of the City 3 Credits

Exploration of how people experience and understand city life, how cities grow and develop, and various issues affecting cities today such as suburbanization and urban sprawl.

SOC 341 Race and Ethnic Relations 3 Credits

Focus is on issues surrounding race and ethnicity in the United States, including the social construction of race and ethnicity, prejudice and discrimination, unequal opportunity structures, and the racial/ethnic makeup of the U.S. population.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences)

SOC 342 Social Research Methods 3 Credits

Overview of the major steps in constructing social science research, from developing a research question, operationalization and measurement through data collection and analysis.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C in MAT 131.

Offered: fall.

SOC 355 Deviant Behavior 3 Credits

Students will explore how societies define some behaviors and characteristics as deviant as well as explanations of social deviance, how societies and groups respond to social deviance. Alternative social science theories about such behavior are compared and contrasted. Research methodologies and findings in recent social-science literature are examined and interpreted.

SOC 390 Marriage and Families 3 Credits

Covers family development from relationship formation through marriage, divorce and remarriage. Includes sexuality, sexual orientation, cohabitation, parenting and the intersection between the family and major social institutions.

SOC 432 Theories in Sociology 3 Credits

Course emphasizes theory development as a tool to understand society. Focuses on major social theorists and their contributions as well as classical and modern theoretical schools in sociology.

Restriction: must be a sociology major or minor with senior standing.

Offered: fall.

SOC 461 Sociology Capstone 1 Credit

Integrating experience for majors; focus is on demonstrating proficiency in the discipline and preparation for post-graduate studies or employment.

Offered: spring.

SOC 498 Internship 3-4 Credits

Opportunity for students to participate in the daily work of an agency or organization. Internships require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: minimum GPA of 2.75, signature of instructor, and approval by both the chair & associate dean.

Offered: fall & spring.

SOC 499 Independent Study 1-3 Credits

Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

Offered: fall & spring.