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Bachelor of Arts in Sociology




Program Description

Students in this degree program will use the unique view and perspective of sociology to study all forms of human behavior and interaction from the individual and small groups to institutions and globalization. Students will develop a sociological imagination that opens windows into unfamiliar worlds and provides a fresh look at familiar worlds. Students will develop knowledge and a toolkit of applicable skills in research, empirical and theoretical analysis, as well as well developed critical thinking and information literacy skills. Students will investigate key social institutions, contemporary social problems, and social change examining issues of race & ethnicity, gender, age, occupation, sexuality, religion, and all other characteristics of human beings. Graduates of this program are inclined to professions that involve politics, government civil service, health care, child and family support services, general public or private management, and law.

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Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, this program also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of sociology, graduates in this degree program will be able to:

Sociological Literacy (knowledge of content):

  • Discuss and differentiate major paradigms, classic and contemporary theories that inform the study of sociology.
  • Outline and show how theories reflect the historical and social contexts of the times and cultures in which they were developed.
  • Describe the major areas of sociological analysis.
  • Relate the structure of modern American society, its social stratification and inequality - ethnic, racial, religious and gender differentiation, and its key social institutions including family, marriage, polity, education, economy, health, religion and media.
  • Examine the basic social processes that maintain and alter social structure and order on a structural, cultural and individual level, especially the processes of integration, organization, urbanization, globalization, conflict and technological innovation.
  • Identify the cultural, multicultural, cross-cultural, and cross-national influences on urban, suburban and rural societies.
  • Explain the reciprocal relationship in the influence between societal and structural factors, individual behavior and the self’s development.
  • Show how social issues can be better understood by emphasizing the micro/macro connections.

Knowledge of Research Methods:

  • Outline and design methodological approaches including surveys, field research, experiments, unobtrusive measures and evaluation research.
  • Explain the role of research methods in building sociological knowledge.

Research and Writing Skills:

  • Construct and investigate sociological questions using the basic procedures of sociological research and understand the problems of reliability and validity.
  • Discuss the data produced by sociological research and use sociological theory to interpret it.
  • Examine sociological research ethics and diverse practices.
  • Apply statistical knowledge and procedures and computers to gather and analyze data, and interpret research findings.

Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills:

  • Analyze and evaluate the body of empirical literature focused on sociological theory and application.
  • Apply analytic tools, the sociological imagination, and theoretical concepts to understand human social behavior.
  • Identify underlying assumptions in particular theoretical orientations or arguments.
  • Identify underlying assumptions in particular methodological approaches to an issue.
  • Discuss how patterns of thought and knowledge are directly influenced by political-economic social structures.
  • Compare and discuss opposing viewpoints and alternative hypotheses on various issues.
  • Analyze the policy implications of specific research methods and theories in relation to social problems.

Information Literacy Skills:

  • Identify and select the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems.
  • Construct and implement effective search strategies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify, locate, and retrieve information.
  • Analyze, evaluate and synthesize basic social research for a specific purpose.

Visit Career Services

Sociology is a diverse and exciting field of undergraduate study that may prepare you for a wide variety of careers or for pursuit of a higher degree in sociology or a related discipline. Our sociology majors get jobs in all sectors of employment – corporate/for-profit, government, education, and nonprofit. Specifically, we see graduates with careers in administration, business, corrections, counseling, education, investigations, journalism, politics, public relations, research, senior services, and youth services. Many resources are available online to help you in your career planning, including the American Sociological Association website and many other professional organizations and job sites.

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Recommended Job Sites

Get Sociology Jobs
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Police Employment
Social Service Job Site
Social Work Job Bank

Professional and Academic Associations

American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
American Society of Criminology (ASC)
American Sociological Association (ASA)

American Statistical Association (ASA)
Association of Black Sociologists (ABS) 
Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
Association for Research on Non-profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
Association for Social Economics (ASE)
Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR)
Eastern Sociological Society (ESS)
Justice Studies Association (JSA)
Law and Society Association (LSA) 
Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA)
Midwest Sociological Society (MSS)
National Communication Association (NCA)
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
National Social Science Association (NSSA)
New England Sociological Association (NESA)
North Central Sociological Association (NCSA)
Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) 

Conferences and Expositions

AAPOR 71st Annual Conference
May 12-15, 2016
Austin, Texas

The American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting
Nov. 18-21, 2015
Washington, D.C.

American Sociological Association
Aug. 22-25, 2015
Chicago, Ill.

The 40th Annual Association of Christians Teaching Sociology (ACTS) Meeting
2016 TBD

Association for Institutional Research
May 3 - June 3, 2016
New Orleans, La.

ARNOVA Annual Conference
Nov. 19-21, 2015
Chicago, Ill.

Midwest Sociological Society
March 23-26, 2016
Chicago, Ill.

Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA) Annual Meeting
Oct. 21-24, 2015
Chicago, Ill.

National Communication Association
Nov. 19-22, 2015
Las Vegas, Nev.

National Council for Social Studies
Nov. 13-15, 2015
New Orleans, La.

National Technology and Social Science Conference
March 20-22, 2016
Las Vegas, Nev.

North Central Sociological Association 
2016 TBD

The Pacific Sociological Association
March 30 - April 2, 2016
Oakland, Calif.

Social Networking

American Sociological Association - Facebook

Quick Links

American Sociological Association: Career Resources for Undergraduates 
Institute for Women's Policy Research

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Core Requirements
24 Hours
Introduction to Sociology
3 hours

Introduction to Sociology introduces students to the sociological investigation of human interaction and behavior in society. Students will become familiar with the sociological perspective and develop a ‘sociological imagination’ – the ability to see the general in the particular, the new in the familiar, and to observe the impact social forces have on our lives. The course explores environmental, historical, cultural, and organizational influences on our interpersonal relationships and life-patterns within the context of contemporary society. Students will learn how to use sociological concepts, theory and research to think critically about individuals, groups, institutions, and societies in any given situation.

Social Problems
3 hours

This course examines a diverse sample of social problems facing the United States today and identifies how these problems affect and are affected by our institutions and culture. The sociological perspective and key theories will be used to understand the beginnings of the civil society, how problems develop and are defined, and the role of social change (particularly contemporary technological innovation). Key social problems covered will include social stratification/inequality, crime, drug abuse, prostitution, aging, infectious disease, family violence, health care, racial/ethnic conflict, terrorism, etc. Sociological research on social problems will be explored, and social policies to remedy the negative consequences of these issues on society will be discussed

Society, Interaction, and the Individual
3 hours

This course surveys sociological theories and research on the relationship between the individual and society. It is a sociological approach to social psychology, emphasizing symbolic interactionism and social constructionism. Students will learn how individuals participate in the construction of society through interaction and the impact of cultures and social structure on our everyday lives including individual behavior in group processes. Core topics covered will include the Social Construction of Reality, Ethnography and other key methods in Symbolic Interactionism; the Self in Context; the Sociology of Emotions; Interaction and inequality.

Social Deviance
3 hours

This course is a critical examination of the relationship between deviance and social control. It will include how and why certain forms of behavior come to be known as deviant, it will analyze the nature of formal and informal responses to deviance, and explain the interaction of different social control institutions. Special attention will be given to an overview of general theories of deviance, and the particular forms it takes.

Classical Sociological Theory
3 hours

This course examines the transition from social philosophy to sociology with special emphasis on the European theorists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (Prerequisites: ENGL101 and SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101),Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Contemporary Sociological Theory
3 hours

This course offers a general survey of recent developments in social theory since the 1960’s. It covers a variety of theories that have been or are influential in the social sciences. Focus will be directed towards both those social theories that have sought to understand modernity as a social epoch and those that claim we have entered a new postmodern era. Differences between European and American approaches will be considered as the substance of the course is developed. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Research Methods for Sociology
3 hours

This course introduces students to the purpose and techniques in social research: problem definition, research design, sampling and data collection methods including observation, interviewing, questionnaire construction and the use of documents and other unobtrusive data sources. The basic goal of all social research is to gather evidence in order to answer questions about the nature of relationships between individuals, groups, institutions, and societies. This course is designed to give the student a broad overview of the logic of social research, of the process of research design, and of the major types of data collection techniques and methods of data analysis.

Statistics for Social Science
3 hours

This course is designed to provide a basic survey of the application, empirical use and interpretation of a variety of statistics methods used in the social sciences. A key objective of the course is the instruction in best statistical practice through the use, exploration and analysis of empirical data. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and interpreting the meaning of statistics. The practical aspects of statistics are emphasized and students are instructed in the use of the standard statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) which is widely used in the social sciences and the in labor force. NOTE: Students must have access to required software: SPSS (Statistics Package for the Social Sciences); see Course Materials for current version requirement. APUS does not supply this software

Major Requirements
15 Hours
Choose 12 Credit Hours from the following:
Race and Ethnicity
3 hours

This course is a critical analysis of the structure of racism, stratification, hate violence, youth violence, poverty and human rights, stereotyping and ethnocentrism in the contemporary United States. Students examine the outstanding problems facing society and strategies for change, including an exploration of the ethics of intervention. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Political Sociology
3 hours

Political Sociology examines the broad social bases of politics and identifies how politics and actions by government can influence the fate of nations and their citizens. These influences include, but are not limited to, power and authority, economic policy, equality, forms of political rule, access to the political process, and the roles of political parties. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Food and Culture
3 hours

This course is a theoretical and empirical exploration of human food choices from an ecological, political and sociological perspective. Students will examine food taboos and cravings, with their social, ideological and biological sources. The course is designed to discuss the socio-cultural dimensions of food production, preparation and consumption to include dimensions of individual, family, community and societal structures, as well as ideological, religious and cultural identities embodied in gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Choices of pets, insects and people as food choices are considered in their socio-cultural contexts. Social issues include the 21st century locavore and organic movements, community food production, malnutrition and hunger. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Environmental Sociology
3 hours

Environmental problems are usually described in terms of the natural and life sciences; however, they are ultimately social problems, caused by social practices that reflect entrenched social values. This course will examine historical and contemporary sociological perspectives that have informed human’s relationship with nature; the role of social/political/economic organization in the evolution and definition of environmental problems; and how social stratification is related to the environment. Course materials will include a survey of current research and methods in the subfield such as social movement research and network analysis. This course replaces SOCI320. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Social Change
3 hours

Beginning with industrialization, a structural and cultural approach will be used to study processes of human interaction resulting in social change. The concept of what ‘change’ is and how it happens will be clarified with a focus on the various factors and theories that explain it. Key topics will include industrialization, institutional change, social movements, modernization, world systems, economic development, globalization, and information society. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Gender and Society
3 hours

This course is a critical analysis of the structure of sexism, stratification, poverty and human rights in the contemporary United States. Students examine the outstanding problems facing society and strategies for change, including an exploration of the ethics of intervention. The course is designed to discuss the way culture shapes and defines the positions and roles of both men and women in society. It will cover the historical development of gender roles and stereotypes, how gender roles are socially constructed, and the social conditions which may lead to the broadening or reduction of gender roles and stereotypes. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Sociology of Religion
3 hours

This course will guide students through a critical and sociological exploration of religion. It will provide them with an opportunity to think about religious experience and religious organizations as a part of a larger social order. It will introduce basic concepts in the sociology of religion. This process involves analyzing the interrelationship of culture, society, and religion; religion and social stratification; religious, economic, and political institutions; social change and religion. There will be a general emphasis on American society and institutions, with global and historical contexts integrated throughout the course. The course is designed with a focus on reading, discussion, field observation and critical writing. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Sociology of the Family
3 hours

This course is a sociological analysis of the modern family and marriage, its structures and functions, variant patterns, and the influence of contemporary society on this institution. Course topics include dating, marital roles, divorce, child raising, and alternative lifestyles. (Prerequisite: ENGL101)

Pre Reqs: Proficiency in Writing(ENGL101)

Sociology of the Law
3 hours

This course is a study of law, law-making, law-enforcement, and legal systems in social life. Course content focuses on the American legal system from a sociological perspective--its origins, development, and current format, and examines the sources of the legal tradition, the function of legislation in society, and current trends in the social construction of norms. The course investigates the human need for social order and conflict resolution, and how that takes shape in the social world. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Sociology of Health and Illness
3 hours

This course examines the social contexts of health, illness and organized medical care. It focuses on the theories, research and debates of medical sociology. Topics covered will include the social, environmental and occupational factors in health and illness; the meaning of health and illness from the patient’s perspective; the historical transformation of the health professions and the health work force; the social and cultural factors surrounding the creation and labeling of diseases; disparities in health, access to healthcare, and the quality of healthcare received; organizational and ethical issues in medicine including rising costs and medical technology; and health care reform. (Prerequisite: SOCI111)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

Choose one of the following:
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
3 hours

This course is designed to acquaint the novice anthropology student with anthropology and its various sub-fields, examining cross-cultural, global, comparative, and critical perspectives on human behavior and culture, as well as the diversity of human cultures from hunter-gatherers to industrialized city dwellers. The implications of socio-cultural analysis of economic, social, symbolic, and religious systems are also considered.

Transnational and Global Issues in Women's Studies
3 hours

This course seeks to explore global perspectives on a number of the key ethical debates in Women’s Studies involving basic human rights and women’s lived experience including human trafficking and sex work, transnational mothering and domestic labor, reproductive and cosmetic technologies, and legislated multi-culturalism, In particular, this course considers how these debates are framed by secular and religious feminists and womanists globally and how they are portrayed across cultures in novels, film, poetry, religious texts, and other cultural artifacts. The aim of the course is to investigate how these issues might better be identified, negotiated and/or addressed effectively in terms of global, political, legislative and civic action in communities, and by the academy based on feminist ethic of care.

Introduction to Feminist Thought
3 hours

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of historical and contemporary feminist theories in the United States and international contexts.

Contemporary Women's Issues
3 hours

This course is a critical analysis of major contemporary women’s issues covering a range of research, writing, and cutting-edge topical issues in the arts, politics, business, humanities, and social and natural sciences.

The Black Woman
3 hours

This course examines the black woman in contemporary times, with emphasis on Black women in the United States. Issues covered will include the changing role of the Black woman in society, the image and social constructions of the Black woman, Black women and the workplace, Black feminist thought, as well as Black women and their communities. The role of U.S. public policy in shaping each of these issues will be investigated. Key issues and topics will include analyzing the ways in which race, gender, and class are intertwined, resulting in complex forms of oppression.

Native American Women
3 hours

This course examines Native American women from historical to contemporary times. Topics include the traditional and changing role of the woman in Native American society in relation to her duties, responsibilities, and obligations in family, tribe, workplace, and other settings.

History of Women in Latin America
3 hours

This course is a survey of human and cultural elements of women’s lives in contemporary Latin America. Students explore women’s roles in traditional Latin American societies undergoing modernization. Students also examine the issues of development and industrialization felt by Latin American women in both cities and rural areas.

Women and Sports
3 hours

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of historical and contemporary analysis of women’s experiences in sport in the United States as well as globally. Students will explore women in sports of all kinds, and analyze the experiences of a variety of women across the world and how sports has made an impact on their lives to include the development of sports for women in general. The course is designed to include critically reading, discussing and writing about feminist literature and its applicability to women's lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender and sport interacts with race, class, culture, ability, sexual orientation, age and ethnicity. These will be addressed through the lens of gender roles in sports in relation to cultural, legislative issues, the media, political and contemporary issues, and other controversies within our society.

Women of Color: Cross-Cultural Comparison
3 hours

This course is a global examination of the cultures and ideologies (belief and value systems) of women of color. Topics include specific minority ethnic groups in the United States, Europe, developing countries, and elsewhere throughout the world. The course is designed using a cultural constructionist and systems approach to a global examination and comparison of gender relations. It introduces students to contemporary theoretical perspectives used in the study of culture and gender. The emphasis will be on developing an understanding of the interrelated nature and stratifying effects of gender, ethnicity, and class in the lives of women both in the United States and globally.

Women and Leadership
3 hours

This course explores contemporary issues related to leadership in relation to current research in women's studies, to include gender models of leadership. Course topics include styles of leadership, women and competition, sexism in the workplace, and gender communication differences.

Institutional Requirements
3 Hours
Foundations of Online Learning
3 hours

This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to the tools and resources available in the online classroom and campus. Students will be introduced to online research, formatting, and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.

General Education
34 Hours

Final Program Requirement
3 Hours
Senior Seminar should be taken as your last course in the program.
Senior Seminar in Sociology
3 hours

The focus of this course is to review the major issues within the field of sociology and their relationship to current events. Theoretical and applied perspectives will be discussed, culminating in the students’ completion of a major sociological research paper/project that synthesizes the body of acquired knowledge. This is a capstone course to be taken after all other Sociology courses have been satisfactorily completed. Student must have SENIOR standing to register.(Prerequisites: SOCI111 and all Core and Major courses)

Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)

General Electives
42 Hours
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.

Total Credits (121 Hours)
Program Completion Rates, Median Debt and More

View more details regarding our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information.


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