Students pursuing a BA degree in sociology are expected to complete the following requirements:

Social Theory

Two required courses acquaint students with some of the fundamental problems and analytic perspectives of the field of sociology.

SOCI 20002. Social Structure and Change. The central objective of this course is to introduce students to the sociological study of individuals in society—how individual actions are shaped by their position in society, while contributing to its structure and change. We focus on sociological approaches to American society, its position in the international system and principal dimensions including race and ethnicity, age, gender, and social class.

SOCI 20005. Sociological Theory. Drawing on the classics as well as on contemporary works in sociological theory, this course raises questions about the nature of sociological theory and its relation to both empirical research and sociological inquiry. Authors include Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Dewey, Parsons, and Merton.


Sociology majors can fulfill their methods requirements by taking at least one of the following courses offered in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

SOCI 20001. Sociological Methods. This course introduces the approach and practice of social research. This course explores questions of causality in social research and the limits of knowledge. It then covers the basic practices that are a component of all methods of social research through an in-depth examination of interviews, ethnography, surveys, archival, online and computational research. Students spend the quarter working on a series of assignments that culminate in a research proposal for the BA thesis. (Not offered in 2021-22.)

SOCI 20111. Survey Analysis. This course teaches students how to analyze survey data and write up the results: basic logic of multivariate causal reasoning and its application to OLS regression, percentage tables, and log odds, with an emphasis on communicating insights. (Not offered in 2021-22.)

SOCI 20140. Qualitative Field Methods. This course introduces techniques of, and approaches to, ethnographic field research. An emphasis is placed on quality of attention and awareness of perspective as foundational aspects of the craft.  Students conduct research at a site, compose and share field notes, and produce a final paper distilling sociological insight from the fieldwork.

SOCI 20547. Involved Interviewing. Subtitle: Strategies for interviewing hard to penetrate communities and populations.  Imagine that you must interview someone who hails from a background unlike your own; perhaps you need to interview an incarcerated youth, or gather a life history from an ill person. Maybe your task is to conduct fieldwork inside a community that challenges your comfort level. How do we get others to talk to us? How do we get out of our own way and limited training to become fully and comfortably engaged in people and the communities in which they reside?  This in-depth investigation into interviewing begins with an assumption that the researcher as interviewer is an integral part of the research process. We turn a critical eye on the interviewer’s role in getting others to talk and learn strategies that encourage fertile interviews regardless of the situational context. Weekly reading assignments facilitate students’ exploration of what the interview literature can teach us about involved interviewing. Additionally, we critically assess our role as interviewer and what that requires from us. Students participate in evaluating interview scenarios that are designed to explore our assumptions, sharpen our interviewing skills and troubleshoot sticky situations. We investigate a diversity of settings and populations as training ground for leading effective interviews. The final project includes: 1) a plan that demonstrates knowledge of how to design an effective interviewing strategy for unique field settings; 2) instructor’s feedback on students’ personal journals on the role of the interviewer. (PQ: Ugrad level restricted to 3rd and 4th year Sociology Majors ONLY).

SOCI 20548. Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data: Using Open-Computer Assisted Qualitative.This is a graduate level course in coding and analyzing qualitative data (e.g., interview transcripts, oral histories, focus groups, letters, and diaries, etc). In this hands-on-course students learn how to organize and manage text-based data in preparation for analysis and final report writing of small scale research projects. Students use their own laptop computers to access one of two free, open-source software programs available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.  While students with extant interview data can use it for this course, those without existing  data will be provided text to code and analyze.  This course does not cover commercial CAQDAS, such as AtlasTi, NVivo, The Ethnograph or Hypertext. (PQ: Ugrad level restricted to 3rd and 4th year Sociology Majors ONLY).

SOCI 20549. Human Development Research Designs.  The purpose of this course is to expose Comparative Human Development majors, Education and Society minors, and Health and Society minors in College to a broad range of methods in the social sciences with a focus on human development research. The faculty in Comparative Human Development is engaged in interdisciplinary research encompassing anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, and applied statistics. The types of data and methods used by faculty span the gamut of possible methodologies for addressing novel and important research questions. These include surveys, experiments, ethnography, structured or semi-structured interviews, and mixed methods. In this course, students will study how appropriate research methods are chosen and employed in influential research and will gain hands-on experience with data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results.


Students are required to take the following statistics requirement.

SOCI 20004 Statistical Methods of Research. This required course provides a comprehensive introduction to widely used quantitative methods in sociology and related social sciences. Topics include analysis of variance and multiple regression, considered as they are used by practicing social scientists. Substitutes for this course are STAT 20000 Elementary Statistics or higher.

Additional Courses

Students must take seven additional courses in sociology or related fields, and at least four of these must be in sociology. Courses may be drawn from any of the 20000-level courses in sociology and, after completing SOCI 20002 Social Structure and Change, from any 30000-level courses in sociology that have not been cross listed with undergraduate numbers. Graduate courses (e.g., 40000-level or higher) taken with instructor’s consent also count toward this requirement. 

Instructions for how to petition up to three related social-science courses to count towards the sociology major can be found here

B.A. Thesis Seminar

SOCI 29998 Sociology BA Thesis Seminar

2021-22 Schedule of Required Courses

  • SOCI 20001, Sociological Methods, Not offered in 2021-22
  • SOCI 20002, Social Structure & Change, Autumn
  • SOCI 20004, Statistical Methods of Research, Winter
  • SOCI 20005, Sociological Theory, Winter


All courses required for completion of the sociology program must be taken for quality grades (e.g., not P/F).