Bachelor of Arts

AIC students who major or minor in Sociology learn about the differences and similarities between human groups, and how those factors change over time.

Sociology is the study of society and social relationships. Sociology is a social science field of study that analyzes and explains important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. A major and a minor in sociology is offered as preparation for graduate studies or for careers in applied sociology, public policy, business, social work, law, and teaching, among others. Course offerings include sociological foundations, as well as cultural anthropology and social work.


Learning Outcomes for Sociology
The following are learning outcomes for successful completion of the sociology major:

  • Students will explain the role of theory in sociology
    • Define theory and describe its role in building sociological knowledge
    • Compare and contrast theoretical orientations
    • Explain how theories reflect the historical context of times and cultures in which they were developed
    • Apply theories or theoretical orientations in at least one area of social reality
  • Students will explain the role of evidence and qualitative/quantitative research methods
    • Identify basic methodological approaches and describe the general role of methods in building sociological knowledge
    • Compare and contrast the basic methodological approaches for gathering data;
    • Design a research study in an area of choice and explain why various decisions were made
    • Evaluates a published research report and explain how the study could have been improved
  • Students will explain the role of social structure in society
    • Identify how institutions interlink in their effects on each other and on individuals
    • Summarize how social change factors affect social structures and individuals
    • Explain how social structures vary across time and place and the effect of such variations
    • Evaluate specific policy implications using reasoning about social structural effects
  • Students will explain the role of internal diversity and inequality in American society
    • Describe social variations by race, class, gender and age in our society
    • Explain the processes through which prejudice and discrimination are created and perpetuated in society
    • Summarize the social factors that create and perpetuate inequality
    • Evaluate the impact of social inequality on social structures and on differences of individuals

My education has provided me the skills 
to design research, analyze data, and present findings, which has helped me to better see and understand many of the inequalities in today’s society.

—Tonya Heard ’14 Sociology Student

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

You will build an understanding of sociological concepts, design and apply approaches used in sociological research, and employ ethical concepts related to cultural relativism and social justice.

Career Opportunities

The program provides you with the skills needed to succeed in a variety of fields and settings, including business and industry, community and social services, research, and education and extension services.

Future Studies

Given the wide scope of knowledge and skills gained through a degree in Sociology, career and graduate study opportunities are abundant.

Major Requirements:

Students who major in sociology are required to take 12 courses (36 credits) in the field.

  • SOC1100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC1400 Social Problems
  • SOC2631 Sociological Research Methods*
  • SOC2800 Sociological Theory
  • SOC4896 Senior Capstone*****
  • SOC4899 Internship in Sociology**

Choose 6 elective courses in Sociology and/or Social Work:

  • SOC2400 Crime and Deviance***
  • SOC2410 Deviance and Social Control***
  • SOC2420 Sociology of Institutions
  • SOC2430 Sociology of Family
  • SOC2600 Class, Status and Power
  • SOC2621 Sociology of Aging
  • SOC2643 Sociology of Work
  • SOC2650 Sociology of Globalization
  • SOC3243 Race and Racism
  • SOC3280 Sociology of Popular Culture
  • SOC3430 Sociology of Religion
  • SOC3440 Sociology of Health****
  • SOC3630 Gender in Society
  • SOC3825 Special Topics in Sociology
  • SWK2000 Introduction to Behavioral Sciences for Human Services
  • SWK2010 Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorders
  • SWK2030 Drugs and Society
  • SWK2401 Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK3201 Social Case Work
  • SWK3300 Principles of Case Management
  • SWK3460 Social Work – Child Welfare

*May substitute SOC2631 with PSY3615, CRJ2350, or PCH4100 Research Methods
**May substitute SOC4899 with CRJ4979, PSY4899, PCH3066 if a double major in Criminal Justice, Psychology or Public Health
***May substitute SOC2400 or SOC2410 with CRJ 3842 Criminology
****May substitute SOC3440 with PCH 3200 Disparities in Health
*****May substitute for a sociology elective course if not offered


  • SOC1100: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC1400: Social Problems
  • SOC2631: Sociological Research Methods
  • SOC2800: Classical Sociological Theory

Plus two additional upper-level sociology courses


Course Descriptions

This course presents the fundamentals of anthropology. Both physical and cultural anthropological perspectives will be utilized. A holistic focus will be on the intersection of these two perspectives as they attempt to explain human social behavior. Main topics related to the role and results of natural selection include: territoriality, food acquisition, aggression, gender roles, marriage, reproduction, religion, socialization strategies, and child rearing.

This course is designed to acquaint the student with working knowledge of the concepts used by sociologists and with the well-established generalizations in the field. Topics include socialization, primary groups, stratification, population, and bureaucracy. This course is a prerequisite for all other sociology courses.

This course examines what makes a social problem and an analysis of present areas of tension and social maladjustment, especially those associated with recent rapid social changes.

This course explores the operation and structure of complex organizations and bureaucracies. Particular emphasis is placed on corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions.

The extent and types of crime and delinquency in contemporary society, and the criminologist’s contribution to the analysis of causal factors are examined and discussed.

This course introduces the sociological perspectives of deviant behavior, including social control theory, social disorganization theory, anomie theory, labeling theory, and conflict theory. Scientific research on such deviant behaviors as prostitution, pornography, and drug use will be examined. Governmental deviance, corporate deviance, and police deviance and the cost of these forms of deviance to society are explored.

This course focuses on the creation and maintenance of social institutions and the ways in which these congeries of organizations and structures shape human relations and experience. Particular emphasis will be placed on the educational system, government, the family, religion, the economy, and the media.

An examination is made of the family as a major social institution, and how family forms and roles vary across cultures. Topics include: ethnic and social variations in structure, single-parent families, parent-child interactions, non-traditional marriages, and domestic violence.

This course is an in-depth exploration of the causes and consequences of social class inequality in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on an analysis of the multiple ways in which social and economic inequality operates to provide power and privilege to certain segments of society. The effect of social class inequality on racial and gender inequality is also considered.

Social aspects of aging over the life span will be discussed. Age-related changes, role transitions, and outcomes of increased longevity will be presented. Special topics include: race, ethnicity, retirement, access to healthcare, long-term care, as well as death and dying.

A study is made of methods used in sociological research with special emphasis on measurement and data collection. Time will also be devoted to the interview, questionnaire, and recent sociological studies.

This course examines the development and functioning of bureaucratic organizations, including both formal and informal aspects. The sociology of work will also be discussed with emphasis on occupations and professions and their performance expectations within the organization.

The course will cover the social systems of former colonial nations in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Emphasis will be placed on their changing institutions: political, economic, educational and social, as influenced by colonialism.

The student will study the outstanding theorists in the development of sociological thought. Special attention will be given to the works of Durkheim, Marx, and Weber. Upper division students.

This course is an intensive study of selected ethnic and racial groups and subcultures in their structural and cultural aspects. Students will study how these affect their lifestyles in relation to dominant groups within the social system. Both classical and contemporary models of minority-dominant relations will be considered for their relevance toward an adequate understanding of contemporary social systems.

This course examines the impact of religion in American life; the changing religious landscape; profiles of America’s religious groups; trends in individual religious commitment; and the relationship between religion and politics in the U. S.

Societal expectations and reactions to health and illness in the United States will be examined. Institutions and current provider systems will be described. Discussion will center around the concept of the sick role and the reciprocal statuses (medical and allied health professions) involved. Alternative health options will also be discussed.

This course presents a sociological analysis of the status of women after the Women’s Liberation movement. Special emphasis on roles, work, family, education, and goals women have set for themselves, not only in the United States but in other societies as well.

Selected topics, chosen in accordance with the student’s interests and background, are analyzed in depth.

The object of the internship program is to give the student practical experience in a social agency, business, organization, or institution. Intern assignments will be made in keeping with the student’s future vocational plans. Course work includes related readings, maintaining a journal, and a final paper summarizing the internship experience. Credits awarded will be determined by instructor and department chair.

This course studies the development of modern theory and social work methods in the various fields of social work, including case work, group work, and community organizing.

A primarily experiential and social work course for those seriously considering social work careers. Major topics covered include methods and techniques used in social casework, the interviewing process, role-playing, and casework within the agency setting.

This course will focus on the knowledge, methods and skills of social work practice in the field of child welfare. It will provide an overview of the current children’s welfare system services and practices. Students will explore and analyze the impact of services and practices on the child and family. In addition, students will examine the historical trends in services to children and their families within the framework of supportive, supplemental, and substitute services that have evolved over time as part of the service structure in child welfare. While recognizing the impact of impoverishment, changing family structures, and other aspects of pressures on contemporary family life, attention will be given to social work approaches that encourage parenting strengths and home-based intervention options as preventive strategies in child welfare services.

The object of the internship program is to give the student practical experience in a social agency, business, organization, or institution. Intern assignments will be made in keeping with the student’s future vocational plans. Course work includes related readings, maintaining a journal, and a final paper summarizing the internship experience. Credits awarded will be determined by instructor and department chair.

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