Sociology studies the way in which the world around us is socially structured. As such, it analyzes processes through which we express our social being—cooperation, exchange, conflict, domination, morality, dependency, violence, crime, social control, and symbolism. Sociology also considers the structures that emerge from these processes: social networks, small groups, families, subcultures, professional affiliations, social classes, gender divisions, race and ethnicity, bureaucracies, social movements, the state, religion, and both popular and “high” culture. Finally, it asks how changes in basic components of a society, such as in the nature of its energy systems, necessarily imply fundamental shifts in social organization, in how people live.
Those fascinated by both continuities and transformations in the social reality that surrounds them will find sociology at Vanderbilt a rewarding field of study. Students can choose from some forty courses taught by faculty who are skilled researchers and devoted teachers. Both majors and minors find that sociology provides a foundation for multitude career paths, including those in the criminal justice system, community and social services, NGOs, local government, and management. See
Jobs and Careers for Sociology Majors,
The training our majors receive in research design, statistics, data analysis, and sociological theory helps them compete for positions in research, policy analysis, and program evaluation.
Students in our department discover that they belong to a community of learners and that learning is both challenging and fun. Small class size allows students to be recognized as individuals. Sociology majors may take advantage of an honors program that lets them conduct their own in-depth original research under a professor's supervision. They can also pursue internships that combine academic training with learning in a a real world setting.
The faculty is committed to making each course relevant to the lives of their students. As teachers, the faculty view learning as an interactive process that requires student participation and viewpoints. Sociology students find that their teachers are accessible and enjoy a close working relationship with them. Many faculty spend as much time counseling students as they do in the classroom.
This nurturing environment manifests itself in student success and achievement. Our students have presented papers at sociological conferences; many of them continue on to graduate school. Popular areas of further study include sociology, the other social sciences, medicine, management, journalism, and law. We encourage our students to stay in contact with us so we can follow their career plans and latest achievements.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR
From the Undergraduate Catalog (please check the on-line catalog for the most recent and official information): Students majoring in sociology are required to complete 33 hours of work in sociology. The major consists of five types of courses: introduction to sociology; a course in theory; courses that emphasize research skills; courses that familiarize students with core areas of the field; and electives. In addition to these sociology courses, students must take a statistics course as part of their training in research skills. The statistics course must be taken prior to the required Research Practicum (Soc 212).
|Introduction: Sociology 101, 101W, or 102, 102W (3 hours)|
|Theory: Sociology 201 (3 hours)|
Research Skills (3 courses, 9 hours, 3 credit hours each):
Sociology 127 (or Economics 150 or 155; or Math 127b or 218; students also majoring in A & S psychology or in the Peabody majors in human and organizational development, child development, cognitive studies, or child studies may fulfill the sociology statistics requirement with Psychology 209 or Peabody Psychology and Human Development Statistics 2101)
The statistics requirement is followed by or concurrent with Sociology 211
Sociology 212 (or Independent Research 296; or Independent Research 295a, 295b, or 299 with approval of the chair or director of undergraduate studies)
Crime, Law, and Deviance: Sociology 224, 231, 232, 233, 234, 240
Organizations, Politics, and Inequality: Sociology 221, 225, 235, 236, 239, 244, 247, 249, 250, 251, 254, 255, 256, 268, 272, 279, Jewish Studies 252
Family, Medicine, and Mental Health: Sociology 206, 220, 230, 237, 264, Anthropology 265
Culture and Social Change:
Sociology 204, 214, 216, 218, 219, 227, 228, 229, 246, 248, 257, 270, 277, Jewish Studies 155, 158, Women's and Gender Studies 243
Students must take at least one course in three of the four core areas (9 credits)
Electives: Any 3 sociology courses not used to satisfy the above requirements (9 credits)
Students also take a final comprehensive exam during their senior year. The exam is not graded, and the score does not appear on the final transcript.
TYPICAL SEQUENCE FOR A MAJOR
Note: This sequence represents a typical path through the major. The sequence for any individual student may vary.
First year: Either Soc 101 or 102 (fall). Also take two courses from the core or elective areas.
Second Year: At least two courses from the core areas. Very strong students may take Soc 201 in the spring. We advise against taking Soc 127 until the junior year.
Third Year: Soc 127 in the fall or spring, and Soc 201 in the fall or spring. Take the remaining courses from the core areas and at least one elective. Note: some students take Soc 211 (fall) and Soc 212 (spring) in their junior year. Soc 127 may be taken with Soc 211 in the fall, but Soc 127 must be completed before taking Soc 212.
Fourth Year: Take the remaining electives and core courses plus Soc 211 (fall) and Soc 212 (spring). Honors students have a different trajectory and should see their advisors.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
Note: AP Statistics courses usually do not count for Soc 127.
Students majoring in other disciplines may choose to minor in Sociology, although a minor is not required for the B.A. or B.S. from the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt.
From the Undergraduate Catalog: The minor in sociology is intended for those students who want to gain an overview of the discipline and to sample some of the special lines of study in it. Students are required to complete 18 hours of course work inside the department, distributed as follows:
| ||Sociology 101 or 102 (3 hours)|
| ||Sociology 201 (3 hours)|
| ||Four courses, including at least one from three of the four core areas listed above in the major requirements (12 hours) [See major requirements for details on core areas.]|
18 total hours
INFO ON HOW TO DECLARE A MAJOR/MINOR IN SOCIOLOGY
Students seeking to declare a major or minor in sociology should contact Deanne Casanova (in GA 201A). Students will be asked to complete a short form that provides the opportunity to indicate any faculty advisor preference(s) they may have. Every effort will be made to pair a given student with his/her preference.
A few days following completion of the form, the student will be provided with the name, e-mail, phone number, and office location of his/her advisor. It is the student's responsibility to contact the advisor in order to set up an orientation meeting. This meeting allows the student to gain information on a variety of topics ranging from the major/minor requirements, to the honors program in sociology, the sociology Honors Society, internships in sociology, and career opportunities.
For a student to be formally admitted into the major/minor program, the student must complete a Declaration of Major/Minor form (provided by the advisor), get the advisor's signature, and submit the form to the Registrar's office of the College at which the student is enrolled.
THE SOCIOLOGY MAJORS & MINORS ASSOCIATION (SMMA)
The Sociology Majors & Minors Association is Vanderbilt's undergraduate club for students interested in Sociology. We hold a number of events throughout the school year including several Pub Hours each semester. Look for flyers around campus announcing Friday Pub Hours and then come kick it at the Pub with your professors, who are all much cooler outside of class.
Other events sponsored by the SMMA include movie screening, "What can you do with a Sociology degree?" panels and a party at the end of each semester.
All declared Sociology majors and minors should receive an email with a link to the latest SMMA newsletter. Of course SMMA events are open to all, not just majors and minors.