6: College of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Academic Information | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Afro-American and African Studies | Anthropology | Archaeology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern
Asian Studies | Astronomy | Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Cognitive Science | Comparative Literature
Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences | French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs
History | Latin American Studies | Linguistics | Mathematics | Medieval Studies
Middle East Studies | Music | Personal Skills | Philosophy | Physics | Political and Social Thought
Psychology | Religious Studies | Service Physical Education | Slavic | Sociology
Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | University Seminars | Women's Studies

Department of Sociology

Course Descriptions | Faculty

Overview   The major in sociology is designed to provide undergraduates with a broad, systematic understanding of society and to cultivate their own sociological interests. The major also develops general skills of practical value, especially the ability to think critically and to express ideas clearly. Sociology majors are also able to offer employers specific skills in data collection and analysis as well as a sensitive awareness of their social environment.

Students take courses in three areas: social theory; substantive research fields; and research methods, statistics, and computer applications. The department promotes a rigorous grounding in the discipline, while giving students the opportunity to define their own intellectual development with the help of an advisor.

Faculty   The fifteen full-time faculty members ensure that each semester there is a diverse range of courses offered. Currently, there are more than forty courses offered in sociology law, social change, sociology of culture, education and gender, political sociology, religion, family, stratification, sociological theory, and demography.

Students   The department currently has approximately 215 majors. Many of these students choose to double major in other areas. Sociology and psychology, sociology and history, and sociology and economics are a few typical examples. Outstanding students have continued their work in this field at top departments around the country and several have won scholarships for graduate work.

Although some majors use their undergraduate degree as the first step toward the Ph.D., many majors work in private business or the public sector as managers or professionals. Recent graduates have gone directly to work for banks, retail firms, publishers, hospitals, federal agencies, social service organizations, and market research firms. Other students have entered graduate study in law, business, social work, public administration, and health administration.

Requirements for Major   Thirty credits in a program approved by the student's advisor are required for the sociology major. These credits may include courses taken before the declaration of the major but may not include courses used to fulfill area requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences. To declare a major, a student must have completed 6 credits of course work in the department with at least a grade of C in each course.

The following courses are required of sociology majors:
SOC 101Introductory Sociology
SOC 302Introduction to Social Theory
SOC 303Sociology Majors Seminar
SOC 311Introduction to Social Statistics
SOC 495Sociology Research Workshop

In addition to SOC 495, sociology majors are required to take three 400-level or 500-level courses.

A grade of C or better is required in every course counted toward the major. Students receiving grades of C- or lower in three courses in the department or falling below a 2.0 GPA in the department are not allowed to continue as a major. Students receiving less than a C in a required course must retake it and receive a grade of C or higher.

Students who have successfully completed a statistics course in another department and have had some exposure to using a computer may petition to waive the SOC 311 requirement, substituting another three-credit sociology course. With approval of the studentís major advisor, up to six credits in related fields may be used to fulfill the 30-credit requirement. Related courses may not be used to satisfy the required number of courses at the 400 or 500 level.

Students planning to major in sociology are urged to take SOC 101 before entering the program.

Exceptions to any of these requirements will be made only upon petition to the undergraduate studies committee.

Requirements for Minor   Students wishing to minor in sociology are required to complete six courses in the department (18 credits) with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. No courses taken outside the Department of Sociology are acceptable for the minor. The eighteen credits must include SOC 101 (Introductory Sociology), and two courses (6 credits) at the 400 or 500 level.

Distinction and Prizes   The department participates in the College's Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Qualified students conduct an independent research project in their fourth year under the supervision of a faculty member. The department also recognizes outstanding majors through its chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociology honor society. Information about both programs can be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The department annually awards the Commonwealth Prize for the best undergraduate paper in sociology.

Special Programs
The Fifth Year M.A. Program permits a sociology major to complete a Master of Arts degree in sociology with one year of intensive study after the B.A. Financial aid for the fifth year is available on a competitive basis. Students interested in the program must carefully plan their undergraduate course of study to meet the admission requirements. They are advised to discuss their interest with the program advisor in their third year.

The Undergraduate Internship Program is a joint project of the sociology department and the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service which grants course credit for supervised field work in a wide range of local government, voluntary, and business organizations. Regular class meetings with supervising faculty are required, in which interns analyze their experiences.

Facilities   The department is located on the fifth floor of Cabell Hall. It maintains a computer facility with terminals and printers available for course work.

Research   In addition to encouraging independent student projects, the department has occasional opportunities for students to work as paid assistants on faculty research projects. Inquiries and applications should be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Additional Information   For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Sociology, 539 Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 924-7293.

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