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Program Overview

Sociology is the study of human action from the point of view of social interactions - covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes.  Students in our courses apply rigorous theories and methods of social inquiry to real world problems.  Our department specializes in outstanding training in multiple methods of social inquiry, including ethnography, documentary film, qualitative interviewing, historic/archival research, and survey research.

Students in our program enjoy frequent collaboration with the Des Moines community through research assignments, service learning, and internships.  Recent graduates have gone to graduate school in social work, business, law, paralegal studies, sociology, criminology, and anthropology. 

B.A. Degree Requirements

The sociology major is excellent training for careers in law and public administration, medicine and public health, activism, social work, advertising and marketing, politics and public policy, business, banking, and consulting, to name just a few.  The various courses in the sociology program examine social groups and processes in a wide diversity of contexts, with an emphasis on critical thinking and social justice. 

The program has flexibility built into the core course requirements and includes anthropology in the curriculum.  Students should work with their advisers to assure selection of courses compatible with their educational and career objectives.

Course Credit Hours
SCSS 001 - Survey of Sociology 3
Two theory-intensive courses - choose from: 6
SCSA 101 - Feminist Anthropolgy 3
SCSS 070 - Psyche/Self/Society 3
SCSS 080 - Social Problems 3
SCSS 085 - Sociology of Everyday Life 3
SCSS 133 - Social Structure/Social Change 3
SCSS 135 - Technoscience Culture & Practice 3
SCSS 151 - Criminology 3
SCSS 170 - Deviance 3
SCSS 173 - Global Citizenship 3
SCSS 174 - Feminist Theories/Subjectivity 3
SCSS 175 - Social Stratification 3
SCSS 176 - Documenting Lives 3
SCSS 178 - Gender, Technology, Embodiment 3
Selected SCSS or SCSA 150 if designated theory-intensive.  
Two methods-intensive* courses - choose from: 6
STAT 050 - Statistics for Social Sciences 3
SCSA 156 - Ethnographic Methods 3
SCSS 077 - The Art of the Interview 3
SCSS 153 - Documentary Video Challenge 3
SCSS 155 - Global Youth Studies 3
SCSS 156 - Representing Race 3
SCSS 157 - Sociology of the Sixties 3
SCSS 158 - Social Science Stats 3
SCSS 159 - Methods of Soc. Res. 3
SCSS or SCSA 150 if designated methods-intensive  
Senior Capstone (Taken in final year of major.  Offered each semester.) 3
An additional six elective courses in sociology 18

Up to 6 hours of anthropology courses and one course in the Study of Culture and Society (SCS) may be used to satisfy this elective requirement.

*Transfer courses may not be used to fulfill the theory-intensive, methods-intensive or Capstone requirements.

Anthropology courses taken to fulfill the methods- or theory-intensive requirement for the sociology major may be taken in addition to the 6-hour allowance for anthropology courses.

To graduate with a sociology major, students must earn grades of "C" or higher in each core course. Students completing the sociology major may not earn a major in the anthropology and sociology major.

Sociology Minor

Course Credit Hours
SCSS 001 - Survey of Sociology 3
Additional five courses of choice 15

Specific courses are planned by the student in consultation with an academic adviser to complement the major and/or future career and educational goals. A maximum of 6 hours in anthropology courses may be part of the 18 hours required for the minor. A maximum of 9 hours of transfer credit may be applied toward the sociology minor.

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