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Degree Option

Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in sociology.

Description of Program

The study of sociology helps students appreciate and engage the complexities of social life. The program in sociology is designed as a central component of the curriculum in the college of arts and sciences and in the university.

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.  The 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.  Sociology also helps you to become a more informed citizen and community member.

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. 

Requirements for Major

Minimum of 37 credit hours in sociology that include the following:

  1. One entry-level course. SCSS 1-25.
  2. Two theory-intensive courses*. Choose from SCSA 101, SCSS 70, SCSS 080, SCSS 133, SCSS 135, SCSS 151, SCSS 170, SCSS 173, SCSS 174, SCSS 175, SCSS 176
  3. Two methodology-intensive courses*. Choose from STAT 50, SCSA 156, SCSS 77, SCSS 155, SCSS 156, SCSS 158, SCSS 159
  4. One Senior Capstone Experience* (4 credit hours). SCSS 199 - 1 credit and Senior Experience Course – 3 credits (note – a revision of the capstone requirement is underway.  Consult with your advisor.)
  5. An additional 6 elective courses (18 hours) in sociology. 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.

Requirements for Minor

Minimum of 18 hours of coursework in sociology to include one entry-level course and an additional 15 hours of sociology courses. 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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