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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Sociology (SOCY)

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
2108 Parren J. Mitchell Art/Sociology Building, 301-405-6389
Chair: R. Korzeniewicz (Prof & Chair)
Director: L. Moghadam (Undergrad Director), L. Sayer (Prof & Grad Director)
Professors: F. Chen, P. Cohen (Prof), P. Collins, S. Desai, K. Finsterbusch, D. Fisher (Prof), J. Kahn, R. Korzeniewicz, J. Lucas (Prof & Assoc Chair), M. Moaddel (Prof), S. Presser, M. Rendall (Prof & Dir MPRC), G. Ritzer, R. Vanneman (Prof), A. Villarreal (Prof), W. Yu (Prof)
Associate Professors: M. Kestnbaum, M. Kleykamp, K. Marsh, A. Neustadtl, J. Park (Assoc Prof), J. Pease
Assistant Professors: C. Prell, R. Ray
Lecturers: A. Forsythe (Lecturer), R. Pernick (Lecturer), Y. Yu (Lecturer)
Professors Emeriti: R. Clignet, E. Dager, W. Falk, J. Hage, J. Hunt, L. Hunt, K. Kammeyer, L. Landry, J. Lengermann, B. Meeker, M. Milkie (Prof Emeritus), J. Robinson, D. Segal, M. Segal
Visiting Faculty: D. Schaefer (Visit Assoc Prof)

The Major

Sociology is the scientific study of society and its institutions, organizations, and groups.  By observing the broad range of activities in society, and exploring topics such as social class, race, gender, deviance, family, religion, the work place, and demographic trends, sociologists provide important information and perspectives on our social order and the causes and impacts of social change.  Sociology provides important information useful both to personal life and public policy decisions.  Sociology is among the broadest of the social sciences and is characterized by considerable pluralism in theoretical and methodological approaches, substantive specializations, and in units of analysis.

Students major in Sociology for a variety of reasons.  Some emphasize sociology's relevance to understanding a broad range of social issues that interest them out of intellectual curiosity, personal life relevance, or usefulness for ameliorative social change efforts.  Other majors emphasize acquisition of sociological knowledge and skills useful in a variety of career paths where understanding societal problems and trends, group dynamics, and personnel issues are critical.  For a small core of majors the purpose of the undergraduate program is preparation and training for admissions to graduate programs and eventual careers as sociologists in teaching and research and/or policy development.  Majors may also use sociology as a basis for graduate study in related fields, including law, social work, public policy, and human resource management.   

Courses offered by this department may be found under the acronym: SOCY.

Program Objectives

The overall goals of the program are:

  • To provide meaningful and challenging courses within the University general education program
  • To provide meaningful and challenging courses as electives for non-majors
  • To provide a coherent program of courses for Sociology majors which enables majors to attain:
a)  general sociological knowledge and understanding of our society
b)  sociological knowledge and skills relevant to a variety of career paths
c)  sociological knowledge and skills relevant to application and success within competitive sociology graduate programs
d)  to provide a Sociology Honors component for selected students who have the capability and motivation to work at the most challenging level 

Program Learning Outcomes

Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • To be able to think critically and assess information about society using sociological concepts and a social science mode of argument.
  • To be confident in one's understanding of key questions addressed by the discipline and the ways in which social structure and social interaction shape human behavior. 
  • To feel competent to use research tools to conduct and assess research.
  • To understand the role of theory in the construction of sociological inquiry; for majors this entails knowing the central ideas of major classical and contemporary theorists.
  • To understand and be able to apply statistical concepts.
  • To understand the social science model of evidence and argument; for majors this entails familiarity with basic social science statistical techniques, basic methods of data analysis, basic methods of organizing and presenting information, and the ability to carry out a small research project.

Requirements for the Major

As part of the 120 credits and other requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree, sociology majors must complete a minimum of 38 credits in Sociology and 12 credits in supporting courses outside of Sociology. All these credits must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-" or better in each course, and students must earn at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA for all courses in the major. The 38 credits in Sociology must include the following:

 Required Courses        
 Basic Requirements        
SOCY100 Introduction to Sociology       3
SOCY201Introductory Statistics for Sociology       4
SOCY202Introduction to Research Methods in Sociology       4
SOCY203Sociological Theory       3
 Breadth Requirement       9
 one course from three of the following concentration areas:        
    Family and Demography:         
SOCY410Social Demography        
SOCY443The Family and Society        
    Organizations and Institutions:         
SOCY431Principles of Organizations        
SOCY443The Family and Society        
SOCY460Sociology of Work        
SOCY464Military Sociology        
    Social Psychology:         
SOCY230Sociological Social Psychology        
SOCY430Social Structure and Identity        
    Stratification and Inequality:        
SOCY441Social Stratification and Inequality        
  Depth Requirement        9
  At least three courses (including one required) in any one of the following concentration areas:        
    Family and Demography:         
SOCY410Social Demography (Required)        
SOCY411Demographic Techniques        
SOCY412Family Demography        
SOCY418*Research in Family and Demography        
SOCY442The Family and Social Class        
SOCY443The Family and Society        
SOCY444Sociology of Children        
    Organizations and Institutions:         
SOCY431Principles of Organizations (Required)        
SOCY425Gender Roles and Social Institutions        
SOCY438*Research in Organizations & Institutions        
SOCY443The Family and Society        
SOCY456Sociology of Consumerism        
SOCY460Sociology of Work        
SOCY462Women in the Military        
SOCY463Sociology of Combat        
SOCY464Military Sociology        
SOCY465The Sociology of War        
SOCY467Sociology of Education        
    Social Psychology:         
SOCY230Sociological Social Psychology (Required)        
SOCY402Intermediate Procedures for Data Collection, OR        
SOCY430Social Structure and Identity        
SOCY440Sociology of the Self-Concept        
SOCY447Small Group Analysis        
SOCY448*Research in Social Psychology        
SOCY450Measurement of Time, Work, and Leisure        
SOCY463Sociology of Combat        
    Stratification and Inequality:         
SOCY441Social Stratification and Inequality (Required)        
SOCY325The Sociology of Gender        
SOCY421Women and Men in the World System        
SOCY422Social Change in Latin America        
SOCY424Sociology of Race Relations        
SOCY425Gender Roles and Social Institutions        
SOCY428*Research in Inequality        
SOCY442The Family and Social Class        
SOCY462Women in the Military        
SOCY467Sociology of Education        
 Methods Requirement       3
SOCY An intermediate methods course or research course selected from a list maintained by the Sociology Undergraduate Advising Office        
 Electives       0-3
  Elective course(s) in sociology sufficient to fill out the required minimum of 38 credits in sociology; may be selected from any of the sociology courses        
 Supporting Courses       12
  • Two supporting courses from approved list
  • Two supporting courses at the 400 level from approved list 

*Special Topics courses, may be repeatable - see note below.

Students should note the following in reference to Sociology requirements:

a)  SOCY201 has a prerequisite of Math111 or higher with a minimum grade of "C-";

b)  some of the courses necessary to fulfill depth requirements and/or the methods/research course requirement may have prerequisites such as SOCY201, 202, and 203;

c)  it is permissible to count one course as fulfilling more than one type of requirement, e.g. a course can be counted towards meeting a breadth requirement and a depth requirement, or a courses might be counted towards a depth requirement while simultaneously fulfilling the methods/research course requirement;

d)  special topics courses (indicated with an * in the above lists) may be repeatable for credit if its content differs from when previously taken;

e)  SOCY498 courses may be used to fulfill depth requirements for particular concentration areas when so designated by the Undergraduate Sociology Office; the Sociology Undergraduate Office maintains current lists of special topics courses (SOCY498) that fulfill depth requirements; and

f)   each course counted as meeting sociology or supporting course requirements must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better.

Other Requirements for the Major

Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" in MATH111 and all major requirements. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major requirements.


Regular advising is strongly recommended for all majors. Advising is particularly important for those majors who are considering graduate school. Majors are reminded of the importance of taking the four basic required courses (SOCY100, 201, 202, 203) as soon as possible because these are prerequisites for some upper level course work.  Degree audits are required of all majors at 60 and 90 credits.  Further information on course work, internships, the department honors program, careers, and other topics may be obtained from the Sociology Undergraduate Advisor, 2108 Art/Sociology Building, 301-405-6389.


Although internships are not a requirement for the major, students may wish to consider the internship program offered by the department or through the Experiential Learning unit of the  University Career Center @ BSOS . Majors may receive up to six credits in SOCY386 when an internship/volunteer position is combined with an academic project. A prerequisite of 12 credit hours in Sociology course work is required. Sociology internship credit does not count toward meeting requirements for the major.

Honors Program

The Sociology Honors Program seeks to encourage and recognize superior scholarship by providing an opportunity for interested, capable, and energetic undergraduate students to engage in study in an area of the student's interest under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. The honors program is based upon tutorial study and independent research.

Students who have an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3, a cumulative average of 3.5 in Sociology courses, and who have taken at least nine credits in Sociology may apply. Transfer students with equivalent academic records at other accredited institutions are also eligible. Admission to the program will be based upon academic performance and the judgment of the Undergraduate Committee whether the applicant has sufficient maturity and interest to complete successfully the requirements for graduation with Honors. Further information on the honors program is available from the Sociology Undergraduate Office.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The Sociology Collective, open to all Sociology majors, is organized by a group of interested undergraduates to fill student needs within the Sociology community. The Collective provides information about topics of interest, including department activities, career planning, and relevant changes within the university, and strives to enhance the sense of community within the department. Representatives of the Collective participate in many faculty committees within the department and thereby provide the undergraduate perspective on policy issues.

The Alpha Kappa Delta is the National Honor Society for Sociology majors. Membership is based on Sociology GPA (3.3 minimum) and overall GPA (3.3 minimum). Students may apply after they have completed 18 hours of Sociology course work. Application for membership may be made in the Sociology Undergraduate office and are accepted in both fall and spring semesters. 

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Tara Lynn Resnick Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding female Sociology undergraduate student.  This scholarship carries an award of $500 that may be used toward educational expenses for the following Fall semester.  Applications are accepted during the Spring semester.  Female students who have earned 60 credits and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply.

The Parker-Fuller Scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate Sociology major in their senior year of study on the basis of need.  It provides an annual award of $1,000. Applications for this scholarship are accepted during the Spring semester.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

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