BA in Sociology

A ring of students talking in a classroom

In the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program, students build a foundation in sociological research methods, data analysis and theory. Courses include topics as varied as Sociology of Sports, Sociology of the Holocaust and Genocide, Alternatives to Imprisonment, Race and Minority Relations and much more.

Outside the classroom, many BA in Sociology students engage research opportunities or take on internships at social advocacy organizations in the Washington, D.C., area.

This major can be combined with the following programs in the sociology department:

  • HSSJ minor
  • Law & Society minor
  • Health Equity micro-minor

Capstone for Sociology Majors

Sociology majors are required to take SOC 4195: Senior Research Seminar. During the course, students bring together their accrued knowledge of sociological research methods, theory and specialized topics in sociology and apply them to a comprehensive, empirical research project. The seminar aims to help every student walk away with a thoughtful, original piece of research that can serve as a high-quality writing sample for students seeking jobs or admission to a graduate program.

When to Register

Students may take SOC 4195 in either the fall or spring semester of their senior year. The course is limited to seniors, though exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Students must have completed at least one research methods course (SOC 2101 or 2102) and one theory course (SOC 2103 or 2104) before registering for the senior research seminar. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Research Topics

Each senior research capstone course will focus on a selected sociological subject (such as race, immigration, gender or the sociology of food, among others) and will be taught by faculty with expertise in the given area. Students who have taken a regular subject area course in a particular topic may take a senior research seminar on a similar topic. For example, students who have completed SOC 2179: Race and Minority Relations may register for a SOC 4195 section on race and ethnicity. Topic area courses in SOC 4195 will largely cover new materials, focusing on empirical research and methodological and theoretical approaches to the topic.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum (below)

Achievement of a minimum grade of C- in all courses that count toward the degree.

SOC 1001Introduction to Sociology
or SOC 1002 The Sociological Imagination
SOC 2101Social Research Methods *
SOC 2102Techniques of Data Analysis *
SOC 2103Classical Sociological Theory
SOC 2104Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 4195Senior Research Seminar
Seven additional upper-level Sociology (SOC) courses, including at least two courses in the 2160s or 2170s.

*Recommended to be taken before the senior year.

Note: A student majoring in sociology may not declare a second major or a minor in criminal justice, or vice versa.