Department of Sociology

Course Descriptions

101. Introduction to Sociology (3 hours)
Introduces the sociological perspective. Focuses on the scientific study of social interaction in global context and major areas of sociology. Elements of sociological analysis based on scientific research, as opposed to “common sense” approaches, are emphasized. 

102. Cultural Anthropology (3 hours)
Introductory survey of cultural anthropology, that examines how anthropology, through its distinctive methods, can clarify our understanding of each other and ourselves. Major themes studied are the impact of culture on human behavior, the interrelationships between different parts of culture, and cultures as adaptive systems. Also addressed are the science of culture, society and social life, ideology and symbolism, and cultural change and diversity, especially as they relate to the African-American experience. Offered alternate semesters.

103. Social Problems (3 hours)
Principal scope is based on personal and group problems at the local, national and international levels. Alienation, alcohol and drug abuse, interpersonal violence, political corruption, homelessness, unemployment, racial and ethnic conflict, environmental pollution, refugees, world health, and hunger are among the topics covered.

156. Men in Society (3 hours)
Focuses on the meaning and consequences of being a male, particularly a black male. Topics considered are gender as a social process; differential statuses and roles; socialization for manhood; power and conflict; economics; health education and well-being; the sociological context in which we learn how the larger society defines manhood; and the barriers and costs for minority men.

215. Criminology (3 hours)
Crime is analyzed in terms of the social, cultural and institutional contexts in which it occurs. Examines the epidemiologist of crime, sources of data on crime, international comparisons of crime and criminal justice, theories of causation, social reaction to crime, and criminal justice policy. It includes an overview of the American criminal justice system. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

255. The Family (3 hours)
Examines marriage as a social institution and family as social organization. Explores family interaction patterns, the interrelationships between the family and economic and other institutions, cross-cultural comparisons, social psychological and social class influences, and alternative family forms. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

259. Women in Society (3 hours)
Examines the statuses and roles of women in the United States and the world. Introduction to the fundamental concepts, theories, and methods in the social sciences for understanding the social, political, and economic consequences of gender. Social structure and consciousness, socialization, power and authority relationships, and change and continuity are among the issues covered. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

294. Principles of Sociology (3 hours)
This gateway course to the major explores theories, substantive topics, research methods, ethics, policies, and other principles of the discipline. Career planning issues will also be introduced.Prerequisites: ENG101 (C or better) and Sociology 101 (C or better).

300. Contemporary Issues in Sociology (3 hours)
Reviews research and writing in an area that is of current interest in the field. Specific topic(s) to be covered will be announced at the time the course is being offered, given that the topic will vary as an on-demand offering and will be dictated by arresting events and changes in our own and world societies. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (C or better) and junior standing; or permission of the instructor.


301. Statistics (3 hours)
Introduces skills necessary for general statistical literacy and further study in statistical and social science research techniques using the computer. Among the topics covered are methods of measurement; analysis and presentation of data in numerical form; frequency distribution; measures of central tendency and dispersion; correlation and regression; probability and sampling; hypothesis testing; confidence intervals; t- tests and chi-square. Using computers in statistics. Prerequisites: SOC 101 and SOC 294.


302. Social Research Methods (3 hours)
Examines the nature and uses of social research and the scientific method as ways of knowing and understanding reality. Topics considered are logical and empirical conditions for warranted inference, problem definition, research design, data collection and analysis. Using computers and information technology in quantitative and qualitative research and critical examination of research studies is also stressed. Prerequisites: SOC 101 and SOC 294

305. Urban and Community Sociology (3 hours)
Analyzes the characteristics and historical background of urbanism, urban regions, and urban communities, along with environmental problems, human relations, personality, institutional functions, and planning. International comparisons are included. Offered alternate semesters.Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better)

306. Social Psychology (3 hours)
Introductory course focusing on the relationship between individual behavior and patterned social relationships. Provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of social psychology; its key theoretical perspectives, concepts, and methods; the impact of small groups, organizations, and social systems on individual cognition perception, motivation, and behavior; the ways attitudes, values, and beliefs develop and change; and the implications of social psychological factors for social policy, interpersonal relationships and knowledge of self.

307. History of Social Thought (3 hours)
Historical survey of social thought up to 1950. This course examines the ideas and symbols of social life as reflected in the intellectual traditions of sociology and other social sciences. Includes an introduction to the contributions of such early African-American sociologists as W.E.B. DuBois, E. Franklin Frazier, and Charles S. Johnson. Also provides a theoretical orientation for the senior paper. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (C or better); SOC 101 and SOC 294.

316. Corrections (3 hours)
Investigates history, philosophy and current practices in punishment and corrections. Examines the roles of official agents, innovative alternatives to incarceration, probation and parole, and the nature and consequences of incarceration. Emphasizes the implications for African Americans, comparative correctional systems and policy options. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

317. The Police and Law Enforcement (3 hours)
Concerned with the organization, history, functions and problems of public and private law enforcement agencies in the United States and in cross-national comparisons. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

322. Social Inequality (3 hours)
Presents theories and research in social stratification. Emphasizes class relations and structural sources and manifestations of inequality and its consequences. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

331. Work in a Changing Society (3 hours)
Work and occupations are analyzed historically and culturally, and in relation to changes in the economy, in the structure of the labor force and in the meaning of work. Stresses the implications of a postindustrial, information and service economy, as well as institutional interrelationships, power and relations in business, and reciprocity between business and the community. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

340. Medical Sociology (3 hours)
Analyzes medicine as a social institution. Concerned with health and illness; human behavior in illness; epidemiology; social organization of medical care; health and health care of African Americans; social aspects of recruitment, training and practices in health care professions; costs of health care delivery; international comparisons; and values and ethical issues. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

341. The Life Cycle and Aging (3 hours)
Concerns identity, status, and role throughout the life cycle; demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of age cohorts; race, ethnicity, and gender issues; and international comparisons of the life cycle and aging. Considers mental and physical health of the elderly, long term care, and alternative living arrangements, and touches on grief, death, and dying. Also emphasizes lifestyles and family relationships throughout the life course. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

355. Sexuality and Sexual Expression (3 hours)
Examines human sexuality from the sociological perspective. Emphasizes research and clinical observations demonstrating the need for accurate and dispassionate sex information. Also investigates the social climate in which we express sexuality inside and outside the family and familial configurations. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

356. Demography, Ecology and the Environment (3 hours)
Focuses on the theories and methods of demography and ecology. Concerned with the distribution, composition, and growth of populations. Fertility and mortality, migration, ecological relationships, and environmental resources and policies are also covered. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

403. Survey Research and Data Analysis (3 hours)
Provides a basic introduction to the principles of survey research, quantitative and qualitative analysis and the research process and rules of inference. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisites: Junior standing and SOC 101, SOC 294, SOC 301 and SOC 302; or permission of the instructor.

407. Contemporary Sociological Theory (3 hours)
Examines the intellectual traditions of sociology from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Surveys the major theoretical perspectives as they speak to problems of structure in historical, biographical, and intellectual context. Includes the contributions of African and African-American sociologists and examines the relationship between theory and research in social scientific explanation. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisites: Junior standing, SOC 101, SOC 294 and SOC 307; or permission of the instructor.

414. Political Sociology (3 hours)
Concerned with the sociology of power distribution. Analyzes sources of influence, power, and legitimacy and includes comparative analysis of authority structures. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

415. Juvenile Delinquency (3 hours) 
Analyzes causes, trends, prevention, designation and treatment of delinquency in the United States and in comparison with other cultures. Considers in-depth juvenile intake, legal and social investigations, judicial and administrative decision making, and dispositions; inquiries into juvenile institutions, their uses, capabilities, and programs; and explores creative and changing juvenile justice policies. Also stresses implications for African-American youth. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

416. Law and Society (3 hours)
Analyzes law as a social institution in the United States and in global perspective, with special attention to criminal law. Reviews the functions, origin and development of law; legal systems and legal culture; justice and legal issues for African Americans; and current problems and issues in law. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

422. Race and Ethnic Relations (3 hours)
Survey of racial and ethnic characteristics of the people of the United States, with special attention to ethnic groups of color. Considers the nature, sources and areas of intra- and inter-group conflict, incorporating a global perspective as well as programs, policies and possibilities of resolving conflict and developing progressive relations. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

455. African-American Families (3 hours)
Provides a systematic and comparative sociological analysis of black family structures, stresses, strengths and changes; male-female relationships; reproduction; child rearing; and economic, educational and emotional dynamics as influenced by minority status. Also recognizes strengths of black families. Ideally this course should follow SOC 255, a general course on the family as a social institution. Offered alternate semesters. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (C or better).

492 and 493. Criminal Justice Internship (3 hours)
Through individually appropriate field experiences, students are given the opportunity to apply knowledge, theory, and understanding gained in course work to professional situations and settings. Prerequisite: Permission of department.

495. Seminar in Sociology (3 hours)
An integrative course designed to promote the synthesis of diverse elements of the major curriculum into a coherent and mature conception of sociology. To accomplish this goal, the course utilizes an integrative approach. Lectures, projects, reports and discussion on selected areas of sociological interest and research are to be developed by the instructors and students. Prerequisites: SOC 101; SOC 294; SOC 301; SOC302 and SOC307.

496. Directed Studies (1-4 hours)
Supervised opportunities to pursue projects of special interest within the discipline and/or to extend knowledge of particular areas through independent study. Students are allowed to propose and submit projects of their own design to appropriate faculty and the department head for approval. May be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: Permission of department.

497. Departmental Honors (3 hours)
See statement above under departmental honors. Register with the department head, who will assign a faculty mentor. Prerequisite: Permission of department.

498 and 499. Internship/Fieldwork in Sociology (3 hours)
Work performance, supervised community contact, interaction, placement, observation, and reporting. Approval of department head and supervision by an on-site monitor, the chair or a designated faculty members are required. Prerequisite: Permission of department.