A Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology identifies you, first, as a Liberal Arts major. The courses you take as a Liberal Arts major will provide you with a broad and sophisticated understanding of the world. Liberal Arts majors learn to comprehend events in terms of their historical, philosophical, literary, and scientific importance. Many employers prefer to hire graduates with these Liberal Arts skills over graduates with more narrowly defined vocational educations. Employers value their capacity to think, write and speak critically and effectively. Many graduate and professional programs prefer applicants with Liberal Arts backgrounds for the same reason.
Graduating with a BA degree in sociology means that you have expertise comprehending social structure and social change. The sociology program at UNCG provides majors with an understanding of the dynamics of interpersonal social attachments within small groups such as families and friendship cliques as well as an understanding of the dynamics of intergroup relationships that join the elements of today's global society.
Core courses in the major include a data analysis and a research methods course. In both courses a practical skill, computer use, is required for basic data entry, management, and analysis. The research methods course, in addition, presents the qualitative data analysis and speaking skills necessary to carry out research involving self-aware subjects. A theory course also is required. Taking required and elective courses is intended to impart to students a "sociological imagination" -- the ability to assess systematically the relationship between one's personal affairs and the history and the structure of the groups in which one's life history evolves.
Beyond the core of Sociology, majors may take a broad array of elective courses -- in Sociology and in cognate fields. Students may specialize in a particular subject area in sociology. By carefully selecting courses, students may custom design their Sociology major to prepare for a job, further their education at the graduate level or simply satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Students also may choose to specialize in one of two concentrations offered in the department - Criminology and Social Problems in a Global Society.
Goals for Learning
Upon completion of the BA in Sociology, we expect majors to be able to:
- Define and apply basic sociological concepts used in micro and macro sociological theory;
- Explain the difference between personal opinion and theoretical insight based on research and between structural and individualistic explanations of human action;
- Know how to formulate research hypotheses, collect, and do basic analysis of data;
- Evaluate the appropriateness of various theories and research methods for answering different types of empirical questions;
- Explain the differences among and the uses of different types of sociological research methods;
- Be able to recognize and respond appropriately to the ethical issues involved in studying human subjects and organizations.
The Sociology major requires a minimum of 33 hours of completed coursework with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Links of Interest to Sociology Students
Students can learn more about Sociology by visiting any of the following links to professional sociological associations and organizations.