The major requires successful completion of ten courses, distributed as specified below. Courses that satisfy major requirements must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better (Credit / No Credit courses do not satisfy requirements).
(a) Introductory requirement (6 credits total): Any two 200-level sociology courses (Students may substitute an upper-level sociology course for one of their two introductory courses with the written approval of their major advisor.)
(b) Theory requirement (3 credits): SOC 3001: Social Theory
(c) Methods requirement (6 credits): SOC 3030: Introduction to Research Methods and SOC 3050: Sociological Statistics
As SOC 3050 draws on specific sociological applications of statistical analyses, we strongly encourage students to enroll in our department’s Sociological Statistics course. However, with the written approval of their major advisor, students may substitute Math 2200, Math 3200, or a disciplinary statistics course from another social science for SOC 3050. Majors who receive approval to fulfill this requirement with a course from another department or university are required to take an additional upper-level Sociology course in lieu of SOC 3050.
(d) Upper-level sociology electives (15 credits): Any five 300- or 400- level seminar courses. An independent learning course (i.e. independent research or internship) can fulfill one of these five elective course requirements.
(e) Capstone: Majors will choose any one of the following options:
i. Capstone paper tied to upper-level course (1 credit) – Students electing this option may align the research paper with any upper-level sociology course taken during or prior to the semester in which they undertake this accompanying capstone paper. Capstone research papers typically are 10-15 pages in length, and represent some application of course content to a related topic developed by the student in consultation with the instructor. Students interested in this option should register for the section of SOC 4900: Capstone Paper for Sociology Majors assigned to the relevant instructor, who will then (1) approve the capstone paper topic at the outset of the semester, (2) be available for consultation at all stages of the project, (3) assign a final grade for this one-credit course, and upon completion (4) certify the final product as fulfilling the capstone requirement. Students should request to schedule a meeting with the relevant instructor at the start of the semester (i.e. prior to the end of the add/drop period), to obtain the required approval for enrollment in SOC 4900 and to discuss the paper.
ii. Internship (2 credits) – Students electing to complete a field internship are able, in consultation with their internship advisor, to identify and select a position with an organization of their choosing. For help identifying options in St. Louis, we recommend that students reference the Career Center’s CAREERlink database. Over time, our department website will also provide resources to connect with local organizations in need of student interns with a background in sociology. Capstone internships are intended to integrate and apply knowledge gained in the classroom to community and organizational settings, and as such students are required to identify a faculty advisor of their choosing to approve and oversee the experience in consultation with the on-site internship manager (note that the internship advisor need not be the same as the student’s major advisor).
Student can now elect to receive credit for paid internships. To receive credit for the internship, students should first obtain approval for the proposed experience in advance of the internship start date from their preferred internship advisor, who will then provide the required permission to enroll in the advisor’s assigned section of SOC 4910: Internship in Sociology. Students should complete and file an Internship Learning Agreement with the department no later than two weeks after the first day of the internship. As the university stipulates 45 hours of work for each academic credit earned, students will need to complete at least 90 internship hours, along with a series of reflective assignments arranged in consultation with their advisor, to fulfill their capstone requirement. While only 2 credit hours are required, students can register for up to 3 credit hours.
iii. Honors thesis (6 credits) – See the section on honors later in this guide. Students who opt for the thesis capstone option can apply three of their thesis credits toward major requirement (d), meaning that – in addition to their thesis project – they would need to complete four (rather than five) additional 300/400-level seminar courses. To be eligible for Latin honors in Sociology, students must complete an Honors thesis.