Sociology

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr. Shannon Lane
Office: 213 Bowen Hall
Phone: (662) 325-2495
Email: lane@soc.msstate.edu

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Sociology is the systematic study of human social interaction. With a general interest in understanding human behavior, sociologists specialize in areas such as deviant behavior, social organization, stratification, population, community, social institutions, race and ethnic relations, social problems, theory and methods of research. Sociology majors are well prepared to enter many rewarding positions in the work force right out of college, or to pursue further graduate training in sociology, law, business, community planning, architecture, medicine, politics or other academic fields.

Opportunities for employment include, but are not restricted to, entry-level positions in administration, advertising, banking, counseling (family planning, career, substance abuse, etc.) health services, journalism, group and recreation work, marketing and market research, sales, teaching, criminal justice, social services and social research. A major in Sociology also provides important job skill training that other liberal arts majors may not, such as in the basics of human interaction and relationships, and basic training for research analyst positions (in statistics and research methods, which include computer applications).

Sociology Major with a Specialization Course Requirements

The sociology major consists of a sequence of five levels of courses ranging from introductory to the more advanced and capstone courses. Students are expected to complete lower level courses before taking higher level courses, as the lower courses are prerequisites for the more advanced ones.

Selecting a specialization. There are two types of courses to complete at Level IV: specialization and elective. With the assistance of their advisor, students will select the specialization that best fits with their post-graduate plans. Each specialization is described below.

Population and Environment Specialization. Students planning to pursue a career in some aspect of business or in some government agencies may want to consider selection this specialization since these courses will focus on information and skills needed in the economic sector of society.

Family and Gender Studies Specialization. Students planning to work in private or government agencies that provide personal or social services will want to consider this specialization. The topics covered, and the skills developed, in these courses will provide much needed background information and understanding for working with persons and groups.

Socio-Economic Development Specialization. This specialization was developed for students that anticipate working in the area of socio-economic development at the community, state or national levels. The knowledge and background necessary to work effectively in various private and public organizations/agencies that focus on social and/or economic development is provided. Courses in this area focus on knowledge of the social forces and processes operating in specific environments that may facilitate or inhibit development and foster the ability to analyze relevant information and data.

General Sociology Specialization. Often students wish to obtain a more traditional liberal arts major by selecting courses that interest them personally. This specialization is the logical choice for these students.

Sociology Minor

To earn a minor in sociology, a student must take eighteen (18) hours of undergraduate sociology courses. SO1003, 2203, and 3213 are required. The other three SO courses must be at the 2000 level or above and include at least one 4000 level SO course.