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Sociology Major

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

Explore sociology at Bridgewater. You’ll participate in interactive classes. Conduct research. Study subjects such as anthropology, cultural studies, criminology, data analysis, family, race and ethnicity, and social theory.

You’ll be prepared for a variety of careers and graduate programs. Our graduates have gone on to success in the social sciences, human services, education, the legal professions, criminal justice, government, business and communications.

When you earn a sociology degree at Bridgewater, you develop skills in interpretation, writing, research and analysis that make you invaluable to future employers. Imagine what you might do.

Sociology Major

Consists of 36 credit hours including the following courses:

Introduction to the sociological imagination with a critical examination of social issues individual experiences and the potential for social change. Topics include the nature and impact of culture and social structure inequality social institutions identity social interaction and the historical context of knowledge and relationships. Methods of sociological investigation and interpretation are also emphasized. Corequisite PDP 150 or PDP 350 General Education social sciences

Unit(s): 3

Survey of classical and contemporary sociological theory including the works of Karl Marx Emile Durkheim Max Weber George Herbert Mead Erving Goffman Harold Garfunkel and others. Prerequisite SOC 101

Unit(s): 3

Survey of contemporary sociological theory including the works of Erving Goffman Harold Garfinkel The Frankfurt School Bourdieu and others. Prerequisites PDP 150350 ENG 110 and SOC 301 or permission of instructor Writing Intensive

Unit(s): 3

Investigation of the practical theoretical and ethical issues involved in interpretive field-based research. Specific research methods addressed include participant observation interviews action research case studies multimedia analysis and ethnography. Hands-on experience includes students developing and conducting original field research projects. Prerequisite SOC 101

Unit(s): 3

Scientific methods and their application in the study of social phenomena with an emphasis upon survey research. Topics include the relation between theory and research defining and operationalizing a research problem questionnaire construction research design alternatives sampling measurement and elementary data analysis and reporting utilizing the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Prerequisites SOC 101 and MATH 140 or PSY 300

Unit(s): 3

The application of scientific research methods to specific research problems. Various measurement scaling and statistical techniques are utilized to address research problems defined by the students. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is used to analyze data from the General Social Survey (GSS) and other existing data sets. The course culminates in a major research paper that is presented in oral and written form. Prerequisite SOC 322

Unit(s): 3

Senior capstone course offering action-based research with the local community. Students engage both community and social change literature. Topics will vary depending on student interest. Prerequisite SOC 101

Unit(s): 3

Basic descriptive statistics probability hypothesis testing correlation and regression. Statistical computer software is used to analyze data. Prerequisites MATH 118 MATH 110 MATH 115 or satisfactory performance on placement test

Unit(s): 3

-or-
Introduction to basic principles of data analysis. Topics include data distributions preparation of data and graphs measurement of central tendency and dispersion hypothesis testing and descriptive and inferential statistics. Students develop expertise using SPSS and Excel through lab experiences and a group project. Prerequisites PSY 230

Unit(s): 4

And four additional SOC courses approved by the department.

Overlap Policy: Students majoring in sociology may count courses in their major toward courses in minors when there are courses in common, up to ONE course per program (beyond any courses required for both programs).

Activities and Clubs

Study Abroad

We encourage all sociology students to study abroad [INTERNAL LINK to: 1.9 Study Abroad] if possible. Check out the dozens of destinations that are available through BC’s Center for International Education.

Internships

Our students have completed internships in:

  • Social Work
  • Public Schools
  • Daycare
  • Probation and parole
  • Correctional facilities
  • Law firms
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Institutions for emotionally handicapped and delinquent youth
  • Recreation centers
  • Community redevelopment
  • Halfway houses

Graduate Schools and Careers

What can you do with a degree in sociology?

Like our recent graduates, you might enter graduate schools such as:

  • Bryn Mawr College (Social Work)
  • Catholic University (Social Work)
  • East Tennessee State University (Social Work)
  • Eastern Mennonite University (Counseling)
  • George Washington University (Sociology)
  • University of Kentucky (Information and Library Science)
  • University of Maryland-Baltimore (Social Work)
  • University of Maryland‑Towson (Gerontology)
  • Radford University (Social Work)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (Social Work)
  • Virginia Tech (Sociology)
  • Wake Forest University (Divinity)
  • West Virginia University (Social Work)

Or pursue a career in:

  • Adult Protective Services
  • Anti-Poverty Programs
  • Aging
  • Case Management
  • Child Protective Services/Child Welfare
  • Civil Service
  • Community Organizing
  • Conflict Resolution and Mediation
  • Counseling
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
  • Family and Human Relations Work
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Forensic Science
  • Gerontology
  • International Fields
  • Law and Legal Professions
  • Peace Corps
  • Social Policy
  • Social Research and Data Analysis
  • Social Work
  • Urban and Rural Planning and Development

Learn more about career paths, employment and advancement in the field of sociology from the American Sociological Association.

Visit the Department Homepage

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Timothy Brazill, Department Chair
540-828-5655
tbrazill@bridgewater.edu