Sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior. It considers how society influences individuals, and how individuals influence society. Sociologists describe and explain the actions of persons, groups, organizations, classes, and entire societies. They also design and evaluate social programs and public policy. The study of sociology includes social theory, research methods, social stratification, race relations, social change, criminology, demography, sex roles, religion, social psychology, and human ecology.

The undergraduate sociology program at CU-Boulder leads to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree. It requires courses in social theory, research methods, and statistics plus a variety of elective courses dealing with social structure, human culture, individual interactions, and social change. Majors must take either survey methods or field methods before their senior year. 

The survey methods course emphasizes quantitative social research and teaches sampling, interviewing, measurement, computer methods, and statistical analysis. The field methods course emphasizes qualitative social research. It teaches intensive interviewing, participant observation, coding qualitative data, and report writing. The settings in which undergraduate field research has been done include jails, hospitals, religious organizations, corporations, unions, safe houses, mediation programs, and protest demonstrations.

In addition to formal course work, as a sociology major you are encouraged to undertake volunteer or paid work relating to career interests. This often involves working with people who have special needs: delinquents, poor people, old people, unemployed workers, abused women, troubled children, etc. The Volunteer Clearing House, an on-campus center that coordinates volunteer activities, is a useful resource for locating such work opportunities. Internships provide another avenue for doing sociologically-relevant work.

Sociology majors have the academic background suitable for many types of entry-level positions. A graduate with a degree in sociology may work in government as a researcher or data analyst; in business as a manager, writer, or editor; in social services as a caseworker, group worker, or restitution officer; in public health as an interviewer or demographer; in conflict resolution as a mediator; or in community relations as a neighborhood organizer. Graduates may also wish to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in order to teach at the university level, design and supervise research projects, or act as a private consultant to government agencies, industries, families, and organizations engaged in research, community service, or social change.

Career Services (www.colorado.edu/career) helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work. 

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

Majors can apply to the Sociology Honors Program. Graduating with honors requires a) a grade point average of 3.3 or higher, b) successfully completing two honors seminars, and c) writing and defending an honors thesis based upon original research. Students who graduate with honors receive a designation of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude depending upon the overall quality of their work. 

The International and National Voluntary Service Program (INVST) is a two-year academic program emphasizing sustainable development, ecological conservation and nonviolent social change. The program combines coursework with experiential learning and is affiliated with the Departments of Political Science and Sociology. 

In addition to the above, students may obtain a certificate in peace and conflict studies, a program within the College of Arts and Sciences. To earn the peace and conflict studies certificate, you can complete the requirements for any major in the College of Arts and Sciences plus the requirements for the program.    

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data and present the results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596, or view the website: http://enrichment.colorado.edu/urop/.

Study abroad provides another enriching opportunity for students of sociology. Your firsthand experiences abroad can provide you with valuable insights into the culture and nature of other peoples, and on-site study in a foreign culture can add new dimensions to your perception of human societies. The university offers more than 100 programs around the world, and you may spend from a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program selected. You may earn credit that counts as if you had taken the course here, sometimes fulfilling core or major requirements. Language study is a prerequisite for participation in many programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. 

For more information, call the Office of International Education at 303-492-7741 or stop by the Center for Community. The home page is: http://studyabroad.colorado.edu/.

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

Sociology 4-Year Plan

NOTE: This example will outline the major requirements, but the order of some of your classes can vary greatly.  It is important to check your Degree Audit and work with your major advisor each semester to make sure you are aware of your requirements and graduation timeline.  This is especially true of students with added majors, minors, or certificates.

 

First Year – Fall Semester
SOCY 1001
(3): Introduction to Sociology (fulfills Contemporary Societies Core requirement)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Lower Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)  
 

First Year – Spring Semester
SOCY Elective
(3) Lower-Division
SOCY Elective (3) Lower-Division
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematical Skills)
Elective (3)
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)


Second Year – Fall Semester
SOCY 2061
(3): Social Statistics
CORE (3): Natural Science Sequence (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)
CORE (1): Natural Science Lab
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
Elective (3)
Elective (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
SOCY 3001
(3): Classical Theory
SOCY Elective (3): Lower-Division
CORE (3): Natural Science Sequence
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
Elective (3)


Third Year – Fall Semester
SOCY Elective
(3): Upper-Division
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Natural Science
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division

Third Year – Spring Semester
SOCY 3201
(3): Sociological Research Methods
SOCY Elective (3): Upper-Division
CORE (3): Content Area (example: Upper-Division Literature and Arts)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
SOCY Elective
(3): Upper-Division
SOCY Elective (3): Upper-Division
CORE (3): Natural Science
Elective (3) Upper-Division
Elective (3)

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
SOCY Elective
(3): Upper-Division
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (see Degree Audit for options)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division