An Undergraduate Major in Sociology

Sociology is a dynamic discipline that studies the fascinating realities of human interaction and variation in human social organization and the implications for the lives of individuals.  A major in Sociology provides a strong background for students considering careers in a broad array of fields including the health and social service professions, criminal and juvenile justice agencies, social research, public administration and program development, journalism, market research, social work, communications, teaching and business. A Sociology major also provides excellent preparation for advanced training for law school, medical school and for graduate study in social work, education and many other fields of advanced study.  A Sociology minor or other course work in Sociology offers excellent preparation to students majoring in other social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, or humanities.

Undergraduate majors in Sociology are encouraged to experience firsthand the excitement of discovering and creating new knowledge through individualized research projects or other research experiences, either as part of a regular class, an independent study or an Honors project.  As an undergraduate Sociology student, you have the option of taking upper-level classes alongside graduate students in Sociology’s internationally recognized graduate program, which may provide added opportunities for research experience.

Sociology majors have the option of choosing either a general Sociology curriculum or one of the four available concentrations:

Concentrations are intended to guide you in the selection of courses relevant to your interests and future goals, as well as to provide a solid grounding in Sociology as one of the liberal arts sciences.  Students may thus connect their concentration to topics of interests, to possible employment opportunities, or to specific graduate and professional programs that you intend to pursue.

The major in Sociology is designed to serve the different educational goals of undergraduates: general education, pre-professional training, postgraduate employment, and preparation for graduate school.

An Undergraduate Major in Sociology

The major requires a minimum of 30 hours of work. All majors complete the common core requirements (12 hours):

  • SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology:  Human Interaction
  • SOCI 300: Modern Sociological Thought
  • SOCI 306: Logic of Social Inquiry [Effective Fall 2018]
  • One of the four statistics courses listed below:
    • SOCI 307:  Social Statistics
    • STAT 201: Basic statistics for Social and Life Sciences
    • PSCL 282: Quantitative Methods in Psychology
    • ANTH 319: Introduction to Statistical Analysis in the Social Sciences

Plus, 18 hours of electives, consisting of any six courses in sociology.

  • SOCI 375 (Independent Study) is available to selected majors in their junior or senior year.


In addition to the requirements listed above for a Sociology major, Case Western Reserve University also requires all undergraduate students to participate in SAGES.  These requirements include First Seminar (first year), two University Seminars (by the end of the second year), a Department Seminar (third year) and finally a Senior Capstone.

Students may choose to complete their Capstone course in the department of their major or select the university-wide capstone course (UCAP 395) available to students who prefer to pursue a Capstone experience outside the constraints of approved departmental courses.  Students with two or more majors, only one senior capstone course is required in the major of choice or UCAP 395.

An Undergraduate Minor in Sociology

The minor consists of 15 credit hours in Sociology.  Students must take the two required courses listed below plus three additional electives, of which at least two must be 300 level courses.

  • SOCI 101 Introduction of Sociology:  Human Interaction
  • SOCI 300 Modern Sociological Thought