Welcome to the Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology offers a major, minor, and collateral in sociology. The program operates in accord with the general purpose of Francis Marion University by providing an educational program within the liberal arts tradition by presenting a balance of theoretical views and varied analytical orientations. The bachelor’s degree in sociology provides students with an understanding of sociology as the scientific study of human social life. The degree focuses on applying objective and systematic methods of investigation to identify patterns of social life and to understand the processes by which these patterns are established and changed. The program prepares students to learn to think critically, to communicate effectively, to appreciate individual and cultural diversity, and to develop their skills in computer applications. The program also provides student with opportunities for internships in applied settings. A major in sociology provides students with skills that will prepare them for graduate school or careers that require investigative methods, critical observation, and attention to diversity.
The bachelor's degree in sociology requires at least 37 hours in sociology. All sociology majors take core courses that include Principles of Sociology, a three-course sequence in research methods and data analysis, social theory, either a population or urban course, and a capstone course. Elective courses in Inequality and Diversity include social problems, stratification, minorities, sex and gender, aging, or environment. Elective courses in Culture and Social Organization include work, health & medicine, sport, families, death & dying, and disasters.
The sociology department also offers an 18-hour concentration in Criminal Justice. Students take the same core courses for the major, but take electives focused on the area that include criminology, deviance, delinquency, violence, crime and organizations, alcohol and drugs, and political science.
Sociology majors develop both quantitative and qualitative analysis skills, using print and electronic information as well as original data. Majors are encouraged to take an internship, either to provide practical experience in an applied setting, such as local community service agencies, or to gain additional research experience.
Students are encouraged to take a range of courses outside the department. Electives in history, economics, psychology, English or foreign languages can provide the student with a solid liberal arts background and are strongly recommended. A minimum of 120 semester hours is required for a bachelor's degree. A minor requires a minimum of 18 hours in sociology courses. A collateral requires 12 hours.