The sociology major is designed to provide students with the knowledge and experience needed to navigate the many social worlds of peers, family, work and other cultural and institutional settings. Through course work, service learning and opportunities for research and internships, students gain the understanding of and ability to analyze human behavior and contemporary social issues and to evaluate and interpret research findings.

A major in sociology prepares students for professions in such fields as education, human resources, management, marketing, social services and student services, among others. The sociology major also prepares students well for graduate study in sociology or other fields, as well as professional study in law, medical fields and social work.

Prerequisites: The department recommends SOCI 1001 Principles of Sociology as the beginning course in Sociology. Most upper-division courses have a recommended prerequisite of SOCI 1001 Principles of Sociology. This means that the instructor teaches the course as if all students enrolled have completed satisfactory work in the prerequisite. Students who have not taken SOCI 1001 Principles of Sociology may enroll in most upper-division courses, but they should be prepared to take full responsibility for independently obtaining an adequate background should they or the instructor feel that it is necessary.


  • SOCI 4986 Advanced Internship and Seminar in Sociology may not be counted toward the major or minor in Sociology. 

Major in Sociology

The major in sociology consists of five required courses (15 credit hours) and five elective courses (15 credit hours) for a total of 30 credit hours as listed below.  The major also requires 6 credits of social science from one or more of the following areas:  Anthropology, Criminology and Law Studies, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Welfare and Justice.

Required Courses:
SOCI 1001Principles of Sociology3
SOCI 2060Social Statistics3
SOCI 3000Sociological Theory3
Methods Course:
SOCI 3050Methods of Social Research3
or CRLS 3050 Methods of Criminological Research
Capstone Seminar:
SOCI 4997Capstone Seminar in Sociology3
Elective Courses: Choose five SOCI courses, three of which must be upper-division. 115
Up to two of the following courses may be counted as electives:
Anthropology Course:
Cultural Anthropology
Language and Culture
Culture, Law and Violence
Criminology and Law Studies Courses:
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Criminological Theory
Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice
Race, Crime and Punishment
Family Violence and Public Intervention
Social Welfare and Justice Courses:
Immigrants and their Communities
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Arabs and Muslims in Global Context
Faith-based Activism
Total Credit Hours:30

Additional Social Science Requirements:

Two courses from one or more of the following programs: ANTH, CRLS, ECON, POSC, PSYC, SOWJ6
Total Credit Hours:6


  • An elementary course in statistics from another department may substitute for SOCI 2060 Social Statistics with the approval of the department chair, but 30 credit hours in Sociology will still be required.
  • SOCI 2060 Social Statistics may be used simultaneously to satisfy the University Core of Common Studies requirement in Mathematical Reasoning.
  • SOCI 4997 Capstone Seminar in Sociology will ordinarily be taken in the final year of the major after 21 credit hours in Sociology have been earned.
  • Students wishing to complete double majors in SOCI and ANTH, CRLS or SOWJ must complete the requirements for both majors. Two courses that are accepted by both majors (see the list of approved courses within each major's bulletin entry) may double count for both majors, for a total of 54-57 credit hours.

Minor in Sociology

Eighteen credit hours, including SOCI 1001 Principles of Sociology and either SOCI 3000 Sociological Theory or SOCI 3050 Methods of Social Research (preferably both). The remaining four elective courses (12 credit hours) may be chosen from among all courses designated as SOCI, as well as one of the approved non-SOCI courses listed below.

Required Courses:
SOCI 1001Principles of Sociology3
SOCI 3000Sociological Theory3
or SOCI 3050 Methods of Social Research
Elective Courses: Choose four courses from SOCI12
One of the following courses will also count as elective:
Anthropology Course:
Cultural Anthropology
Language and Culture
Culture, Law and Violence
Criminology and Law Studies Courses:
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Criminological Theory
Methods of Criminological Research
Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice
Race, Crime and Punishment
Family Violence and Public Intervention
Social Welfare and Justice Courses:
Immigrants and their Communities
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Arabs and Muslims in Global Context
Faith-based Activism
Total Credit Hours:18

Department of Public Instruction Certification - Sociology Minor

College of Education students pursuing Department of Public Instruction certification, must complete six courses (18 credit hours), including three required courses (9 credit hours) and three elective courses (9 credit hours) in sociology, as listed below.

Required Courses:
SOCI 1001Principles of Sociology3
SOCI 3000Sociological Theory3
SOCI 3050Methods of Social Research3
Elective Courses: Choose three SOCI courses9
Total Credit Hours:18


SOCI 1001. Principles of Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

An introductory survey of the discipline including social structures, social institutions, social differentiation and stratification, social power, the processes of human interactions, and methods of sociological investigation.

SOCI 2060. Social Statistics. 3 cr. hrs.

Logic and application of statistical reasoning in social research. Topics may include descriptive statistics, elements of probability theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, contingency tables, correlation, regression, sampling, questionnaire construction and measurement. Introduction to the use of the computer in statistical analysis. Credit is not granted if a student has earned credit for another elementary statistics course. Prereq: CRLS 1001, SOCI 1001 or SOWJ 1001; or cons. of instr.

SOCI 2060H. Honors Social Statistics. 4 cr. hrs.

Logic and application of statistical reasoning in social research. Topics may include descriptive statistics, elements of probability theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, contingency tables, correlation, regression, sampling, questionnaire construction and measurement. Introduction to the use of the computer in statistical analysis. As an honors program course, includes a more intensive research or project component. Prereq: CRLS 1001, SOCI 1001 or SOWJ 1001; admission to Marquette University Honors Program.

SOCI 2200. The Family. 3 cr. hrs.

The structure and function of family types including analysis of marital and parent-child relationships. The relation of the family to other social institutions. Changing patterns of relationships and structure in the family.

SOCI 2480. Sport and Society. 3 cr. hrs.

The symbiotic relationship between sport and society. Topics include the connections between sports and social mobility, sports and race, sports and gender, and sports and community identification. Shows how sports are a pervasive feature of everyday urban life. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 2500. Self, Language and Social Interaction. 3 cr. hrs.

Perspectives on the individual self in society. The role language and social interaction in the construction of personal identity. The self as process and social object.

SOCI 3000. Sociological Theory. 3 cr. hrs.

Currents of thought about society, social structures and processes. Background and development of key concepts and theories in sociology. Techniques of theory construction and unification. May be taken concurrently or sequentially with SOCI 3050. Prereq: SOCI 1001 or cons. of instr.

SOCI 3050. Methods of Social Research. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to principles of social research and methods of inquiry, including research design, conducting research, analyzing data and critically evaluating research findings. Comparison and critique of the predominant methods of social research, the relationship between methods and knowledge production, and the goals and ethical implications of research. Devotes class time to the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and to written communication of research findings for various audiences. Prereq: CRLS 1001, SOCI 1001 or SOWJ 1001; and SOCI 2060 or equiv.; or cons. of instr.

SOCI 3200. Social Problems in Urban Society. 3 cr. hrs.

Analysis of selected social problems within the framework of modern American society from the viewpoint of their nature, extent, contributing factors, and programs of prevention and treatment. Concepts and theories related to the analysis of social problems and deviant behavior. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3250. Race and Ethnic Relations. 3 cr. hrs.

Social, economic, political and legal aspects of minority relations. Consideration of several minorities and minority issues such as racial, cultural, ethnic, age and gender. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3280. Race and Family. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on the family structures and dynamics of major racial and ethnic groups in the United States and/or other societies. Topics considered may include major perspectives on race and family, historical and contemporary family patterns and practices, the diversity of family forms and relationships, social policies affecting race and family, cultural factors affecting race and family and multiracial families. Prereq: ANTH 2101, SOCI 1001 or SOCI 2200, recommended.

SOCI 3300. Sociology of the Life Course. 3 cr. hrs.

The study of socialization, the influence of family, peers, schooling, mass media, and other institutions on human development from infancy through late life. Various sociological perspectives, developmental theories and critiques. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3400. Behavior Patterns of Youth. 3 cr. hrs.

The position of youth in modern society. Origin and implications of the generation gap, status ambiguity and its consequences, dependency and independence, the pursuit of identity, conformity and rebellion, and the youth culture. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3500. Culture, Health and Illness. 3 cr. hrs.

Social and cultural factors in the disease process, the distribution of disease, the meaning of health, the response to illness and approaches to healing. Structure and operation of health-related professions and facilities. Current trends in medicine. Value conflicts. Prereq: ANTH 1001, ANTH 2101 or SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3520. Health Care Systems. 3 cr. hrs.

Comparison of social and cultural arrangements for handling health care. Variations in definitions of health. Systems of care at different levels of complexity - interpersonal networks, organizations, communities and nation states. Policy making and ethical aspects of health care decisions. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3550. Race, Gender and Medicine. 3 cr. hrs.

Historical overview of medical ideas regarding race and gender. Examination of medical and scientific models of mind, body, race and gender, and their implications for health assessment, medical treatment and health care policy. Consideration of social, cultural and political dimensions of medicine in relation to race and gender. Prereq: ANTH 1001, ANTH 2101 or SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3570. Men, Masculinities and Health. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores the social and psychological constructions of men's gender identities at various stages during the lifecourse and how those identity constructions are intertwined with health outcomes. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3600. Deviance and Social Control. 3 cr. hrs.

Sociological analysis of deviance and society's response to it. Issues in defining and identifying deviance, the emergence of deviant behavior and identity, informal and formal reactions to deviance, and organizational and institutional efforts to remedy and control it. Topics may include crime, delinquency and mental illness. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3700. Social Movements, Protest and Change. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines collective action and social movements. Explores the interactions between individuals and social and cultural changes, the strategies, tactics and goals of collective action and social movements, and how institutional, governmental and cultural resources are used. Social movements covered may include civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, labor movements and AIDS movement. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3720. Environment and Society. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines environmental challenges to modern civilizations: overuse of natural resources to support and absorb the consequences of human activities. Focuses on human abilities to cope with these challenges by exploring features of human action, culture, economic structure, organizational forms and values, such as sustainability. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3750. Food, Water and Society. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores individual and sociocultural meanings of, and relationships to, food and water. Examines national and international inequalities and policies regarding access to food and water from multiple perspectives. Topics may include social movements, food taboos, food insecurity, food aid, potable water shortages, and cooperation and conflict over water. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3931. Topics in Sociological Theory. 3 cr. hrs.

Late 20th century intellectual issues, efforts and achievements which have contributed substantially to current sociological theory. May be taken twice, provided the topics differ. The specific topic of each offering is designated in the Schedule of Classes. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 3986. Internship and Seminar in Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

Field experience in a community social service agency for the purpose of furthering the student's integration of theory and practice in a professional setting. Placement is for a minimum of 140 hours per term under the supervision of agency personnel and includes a weekly seminar with the internship coordinator. S/U grade assessment. Limited enrollment. Prereq: Sr. stndg., SOCI major, cons. of internship coordinator.

SOCI 4050. Urban Ethnography: The City as Laboratory. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores urban processes and institutions "from the inside." Initially focuses on the study of various ethnographies. Next, requires "hands-on" research, involving: observing human interaction, preparing field notes, conducting focused interviews, analyzing the collected data, and preparing a data-based research paper. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4100. Urban Life. 3 cr. hrs.

Social psychological aspects of urban life and experience. Implications of urbanization for individuals and groups. Ecological, cultural and institutional influences. Interpersonal and intergroup relations in urban settings. Topics may include conflict, alienation and diversity. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4130. Sociology of Human Values. 3 cr. hrs.

Definitions of values in economics, linguistics, communication and sociology. The value system of selected sociologists. Values and sociocultural pluralism. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4200. Personal Troubles and Public Issues. 3 cr. hrs.

Deals with the social realities of troubles, which range from circumstances that we treat as irksome to major traumas in our lives that become social problems. Focuses on the commonalities shared by these various social constructions. Draws from a variety of disciplines, notably sociology, social work, anthropology, history, psychology, linguistics and rhetorical studies. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4250. African-American Social Thought. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of historical and contemporary writings of Black social theorists. The impact of historical, social, economic and cultural factors on Blacks in the United States and alternative strategies for change. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4270. Urban Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

Urban society with special consideration of the problems of dealing with the structures, institutions, agencies and decision-making units in a metropolitan area. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4300. Sociology of Aging. 3 cr. hrs.

The place of the aged in contemporary society. Disengagement and the social integration of older persons. Roles linking older persons to society and roles in hospitals, nursing homes and homes for the aged. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4400. Social Inequality. 3 cr. hrs.

Theories and systems of social class in modern society. Societal structures and processes resulting from stratification phenomena. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4420. Sociology of Religion. 3 cr. hrs.

The sociological study of religious groups, institutions and behavior, including relationships between religion and other areas of social life. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4430. Christianity and Sexuality in the U.S.. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores the very recent historical development of sexuality and its intersections with U.S. Christianity. Engages readings from multiple disciplines, emphasizing intersectional perspectives on religion, gender, sexuality, race and social class through U.S. history. Prereq: INGS 1001, SOCI 1001 or SOWJ 1001; or cons. of instr.

SOCI 4440. Sociology of Education. 3 cr. hrs.

Sociological analysis of educational institutions with primary emphasis on contemporary U.S. urban education, student subcultures, school-community relations and innovations. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4450. Sociology of Sex and Gender. 3 cr. hrs.

Biological and cultural bases of sex and gender patterns. Impact of major social institutions and processes on maintenance of gender patterns, with questions of power and dominance central to discussion. Benefits and costs of stereotypic gender patterns. Mechanisms and alternative directions for change. Historical and cross-cultural research included. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4460. Sociology of Work and Occupations. 3 cr. hrs.

The diverse ways in which human beings make their livings in both industrialized and nonindustrialized societies. Career patterns and work problems. Theories about work and workers. Proposals for improving the quality of modern work. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4480. Complex Organizations. 3 cr. hrs.

Theories and research on the sociology of organization. The social functions, structures and processes of formal and informal organizational systems in modern society and their relationships to social behavior. The nature and place of bureaucracies in complex societies. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4600. The Social Reality of Crime and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

A critical examination of the ways in which crime is defined, how crime control policies are established, and how the criminal justice system responds to the problem of crime. Specific attention is given to the social and political context in which crime is talked about and responded to. Alternative approaches to crime control, such as peacemaking criminology and restorative justice, are examined. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4660. Law and Society. 3 cr. hrs.

The social components of legal organizations and procedural systems. The role of law as an instrument of social control and social change. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4680. Sociology of Mental Illness. 3 cr. hrs.

Review of major sociological and social psychological models of madness. Analysis of definitions and responses to mental illness. Study of the social processing involved in the production, recognition and treatment of mental illness. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4700. Political Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

The interrelationship of politics and society. Special consideration of leadership analysis, party systems, public opinion, electoral behavior and conflict situations. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4720. Sociology of Community. 3 cr. hrs.

Discussion of contemporary problems of rural, urban and suburban communities including ecological and communication patterns, problems of identity, organization and motivation. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4730. Capitalism, Socialism and Emancipation. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines the core dynamics of capitalist society in the Marxist tradition of critical social science. Does capitalism promote human flourishing, freedom and democracy? Might socialism or some other system better promote these values? Specific focus on class structure, class struggle, the state and politics, ideas and consciousness, and socialism and emancipation. Additional topics include capitalism and racial inequality, gender, the environment, the health care system, culture and imperialism. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4740. Social Change. 3 cr. hrs.

Selected topics dealing with models and theories of innovation, diffusion, resistance to change and associated conflict in and between social systems. Content varies; subtitles indicate precise contents. Prereq: SOCI 1001, recommended.

SOCI 4931. Topics in Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

Lectures and discussions in an area which, because of its topicality, is not the subject of a regular course. Specific topics are designated in the Schedule of Classes.

SOCI 4986. Advanced Internship and Seminar in Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

Continuation of the internship experience (SOCI 3986). Placement is for a minimum of 140 hours per term of supervised practice at the same agency as the previous term and includes a weekly seminar with the internship coordinator. Credits earned cannot be counted toward the major. S/U grade assessment. Limited enrollment. Prereq: Sr. stndg., SOCI 3986 and cons. of internship coordinator.

SOCI 4995. Independent Study in Sociology. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Faculty-supervised, independent study/research of a specific area or topic in Sociology. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch. and twelve credit hours of Sociology courses with a GPA of 2.500.

SOCI 4997. Capstone Seminar in Sociology. 3 cr. hrs.

An in-depth consideration of sociological perspectives and concepts and how they may be used to analyze contemporary society and social relationships. Basic sociological theories, methods, and concepts are discussed and used to evaluate contemporary sociological concerns and issues. Supervised and individualized research-writing projects involving a sociological area of each student's choice. Prereq: SOCI major and 21 credit hours of sociology; or cons. of dept. ch.

SOCI 4999. Senior Thesis. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Sociology majors with a GPA of 3.000 or higher may write a thesis under direction of an adviser. Prereq: Sr. stndg., SOCI 3000, SOCI 3050, and cons. of dept. ch.