Courses & Requirements

The requirements below apply to those students with a 2019-2020 catalog year. Students are required by college policy to follow the major (and minor) requirements found in the catalog in effect at the time they declared their first major. To find your catalog year, please visit your Grades and Academic Records found in myOxy and access the catalog that matches your catalog year.

Sociology

Overview

Sociology is concerned primarily with the scientific study of social groups and social relations. Sociologists seek to understand how societies, institutions, organizations and other social forces shape and are shaped by individuals. One of the department's primary aims is to provide students with the analytical critical skills needed to understand and evaluate social institutions and social change more effectively.

The sociology faculty complement one another in a way that allows them to offer a varied range of courses. Courses reflect a growing interest and focus in the discipline on disadvantaged groups and classes of people and the ways they interact with social institutions. Occidental's proximity to Los Angeles, one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in the world, makes this focus all the more appropriate and provides students with the opportunity to observe many of these social phenomena firsthand.

Sociology majors will receive excellent preparation for graduate and professional study in sociology, law, social work, journalism, public health, business management, teaching, public administration, and other fields that require the ability to think critically, analytically, and ethically about a wide range of social issues in the search for viable solutions. While the department is committed to providing majors with the best possible preparation for careers in sociology and related fields, it is equally committed to providing non-majors with knowledge of social life as well as evaluative and analytical skills from which they will benefit in their chosen field of study and their careers in an increasingly diverse and complex world.

Major Requirements

Eleven courses (44 units) are required to complete the major.

COURSEWORK

SOC 101Introduction to Sociology

4 units

Or

SOC 102Introduction to Sociology: Global Perspectives

4 units

 

And

SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4 units

SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4 units

Students must select one course from below:
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4 units

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4 units

Students must select one from the list below:
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4 units

Electives:

Choose six additional courses from within the department

The Sociology Department encourages students to declare the major by the end of their first year.

INTERNSHIPS

The department, in concert with the Hameetman Career Center, keeps files on available internships in law, criminal justice, and various social and community agencies.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE MAJOR

If you declare at the end of your first year, you should:

Take Classic or Contemporary Sociological Theory in your sophomore year.
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4 units

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4 units

Take Sociological Inquiry in your sophomore year
SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4 units

Take a research methods course in your junior year
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4 units

Enroll in Senior Seminar (490) in the fall of your senior year.
SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4 units

If you declare during your sophomore year, you should:

Take Classic or Contemporary Sociological Theory as soon as possible.
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4 units

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4 units

Take Sociological Inquiry as soon as possible.
SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4 units

Take a research methods course in your junior year.
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4 units

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4 units

Enroll in Senior Seminar in the fall of your senior year.
SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4 units

Sociology students are encouraged to consider studying abroad for a semester. Those who plan to study abroad should work with their advisor on an academic plan that allows for both a study abroad experience and completion of their major requirements. The ideal plan ensures that students study abroad, and have taken at least two Sociology electives and the following courses prior to senior year: SOC 101 or SOC 102; SOC 200 or SOC 205; SOC 304; and SOC 305, SOC 306, or SOC 310. Up to two courses taken in Sociology departments while abroad count towards the major electives.

Second-Stage Writing Requirement

Students majoring in Sociology will satisfy the second-stage component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by completing any 300 level Sociology course by the end of the fall semester of the junior year with a grade of B- or higher. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

Comprehensive Requirement

Students will engage in a major research project that will culminate in a written senior thesis.

College Honors

A distinctive ("PD") comprehensive senior thesis based on primary research along with a 3.5 grade point average in the department and 3.25 overall.

Minor Requirements

Five courses (20 units) in Sociology for which at most one of SOC 101 and SOC 102 may count. The remaining four courses are electives that students may select from all the other courses offered by the department.

Transfer Credit Policies

The Sociology Department may accept online courses to count toward the major or the minor.

While there is not an AP or IB examination in Sociology, a qualifying A-level examination score on any of the three, post-2017 Sociology examinations will be considered equivalent to completing SOC 101 or SOC 102. Students will earn four units of credit for each qualifying examination score. Up to eight units may be applied toward the major and up to four units may be applied toward the minor.

Students may apply up to two courses (eight units of credit) in transfer toward the major or one course (four units) in transfer toward the minor.

Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for more details.

Courses

Sociology Courses