"New" Requirements (Beginning Fall 2010)

The "New" Requirements








Requirements for the Major

Students majoring in sociology are required to complete at least 36 credit hours in the department, to satisfy the requirements of the BA or BS cognate and to produce a major portfolio. The 36 credits hours will include 15 hours of core credit and 21 credit hours of electives chosen from four different areas of sociology. The BA cognate is 3rd semester proficiency in a foreign language. The BS cognate consists of CS 150, STA 215, STA 216.


Core Courses: 15 credit hours

SOC 201 Introduction to Sociology                                   

SOC 304 Quantitative Methods

SOC 305 Qualitative Methods                                                                                               

SOC 400 Classic Social Theory

                   OR SOC 401 Contemporary Sociological Theory

SOC 495 Capstone                                   


Electives: 21 credit hours (seven courses) at least one from each category. No more than 6 credits at the 200 level. A second theory course (SOC 400 or 401) may count as an elective. SOC 399, SOC 499, and SOC 380 may fulfill an elective requirement.



SOC 250 Perspectives on Madness

SOC 251 Criminology

SOC 360 Social Psychology

SOC 387 Sociology of Childhood.

SOC 388 Middle Age and Aging

SOC 389 Child Maltreatment

SOC 392 Deviance and Social Control

SS    381 Death and Dying


Organizations, Institutions. Occupations,

SOC 255 Sociology of Work

SOC 323 Families in Society

SOC 356 Sociology of Health Care

SOC 377 Globalization

SOC 490 Internship

SOC    350 Family, Gender, Development




SOC 280 Social Problems

SOC 333 Civil Rights Movement

SOC 351 Urban Sociology

SOC 382 Race and Ethnicity

SOC 381 Class, Race, Gender, Sexuality

SOC 384 Drug Use and Abuse

SOC 385 Social Class Inequality

SOC 420 Sociology of Community



SOC 288 Sociology of Food

SOC 345 Cultural Sociology

SOC 346 Sociology of Art

SOC 357 Sociology of Religion

SOC 366 Sociology of Media

SOC 375 Perspectives on Masculinity

SOC 379 Love, Sex, and Gender

SOC 383 Sociology of Women



B.S. Cognate: CS 150, STA 215, STA 216

B.A. Cognate: 3rd semester language proficiency


The Major Portfolio

Students majoring in Sociology assemble Portfolios of four papers that demonstrate their sociological understanding and skills at three points in their undergraduate study of Sociology: at the beginning, at about the middle, and at the completion of their major. Sociology faculty members depend on Portfolios to assess whether we, as a Department, are meeting our curricular goals. These goals include student development of the following:


·       Sociological imagination and critical thinking skills enabling students to analyze structures and the linkages between macro-structure, micro-structure and individuals;

·       Ability to understand and analyze social institutions, processes, and behavior, and to apply sociological theory, concepts, and methods;

·       Disciplinary-based writing skills; and

·       Library, quantitative, and qualitative research skills.


A student begins to assemble his/her Portfolio upon declaring Sociology as a major. The completed Portfolio contains the following papers, each with an appropriate cover letter:


·       One paper written for SOC201 – Introduction to Sociology

·       One paper written for SOC400 or 401 - Sociological Theory

·       One paper from a 300 level sociology course

·       One paper or report from SOC304 0r SOC305

·       The capstone statement


Each paper will have been submitted in a course and will show instructors’ comments and assessment. (Exceptions to this list will be made for transfer students so that they may submit papers from courses taken at GVSU.) A 300 word letter will accompany each of the first three papers. In each of these letters, the student explains why he or she picked this piece and what he/she considers to be its strengths and weaknesses in analyzing social life. A 3000 word capstone statement describes and assesses the student’s development as a sociologist in relation to the four curricular goals outlined above.


Submit each paper and its cover letter to the Departmental Administrative Assistant, in 2170 AuSable. Inform him or her that you are turning in a paper for your Sociology Portfolio. You should keep your own copies as well. At least every two years, the Sociology faculty reads a random sample of Sociology Portfolios to determine, through the kinds of skills demonstrated, if the Sociology Department is meeting its curricular goals.


Portfolios are not graded. They are, however, a requirement for passing SOC495 – The Capstone, and performance on the capstone statement is part of your grade in SOC495. The Sociology Portfolio is important to you in both the short and the long term. In the short term the portfolio gives you the opportunity to take control and responsibility for the shape and direction of your own education as you reflect on your progress at important points in your academic career. The portfolio provides to you a tangible foundation as you prepare for life after graduation whether that be employment in the public or private sector, the pursuit of graduate studies, or some other alternative you have not yet even considered! In the long term the portfolio is your contribution to improving and maintaining the quality of your major program, and to the continued accreditation of the University from which you will receive your Bachelor's Degree. We also hope that you will become more aware of your own development as a sociologist and thus better understand the knowledge and skills you have gained by participating in the portfolio system.


Page last modified November 9, 2011