Sociology Program Requirements
Sociology is a life-skill. It allows individuals to make informed and objective choices when faced with life’s most difficult and challenging conditions. A sociology major at Baldwin Wallace University will seek to understand a wide variety of human relationships, the interrelatedness between the individual and the society, and the general functioning of the modern global society. At Baldwin Wallace, students learn about and actively test theories of society and produce their own research in the department’s state-of-the-art computer lab. The skills acquired are thus not only useful to better prepare students for life, but are at the same time marketable skills that a variety of employers and graduate schools look for. Students with a degree in sociology from Baldwin Wallace University should be able to: apply a sociological perspective in their professional careers and in their everyday lives; critically evaluate information that is presented to them; and conduct sociological research using the principles of scientific inquiry.
The sociology program encourages active citizenship through service and experiential learning. The department emphasizes research and data analysis skills and prepares students accordingly. It also prepares students for graduate programs and a wide variety of careers that require a baccalaureate degree, including positions in social services, government and business organizations, as well as research agencies. “Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling.” (Quote from The American Sociological Association.)
Additional Information on the Major
Up to three credit hours of Independent Study (SOC 050) and four credits of Field Experience (SOC 070) may be counted toward the 40-42 credit requirements. Transfer students must take at least five courses in sociology at Baldwin Wallace, of which at least 3 courses must be at the 300-400 course level.
Students majoring in sociology generally select one of four broad career paths:
Business positions, often in sales, marketing, or human resources departments. Courses such as SOC 301 Social Inequalities; SOC 310 Work in America; and research and SOC 281 Data Analysis using PASW are especially appropriate for this career goal. A minor in business is recommended. Internships can be arranged in a variety of settings.
- Government agencies and urban planning. Students electing this career goal should do an independent study using PASW and an internship.
- Social services in the private sector, including work with children, elderly in nursing homes and community action programs. Those intending to become social workers should plan for graduate school and professional certification (see the 3+2 social work program). Courses in Aging, Juvenile Delinquency and Social Problems are especially appropriate for this career path, as is the Gerontology Minor. An internship with a public or private agency is recommended.
- Professional sociologists teaching at the University level or conducting research, or consulting in business and nonprofit organizations. This career goal requires graduate work, usually to the Ph.D. level. Students planning graduate work in any area of social science should do an independent study employing quantitative research techniques.
In addition to these career paths, some sociology majors go to law school. Others take jobs in the criminal justice field or hold management positions in the public and private sector. The department has additional information on career options. Students in all career paths are encouraged to use independent studies, internships and service learning opportunities to extend their education and prepare for job entry. Ordinarily, course work or work experience in the area of interest must precede the independent study.
Students interested in double majors, pairing sociology with psychology, business, criminal justice, communications, or political science, will receive credit in the sociology major for one or more course in the second major. Information on sociology double majors is available in the department office.
The Department of Sociology periodically offers seminars designated as SOC 263 or 463 to acquaint the interested student with a wide range of special topics. SOC 250, "Topics in Sociology" includes courses dealing with specialized areas; SOC 350, "Topics in Sociology" will include a significantly greater component of academic rigor and/or computer labs/service learning/additional research obligations found in courses such as “Criminology,” “Social Inequalities,” “Urban Community Life,” "Social Policies on Aging," "Race and Racism from a Socio-Anthropological Perspective," or a sociological study of a particular country.
Minimum credits required: 20 credit hours