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Thinking About a Sociology Major? Here is one educator's view on the value of a sociology background for the real world:  Huffington Post Blog, Daniel Little, Why a Sociology Major?

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The major

Students in the College of Letters and Science declare a major course of study sometime during their sophomore year. The student who declares a major in Sociology takes 30 credits in sociology before graduation. This is usually 10 courses.

A Sociology major can take a broad range of courses or develop a specialization in areas such as social inequality, law and society, the sociology of gender or urban sociology. You can design your major to prepare you for understanding society as a citizen, for a particular occupation, or for graduate school in sociology, social work, law or any number of other related fields.

Students interested in declaring a major in Sociology should come to the Department office and meet with an advisor. To determine when an advisor is available, call the dept. (414/229-4388) or stop by (BOL 710). The advisor will meet with the student and assist her/him in filling out a "Declaration of Major" form. This form is then forwarded to Letters and Science. 

The major in Sociology consists of a minimum of 30 credits to include:

  • required courses (described below); and
  • a minimum of 15 credits in upper-division (300 to 600 level) sociology courses. Please note: Courses 361, 375, 376 and 489 or 493 do count as part of the15 credits of upper-division courses required for the major.

The courses required of all students majoring in Sociology are:

  • Sociol 261: Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology
  • Sociol 361: Research Methods in Sociology
  • Sociol 375: History of Sociological Theory
  • Sociol 376: Modern Sociological Theory

Majors who began their university studies in Fall 2006 or later must complete an L&S research requirement for graduation. This requirement is satisfied by completing Sociol 361, which is required for the major.

Majors who began their university studies before Fall 2006, and who are meeting the L&S graduation requirements in effect at time of entry may complete a capstone experience in sociology. This requirement may be met by completing one of the following courses:

  • Sociol 489: Internship in Sociology or
  • Sociol 493: Capstone Seminar in Sociology

BUT: Majors who began before Spring 2006 -- AND who completed Sociol 361 during Fall 2005 or later -- may choose instead to meet the current L&S graduation requirements. Under these requirements, you do not need a capstone course. Sociol 361 (taken fall 2005 or later) will satisfy the new research requirement. (The new requirements are posted at Letters and Science Degree Requirements)

Important: You must consult your L&S advisor to be sure the other new requirements are appropriate for you and to sign up for the new requirements.

At least 15 credits must be in upper-division (300-level and above) sociology courses taken in residence at UWM. By College of Letters and Science requirements, 45 credits in the major is the maximum number which will count toward the Bachelor's degree. Upper-division courses taken elsewhere may apply toward the major as long as the student has completed at least 15 credits in residence at the 300 level or above.

Mathematics 215 or Psychology 210 may be substituted for Sociology 261. With the approval of the undergraduate advisor, students who have completed an elementary statistics course in another discipline may be exempted from the Sociology 261 requirement. Consult your sociology advisor.

No more than 15 credits of lower division (100 and 200 level) courses will count toward the thirty credits required for the major. By College of Letters and Science requirements, 45 credits in the major is the maximum number which will count toward the Bachelor's degree. Upper division courses taken elsewhere may apply toward the major as long as the student has completed at least 15 credits in residence at the 300 level or above.

No Sociology course, if it is to count toward the major, can be taken on a 'Credit/No Credit' basis.

IMPORTANT: All required courses will be offered at least once a year. A required course will not be waived because it is not offered during the scheduled semester of graduation.

The College of Letters and Science requires that students maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average (GPA) in the major, including transfer credits. To be eligible for a bachelor's degree, students must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0, as well as a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all UWM credits that count toward a degree in the college.

A Sociology major may take a limited number of the required 30 credits in related fields such as Africology or Anthropology (see current Bulletin program description). Ordinarily this would be only one course or at most two (i.e., a maximum of 6 of the 30 required credits). This should be arranged and approved before the end of the first semester of the student's senior year. Students interested in quantitative sociology are encouraged to take Mathematics 465: Introductory Mathematical Statistics for Social Sciences and Education in addition to Sociology 261.

The minor

As with the major, somewhere around the end of their sophomore year, students in the College of Letters and Science have the option of choosing a minor. The student who declares a minor in sociology takes at least 18 credits in sociology before graduation. The minor in sociology is designed to provide the non-major with a systematic introduction to the basic principles, methods, and theories of the discipline, as well as some advanced study in areas of special interest. 

Students interested in declaring a minor in Sociology should come to the Department office and meet with an advisor. To determine when an advisor is available, call the dept. (414/229-4388) or stop by (BOL 710). The advisor will meet with the student and assist her/him in filling out a "Declaration of Minor" form. This form is then forwarded to Letters and Science.

The minor in Sociology consists of a minimum of 18 credits to include:

  • required courses (described below); and
  • a minimum of 9 credits in upper-division (300 to 600 level) sociology courses. 

The courses required of all students minoring in Sociology are:

  • Sociol 261: Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology
  • Sociol 361: Research Methods in Sociology
  • Sociol 375: History of Sociological Theory 

At least 9 credits must be in upper-division (300-level and above) sociology courses taken in residence at UWM.

Mathematics 215 or Psychology 210 may be substituted for Sociology 261. With the approval of the undergraduate advisor, students who have completed an elementary statistics course in another discipline may be exempted from the Sociology 261 requirement. Consult your sociology advisor.

No Sociology course, if it is to count toward the minor, can be taken on a 'Credit/No Credit' basis.

IMPORTANT: All required courses will be offered at least once a year. A required course will not be waived because it is not offered during the scheduled semester of graduation.

The College of Letters and Science requires that students maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average (GPA) in the minor, including transfer credits. To be eligible for a bachelor's degree, students must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0, as well as a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all UWM credits that count toward a degree in the college.