Sociology  Program Description


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dotIf you're a people person, you might be interested in a sociology degree. Students in these programs study all aspects of human society and culture.

Thinking and communication skills are essential for sociology students, says professor Murray Pomerance. He says sociology programs want students who have an "ability to do focused, critical thinking about the social world."

Basic entrance requirements include writing and research skills, as well as an ability to understand critical texts.

In high school, focus on social science classes and classes that emphasize writing and other forms of communication as well as problem solving, says Rick Stephens. He is a sociology professor at Greenville College in Illinois.

Stephens also suggests taking classes that develop computer literacy and participating in extracurricular activities that involve community interaction or service projects.

Undergraduate sociology programs require three to four years to complete. Most programs include courses in sociology, anthropology, research methods, statistics and theory. Students must also complete additional coursework in upper-level electives. Departments encourage internships and other practical experiences.

Stephens notes that many of the degree candidates at his school double-major in another area, a practice that the college encourages.

Students at many schools now have the opportunity to focus on applied or clinical sociology. While traditional sociology programs suggest and encourage practical experience, applied and clinical programs require internships and may include additional components such as workshops, practica and supervised fieldwork.

Some programs are accredited by the Commission on Applied and Clinical Sociology (CACS).

Students who successfully complete a CACS-accredited sociological practice program will be listed in a National Registry of Applied and Clinical Sociologists and may be eligible for certification by both the Sociological Practice Association and the Society for Applied Sociology.

Does that mean studying at a non-accredited school is a bad idea? Not at all. "This is really a very new movement in American sociology, and as yet has not really made much of an impact nationally," says Stephens.

In addition to tuition, books, computer equipment and software make up the bulk of the student's expenses.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Social Scientists, Other

Sociology Journals
Read articles on trends in sociological studies

The Dead Sociologists' Society
Comprehensive information on late, great sociologists

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.