Sociology (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Sociology
Program Code: 3728

About This Major . . .

Sociology is the scientific study of social life, social change, social organization, and the complex social causes and consequences of human behavior.  Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology covers a broad array of topics, including family, religion, crime, politics, life course, race, gender, and social class. Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the social world, as well as a range of research methodologies that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life, from corporate downsizing to problems of peace and war to the expression of emotion and beyond.  Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is an expanding field increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create social programs. For more information on the subject matter of sociology, got to

Sociology majors gain important skills in critical thinking, research methods and responsible citizenship. Sociology majors are prepared for future graduate work in sociology and related disciplines, as well as for a wide variety of careers in such sectors as business, the health professions, the criminal justice system, social services, human resources and government.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services and the American Sociological Association's Major in Sociology web page.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Apply Scientific Principles to an Understanding of the Social World in a Summative Project (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  2. Rigorously Analyze and Evaluate the Quality of Social Scientific Methods and Data (Quantitative Reasoning)
  3. Defend Sociological Analyses of Social Phenomena in Formal Papers and Oral Presentations. (Communication Fluency)
  4. Critically Evaluate Explanations of Human Behavior and Social Phenomena (Critical Thinking)
  5. Use Sociological Knowledge to Contribute to Public Understanding of Social Issues, Policy Debates, and the Development of a Sense of Civic Duty (Personal and Social Responsibility; Applied Learning)
  6. Develop Scholarly Arguments by Locating, Evaluating, Applying, and Synthesizing Information from Sociological and Other Social Scientific Sources (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “C” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(13 semester hours)

GEOG 102Human Geography-GTSS23
STAT 215Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences4
Two consecutive classes in the same foreign language 16
Total Semester Credit Hours13

Must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(48 semester hours, must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher in coursework in this area, and no more than one “D” may be used in completing major requirements.)

Core Courses
SOCO 202Introduction to Sociological Inquiry3
SOCO 260General Sociology-GTSS33
SOCO 264Social Problems-GTSS33
SOCO 303Sociological Research Methods3
SOCO 370Roots of Sociological Thought3
SOCO 375Contemporary Sociological Perspectives3
SOCO 493Senior Capstone3
Sociology Electives
Select seven of the following:21
Political Sociology
Environmental Sociology
Sociology of Religion
Social Movements and Political Activism
Social Inequality
Sociology of Health & Illness
Life Course and Aging
Self and Society
Race and Ethnic Relations
Sociology of Gender
Sociology of Sexuality
21st Century Families
Total Semester Credit Hours42
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Intimate Partner Violence
Crime and Deviance
Women and Crime
Restorative Justice
The Examined Life
The Roots of Western Thought
Child Psychology
Social Psychology
Psychology of Adolescents and Emerging Adulthood
Psychology of Women
Psychology Of Adulthood
Cross-Cultural Psychology
Human Sexuality
Child Welfare
Medical Social Work
Legal Aspects of Social Work
Spirituality and Social Work
Gerontology and Social Work
Any upper division courses from History or Political Science
Total Semester Credit Hours6

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 hours of upper division hours. 22 semester hours, including 1 hour of upper division may be needed.

Select electives22
Total Semester Credit Hours22
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
Essential Learning - History 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
STAT 215 Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences 4
SOCO 260 General Sociology-GTSS3 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
GEOG 102 Human Geography-GTSS2 3
SOCO 202 Introduction to Sociological Inquiry 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
SOCO 264 Social Problems-GTSS3 3
Foundation Course - Foreign Language 3
General Elective 5
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
SOCO 370 Roots of Sociological Thought 3
Sociology Electives (2 courses) 6
Restricted Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
SOCO 303 Sociological Research Methods 3
SOCO 375 Contemporary Sociological Perspectives 3
Sociology Elective 3
Essential Learning- Fine Arts 3
KINA Activity 1
General Electives 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Sociology Electives (2 courses) 6
Restricted Elective 3
General Electives 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
SOCO 493 Senior Capstone 3
Sociology Elective (2 courses) 6
General Electives 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.