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Department of Sociology

108 Faculty Office Building
(585) 395-2619

Chairperson and Professor: Joan Z. Spade; Associate Professor: Jeffrey T. Lashbrook; Assistant Professors: Denise A. Copelton, Julie M. Ford, Amy E. Guptill, Eric Kaldor, Lynne M. Moulton, Elliott Weininger; Visiting Assistant Professor (Great Britain): John Halsey. Distinguished Professor Emeritus: Edward C. Lehman; Professors Emeriti: Fred S. Halley; John E. Kramer, Jr.; Dorothy A. Mariner; Robert J. Potter, Robert Rutzen, Roger K. Steinhauer.

Sociology is the study of interpersonal, structural and cultural patterns that make up human societies. Drawing on rigorous methodological and theoretical traditions, sociologists examine the workings of major social institutions such as education, family, economy, medicine and the media; the formation of groups, organizations, communities and social movements; the interpersonal and social dynamics of race, class and gender; conformity with and deviance from societal norms and values; and the social construction of contemporary experiences and issues, including health and illness. By placing the individual in his or her societal context, sociologists “turn personal troubles and concerns into social issues and problems open to reason” (C. Wright Mills, 1959: 186). Sociologists also seek to understand the structure and nature of social systems, particularly in relationship to patterns of beliefs and practices, social organization, and systems of inequality.

Sociology majors develop research and conceptual skills critical for today’s careers, including criminal justice, social work, community and organizational development, planning, public administration gerontology, education, nursing and market research. In addition, a sociology major or minor is valuable preparation for post-graduate study in areas such as law, social work, business and medicine. Sociology majors are encouraged to explore career alternatives with a field placement through the Sociology Internship Program.

Requirements for the Sociology Major
The sociology major requires students to earn 30 credits in sociology, and complete all general College requirements leading to either the BA or BS [see “Baccalaureate Degree Requirements”]. All majors must complete the four core courses listed below.

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 200 Social Statistics
  • SOC 300 Sociological Theory
  • SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research

Students must also complete 18 credits of electives in sociology. Students who do not take SOC 200 Social Statistics in the department must take 21 credits of sociology electives.

Requirements for the Sociology Minor
The sociology minor requires students to complete SOC 100 and 15 credits from other sociology courses for a total of 18 credits.

Double Major in Criminal Justice and Sociology or Social Work and Sociology
Cooperative ventures between the Departments of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Social Work enable students to easily complete two majors before graduation. Having a second major on the graduation transcript indicates additional breadth of knowledge in the investigation of social problems and issues. Indeed, additional knowledge about such matters as school systems, domestic violence, sex crimes, deviant behavior, interpersonal interaction, and alternative methods of conflict resolution is invaluable for the person employed in criminal justice or social work. Given the social forces that affect the work of police officers, probation officers and judges and social workers, completing the sociology major as well should enhance the employment opportunities of students in both of these fields. This combined major should also facilitate admission into the many graduate programs, including social work, criminology, sociology, public administration or law.

For advisement on a double major in criminal justice or social work and sociology, consult with any professor in these departments. Those wishing to pursue the option of a double major in sociology and social work or criminal justice, should do so as early in their academic careers as possible. Courses in these disciplines fill up very quickly and majors receive preferential treatment in registering. In addition, students must apply to the Department of Social Work and fulfill their prerequisites in their first and second years in order to take the courses required for the Social Work Program. A double major that includes sociology is easy to establish. Students can be enrolled in minutes.

Sociology Courses

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Last Updated 7/21/22