Jun 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology, Environments, Technologies and Innovations Concentration, B.S.

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Dr. Beth A. Eck, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6171
Email: eckba@jmu.edu
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 123
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/socanth

Sociology Program
Dr. Benjamin Brewer, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-7391
Email: brewerbd@jmu.edu
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 212

Anthropology Program
Dr. Liam Buckley, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6171
Email: bucklelm@jmu.edu
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 117

L. Buckley, B. Eck, A. Paugh, S. Poulson

Associate Professors
B. Brewer, B. Bryson, C. Colocousis, K. Dobransky, M. Ezzell, R. Lawler, J. Linder, M. Polanco, J. Solometo, J. Spear, K. Tanaka, M. Tracy

Assistant Professors
D. Blanton, R. Howes-Mischel, S. Newman, L. Porter, D. Trouille

Sociology Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the sociology program is to develop students’ ability to analyze the social world by using diverse sociological theories and research methods that stress the importance of social, cultural and historical contexts for understanding relationships between social actors and structures.

Goals and Objectives

To fulfill its mission, the sociology program cultivates the sociological imagination, providing students the following sets of skills and experience. Upon completion of the B.A. or B.S. degree in sociology, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand the social dimension of the human experience and the diverse social arrangements and practices found within and across societies and cultures.
  • Recognize how developing a sociological lens is a practical skill for living a productive and meaningful life.
  • Identify and understand sociology’s major theories, schools of thoughts and analytical paradigms.
  • Identify and understand sociology’s origin, development and practice within its social and historical contexts.
  • Demonstrate the use of skills in investigating the social world utilizing methodological components such as concept formation, measurement strategies, data analysis, summary and presentation of findings.
  • Demonstrate the use of the scholarly tools needed to practice sociology, including rigor, perceptiveness, creativity, logical consistency, tenacity and discipline.
  • Recognize the norms of the scholarly community and of a participatory society, including collegiality, openness to public scrutiny, testing reinterpretation and refutation.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Working as a professional sociologist most often requires a graduate degree, but the following careers, some supplemented with collateral training, are representative of our previous graduates.

  • Teacher, professor, social worker, researcher, case manager, biostatistician
  • Admissions officer, demographer, data analyst, personnel interviewer
  • Nursing home director, hospice coordinator, day care provider/director, epidemiologist
  • Mediator, congressional aide, writer/author, advocacy worker, job analyst
  • Population specialist, management trainee, sociologist, market research analyst
  • Secret service agent, customs/immigration officer, labor relations specialist
  • Personnel administrator, public relations specialist, public health statistician
  • Urban/regional planner, race relations specialist, underwriter, fundraiser
  • Education specialist, community services director
  • Criminologist, probation/parole officer, police officer, corrections officer

A major in sociology provides skills and perspectives that enhance all careers. Students who study sociology gain:

  • Increased general knowledge.
  • Broadened viewpoints informed by sociological perspectives.
  • Sensitivity to organizational issues and social change.
  • Abilities in critical thinking, analysis, writing and communication, examination of attitudes and values and enhancement of computer skills.
  • Further information about careers in sociology is available from the American Sociological Association website under Careers and Jobs.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement 3 Credit Hours 2
  • Scientific Literacy requirement 3-4 Credit Hours 2
  • University electives 32-33 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (listed below) 39 Credit Hours
Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education  requirement.

Major Requirements

To earn the B.S. degree with a sociology major, students must complete a minimum of 39 credit hours in sociology. Of these credit hours, 18 are required courses; the remaining 21 credit hours are electives chosen from over 30 sociology courses. Students must observe the prerequisite sequencing of required courses as shown in the course descriptions.

Students must earn at least a “C-” in all sociology classes or any course that is substituted for a sociology core course. If a student earns below a “C-” in a course, he/she can re-take the course once in order to meet the “C-” standard.

Total: 39 Credit Hours


1 Prerequisite for SOCI 200 : SOCI 110 , SOCI 140  or SOCI 101 .
2 Students can substitute SOCI 231  with MATH 220 , PSYC 210  or COB 191 , but must take an additional sociology course to complete the required 39 hours of sociology.
3 Prerequisite for SOCI 300 : SOCI 200  and SOCI 231  (or equivalent), sociology majors only.
4 Prerequisite for SOCI 480 : SOCI 300 .
5 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
6 Students may fulfill the senior seminar requirement by completing a supervised internship with a substantial writing expectation. Students must secure their own internship placement before enrolling in the internship course and should consult an adviser or the sociology program coordinator for details. Students may also fulfill the senior seminar requirement by successfully completing the SOCI 499 Honors Thesis sequence.
7 If a course other than SOCI 231  is used to meet the statistics requirement, 24 elective credits will be required to reach the 39 credit hour total.


The sociology program encourages majors to select electives that create a coherent program of study suited to their special needs and interests. Such a focus would involve four or more courses from the following concentration groupings:

Within any of the defined concentrations students may gain credits toward completing the concentration through certain special topics or other courses. On occasion, courses taken outside the major or university may qualify. For special topics courses in sociology, see the instructor of record for that course. For other questions or possibilities see an adviser or the sociology program coordinator.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

Transfer students on a two-year course of study should change “Year” in this sequence to “Semester.”

The following is an example of a four-year course of study for a student seeking a degree in sociology:

Total: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 9 Credit Hours

Third Year

Total: 9-12 Credit Hours

Fourth Year

Total: 9-12 Credit Hours

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