In the College of Arts and Sciences .
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.
Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life: street crime and delinquency, corporate downsizing, how people express emotions, welfare or education reform, how families differ and flourish, or problems of peace and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs.
S. Alvarado, M. Berezin, K. Bischoff, B. Cornwell, F. Garip, A. Haskins, D. Lichter, M. Macy, V. Maralani, V. Nee, B. Park, D. Strang, K. Weeden, E. York Cornwell, C. Young. Emeritus: D. Heckathorn, E. Lawler, R. Swedberg
In addition to the major requirements outlined below, all students must meet the college graduation requirements .
Students must take at least one sociology class in order to declare the major. Ten courses, a minimum of 30 credits, are required for the sociology major. All courses toward the major must be taken for a letter grade, and students must earn a C– or higher in each course. The courses required for the major are divided into the following categories:
The Honors Program:
Honors in sociology are awarded for excellence in the major, which includes overall GPA and the quality of an honors thesis. In addition to the regular requirements of the major, candidates for honors must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least an A– in all sociology classes, complete SOC 4950 and SOC 4960 (in the senior year), and write an honors thesis.
Students are awarded either honors (cum laude), high honors (magna cum laude), or highest honors (summa cum laude) in the program based on the director of undergraduate studies and the honors advisors’ evaluations of the level and the quality of the work completed toward the honors thesis and the quality of the course work. The honors distinction will be noted on the student’s official transcript and it will also be indicated on the student’s diploma.
Complete information on the major can be found on the department’s undergraduate program web page: sociology.cornell.edu/undergraduate. In addition to regularly updated course lists, the web page provides an overview of the discipline of sociology, procedures for declaring the major and applying to the honors program, and strategies for locating research opportunities. The main department web site, sociology.cornell.edu/undergraduate, provides an overview of the department’s faculty members, their research, and the department’s affiliated research centers.