Sociology Major

A sociology major provides a valuable perspective on the complex social world we live in. Our program gives students the concepts, perspectives, and tools to examine important current social issues such as inequality, changing technology and communication, movements for racial justice, the effects of climate change, and the social factors that influence health. Employers are looking for college graduates with the critical thinking and writing skills to understand and analyze our rapidly-changing world, who have the cultural competency to work and interact in a diverse environment, and the ability to examine and propose solutions to problems. Our sociology major is particularly relevant to students preparing for careers in professional social science, education, government, law, criminal justice, urban affairs, social service, medical service fields, marketing, and business.

Along with a broad-based introductory class to familiarize students with the sociological perspective, our program provides training in research methods, social statistics, and social theory. These core classes give students a foundational understanding of sociology. The program also provides students with the flexibility to take several elective classes in areas of particular interest to them, including medical sociology, family, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, sports and society, and politics.

We offer many of our classes in both face-to-face and online formats. There are also frequent opportunities for students to complete independent study courses, internships, classes with service learning/community engagement components, and honors contracts.

Required Courses

30 credit hours of sociology course work (12 of which must be completed at IUPUI), with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

  • SOC-R 100: Introduction to Sociology (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 351: Social Science Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 359: Introduction to Sociological Statistics (3 cr.)

One theory course selected from the following:

  • SOC-R 355: Social Theory (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 356: Foundations of Social Theory (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 357: Contemporary Sociological Theory (3 cr.)

15 credits of elective coursework
Capstone course selected from one of the following three options:

  • SOC-R 494 Internship Program
  • SOC-R 497 Individual Readings
  • SOC-R 498 Capstone Seminar

Degree Map

To help you guide your four year college journey, consult your degree map for a snapshot of classes you will be taking to finish your degree to completion.

Medical Concentration

We offer a concentration in medical sociology, which emphasizes the understanding of the social context of health, health care, and the delivery of medical services. Medical sociologists study a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to): doctor-patient relationships, the social organization of health care, epidemiology (the study of how illness, disability, and death are distributed within a population), professional education, and acute and chronic illnesses. Reflecting and recognizing the wide range of interests pursued by medical sociologists, the Department offers courses in social factors in health and illness, the social organization of health care, AIDS, disability, gender and health, death and dying, and sexuality.

Our medical concentration is designed to provide students with an increased understanding of the social factors in health, illness, patient care, and the various health professions. It offers a needed sociological background for a variety of professional programs and careers including nursing, optometry, medicine, social work, medical sociology, and psychology. It also builds on our department’s growing contribution to medical social science training and promotes greater collaborative relations with health-related fields on campus.

For a Medical Concentration, you need 15 credits of your 30 Sociology course work credits to be Medical Sociology Courses. These credits can be taken from a special list of Medical Sociology courses, so that the record of a specific Major Concentration in Medical Sociology is noted on your transcript.

Medical Sociology Concentration (30 credits)

  • SOC-R 100: Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 351: Social Science Research Methods (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 355: Social Theory (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 359: Introduction to Sociological Statistics (3 credits)

ONE of the following:

  • SOC-R 381: Social Factors in Health and Illness (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 382: Social Organization of Health Care (3 credits)

One Capstone course selected from one of the following:

  • SOC-R 494: Internship Program in Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 497: Individual Readings in Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC-R 498: Capstone Seminar (3 credits)

9 credits of medical Sociology courses, selected from the following:

  • SOC-R 320: Sexuality and Society
  • SOC-R 321: Women and Health
  • SOC-R 327: Sociology of Death & Dying
  • SOC-R 381: Social Factors in Health and Illness (if R382 was taken above)
  • SOC-R 382: Social Organization of Heath Care (if R381 was taken above)
  • SOC-R 385: AIDS and Society
  • SOC-R 410: Alcohol, Drugs and Society
  • SOC-R 415: Sociology of Disability
  • SOC-R 485: Sociology of Mental Illness
  • SOC-R 495: Topics in Medical Sociology

One additional Sociology elective to total 30 credits.

Degree Map

To help you guide your four year college journey, consult your degree map for a snapshot of classes you will be taking to finish your degree to completion.

Recommended Curriculum

The following is a recommended year-by-year curriculum that students interested in sociology. While students are not required to take courses in this order, the Department of Sociology believes that this curriculum will both enhance their academic experience and avoid problems meeting requirements.

Freshman Year: SOC-R 100 Intro to Sociology (3 credits), one 200-level elective (3 credits)

Sophomore Year: SOC-R 359 – Introduction to Sociological Statistics (3 Cr.), Social Science Research Methods (3 Cr.), one 300- or 400-level elective (3 cr)

Junior Year: SOC-R 355- Social Theory(3 Cr.), one or two 300- or 400-level electives (6 Cr.)

Senior Year: One or two 300- or 400-level electives, Capstone Experience (Spring 3 cr. – course, internship or independent readings)