BA or BS in Sociology Degree

Mission Statement

The Sociology Department at Central Methodist University offers a program of study designed to complement and strengthen a broad liberal arts education. In the major, students acquire knowledge and skills related to sociological thought, research methods, and the study of institutions.

Students majoring in sociology acquire a broad understanding of the discipline with special emphasis on the sociological perspective, social theory, social research methods, and data analysis.  Students develop abilities to explain and analyze a variety of social problems with an emphasis on the complex problems of inequality based on race, class, gender, and sexuality. Within the curriculum, students develop skills in writing and critical thinking. Students are encouraged to engage in active learning in the classroom and in the community.

The department seeks to provide a challenging and well-rounded education serving as a solid foundation for students who pursue professional or graduate studies or who embark on a career after earning their bachelor’s degree.

Programmatic Learning Outcomes 

Students graduating with a B.A. or B.S. is sociology should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate sociological reasoning by describing how individual biographies are shaped by         social structures and/or social interactions. 
  2. Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and/or qualitative methods.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of a classical and/or contemporary theorist.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of social inequalities based on race, class, gender or sexuality.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge in a substantive field, for example: deviance, criminology, social psychology, family, or popular culture.
  6. Secure professional employment.

Sociology Minor

Eighteen hours in sociology, other than those counted toward the major. The minor must include six (6) hours of upper division (300/400 level) coursework.

Sociology Courses

SO101 Introduction to Sociology. 3 hours. A study of social interaction and its products; culture, personality, social groups, institutions, and social change.

SO102 Social Problems. 3 hours. A study of the major problems of social and personal disorganization.

SO150 Introduction to Anthropology. 3 hours. A study of humans and their works from prehistory to the present. Covers the four major subfields of anthropology in addition to anthropological theory and method.

SO190 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Introductory course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

SO204 World Cultures. 3 hours. A survey of western and non-western world cultures using anthropological and historical perspectives. Special emphasis on sample groups in Africa, India, and Asia. Cross-listed with HI204.

SO260 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

SO268 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours.

SO290 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Intermediate level course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

SO301 Race and Ethnicity in the United States. 3 hours. This course introduces students to contemporary race and ethnic relations in the United States. We examine how race has been socially constructed in the past, how racial identities are created and maintained in the present, the emergence and persistence of racial inequality, current beliefs and discourses about race, and how some groups are resisting racial inequality. We pay close attention to the relations between the dominant society and African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans, and Arab-Americans. Prerequisite: SO 101 or SO102.

SO302 Urban and Rural Sociology. 3 hours. A survey of the relationship between urban and rural areas with particular attention to historical transformations and urban and rural renewal. Prerequisite: SO101.

SO307 Sociology of Education. 3 hours. A survey of sociological theory as it applies to education. Education in America has been said to be rife with conflict and contradiction. The course examines the reasons, both stated and silent, for education in America, as well as the construction of a consensus of knowledge and its interplay in the plurality, which is our society. Includes examination of the various theoretical approaches to studying education from the sociological point of view. An ongoing thread of inquiry relates to the issues of gender, race/ethnicity, and class, and how these issues affect and are affected by the American educational system.

SO312 Gender and Sexuality. 3 hours. This course ex­amines how our conceptions of gender and sexuality influ­ence our daily lives. The course will focus on how gender and sexuality are socially constructed; on media images of gender, gender inequality, heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality; on political and social issues associated with gender and sexuality, and on the various ways in which sexuality is practiced. Prerequisite: SO101 or SO102.

SO314 Social Deviance. 3 hours. Sociological approaches to deviance are reviewed and various forms of social deviance are examined as is the process involved in changing the status of a behavior from deviant to not and vice-versa. Cross-listed with CJ314. Prerequisite: SO101.

SO315 Criminology. 3 hours. The nature, extent, causes, control and prevention of crime. Cross-listed with CJ315.

SO320 Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution. 3 hours. A multi-disciplinary approach to the nature and causes of aggression, violence, and war; to public policy on issues of defense and social services; to biblical and theological teachings and principles concerning war, peace, and justice; and to methods and strategies of resolving conflicts at all levels. Cross-listed with RL320. Prerequisite: RL122.

SO321 Family Relationships and Values. 3 hours. A study of interpersonal relations in courtship and marriage across cultures, with an emphasis on the currently changing values in the United States. There will be a focus on cultural, social, cognitive, and emotional bases of intimacy, commitment, and family roles. Cross-listed with PY321.

SO324 Social Psychology. 3 hours. The basic principles that underlie social behavior, with emphasis upon the social aspects of personality and the psychological bases of interaction between individuals and groups. Cross-listed with PY324. Prerequisite: SO101 or PY101.

SO331 Research Design and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences. 3 hours. An introduction to research design, social measurement, analytic strategies, and applied statistical techniques relevant to the interpretation of social phenomena.

SO334 Applied Quantitative Data Analysis in the Social Sciences. 3 hours. A study of the application of quantitative analytic techniques to data in the social sciences. Prerequisite: MA105; or instructor's permission.

SO340 Teaching with Historic Places. 3 hours. A multi-dimensional study of historic places for use in the social studies classroom to understand history, historical change, and cultural continuity. Cross-listed with HI340. Prerequisite: HI117 or HI118.

SO350 Social Theory. 3 hours. Analysis and application of sociological theory from past to present. Specific attention is given to the contemporary relevance and potential of perspectives and concepts. Prerequisites: SO101 and Junior status.

SO351 Introduction to Counseling Theory and Practice. 3 hours. A study of basic theories and methods of counseling and psychotherapy, including: behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic approaches to counseling, client analysis, and interviewing techniques. Emphasizes goals, responsibilities, and ethical problems in the counseling relationship. Cross-listed with PY351. Prerequisite: PY101.

SO360 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

SO368 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours.

SO390 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Advanced course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

SO395 Sociology Senior Seminar.  1 hour.  This capstone course focuses on the transition from college into a professional career.  Students explore career options in areas such as work in non-profit organizations, social services, social work, for-profit organizations, government, and graduate school.  Students will also create a resume, learn interviewing strategies, and complete an assessment portfolio.  This course should be taken in the fall semester of a student's senior year.

SO480 Senior Thesis. 3 hours. Open to Juniors and Seniors majoring in Sociology. This course is a senior thesis seminar. To receive credit in this course, all students must complete a directed research paper and successfully defend it before the faculty of the Division of Social Sciences.