The Department of Sociology is the primary home for two majors—sociology and management and society—and a minor in social and economic justice. The major in sociology is a liberal arts major, designed to offer its students a broad education in critical thinking, analytical problem solving, reasoned judgment, and effective communication. Only a few majors go on to become professional sociologists with Ph.D.s in the field. What matters as much about a sociology major as what you can do with it, is what it can do to students: It can help you to become a well-rounded person, equipped with the versatile skills and abilities of a liberal arts education, well prepared to negotiate the complexities of contemporary societies in order to pursue a thoughtful, purposeful life and a variety of vocational callings and careers.
The department’s major in sociology is designed to train students in sociological fundamentals, yet it is receptive to diverse perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches. Departmental majors commonly combine their interests in sociology with courses in other disciplines and programs, such as psychology, history, African American studies, anthropology, political science, religious studies, and business. The department encourages its students to study issues from a variety of perspectives, and its curriculum is flexible enough to permit students to tailor their program to fit individual needs and interests. The major requirements allow students substantial flexibility in meeting their individual intellectual interests and goals.
The undergraduate sociology program is structured to provide students with opportunities to put sociological ideas into practice through research by means of independent studies, theses, and internships. The department also urges students to put their training to practical use by serving others. Most broadly, the sociology major offers strong preparation in analytical skills and broad knowledge of human relations and social systems, providing many useful tools for the development of a variety of careers.
Management and society is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on the institutional context and inner workings of organizations. It prepares students for a variety of positions in private or public sector organizations. Additionally, many students find the curriculum to be excellent preparation for a wide variety of business oriented graduate and professional degree programs.
The term “management and society” in its broadest sense encompasses not only direct dealings between management and organized labor but also matters such as governmental policy, industrial psychology, industrial sociology, personnel administration, and worker education. A broad knowledge and understanding of economics, history, sociology, psychology, and political science are essential. Work in this field also requires knowledge of techniques such as statistics, administrative practices, testing and measurement, and guidance and counseling. Majors acquire an understanding of the conceptual foundations and principles of interpersonal and institutional relations and of the ways these principles can be applied in the work place. General areas of study are employer-employee relations, development of human resources, and the institutional context of work.
Some students have combined management and society with course work concentrations in such academic disciplines as economics, sociology, psychology, public policy, history, and political science.