The undergraduate major in Sociology at UNC-CH provides students with theoretical and methodological tools and substantive insights for understanding human social life and institutions. The Department’s faculty is particularly strong in the areas of social inequality, marriage and family, the life course and aging, work and the economy, religion, formal organizations, sex and gender, social movements, population and human ecology, poverty and welfare, medical sociology, social networks, education, and political sociology. The emphases in courses range widely from the theoretical to the applied and incorporate a broad array of methodological approaches including historical, qualitative, and comparative, although the program’s primary specialization is in quantitative analysis.
A Flexible Major
The Department’s major 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 history, African-American studies, anthropology, political science, religious studies, and business. In addition, the Sociology Department is the primary home to UNC’s minor in Social and Economic Justice. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in sociology after college may, with instructor permission, also enroll in graduate level courses at UNC. The UNC Sociology 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 (9 courses for the B.A.) allow students substantial flexibility in meeting their individual intellectual interests and goals.
Research, Service, & Careers
The undergraduate Sociology program is also structured to provide students with opportunities to put sociological ideas into practice through research by means of independent studies, honors theses, and community internships. The department also urges interested students to put their training to practical use in the service of 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 including those in law, business and industry, public relations, public policy, social work, community and social justice organizing, religious ministry, international affairs and development, politics and government, social and market research, criminal justice, advertising, medicine and public health, and education.
Major and University Advising
Students should feel free to talk with advisors at any time during the semester, not just during registration periods; and to talk about anything on their minds, from course selection to career aspirations. The key is: you must take the initiative! This is a big university, in which it is easy to get lost in a variety of ways. Help is available, but usually you have to seek it out. Finally, to be absolutely sure that you have sufficient credits and course distributions to graduate, obtain The Final Word from your Arts and Sciences advisor in Steele Building. It is these advisors who give the final stamp of approval and determine whether or not you will graduate, so it is crucial that you see your Arts and Sciences advisor at least once a year. For more information, see The Advising Webpage.
The Sociology Club is a student-run, student-driven organization that may provide relevant organizations, discussions, guidance, and or service opportunities in Sociology. To join the Sociology Club go to: Sociology Club