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 brief individual interactions to persistent social structures and institutions, and major processes of social change.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
A degree in Sociology provides excellent training for a variety of careers in business, government, social services, and the private non-profit sector. The B.A. in Sociology provides strong preparation for graduate study in Sociology and other social sciences, and for professional schools including law, education, social work, and counseling. Sociologist majors build careers as case workers, journalists, policy experts, organizers and advocates, elected officials, and many other specific occupations.
What skills are developed within this major?
Sociology provides a unique perspective on our lives and our communities. Sociology classes are lively and engaging and provide an opportunity to learn about and discuss critical social issues. Sociology majors develop strong skills and habits of critical and analytical thinking and written and oral communication. Critical and analytical sociological thinking includes analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, taking into account the history, structure and context of events in order to better understand their origins, understanding different perspectives, creating and explaining a reasoned argument, and setting goals and priorities. Sociology majors learn to write clear and concise long and short essays and to speak effectively in group settings. Sociology majors develop strong cultural competence - the capacity to develop a critical self-awareness and to understand the situations and perspectives of people from different backgrounds and cultures, and therefore to work well as a team member and leader in diverse settings.
Admission to Major
No requirement other than good academic standing in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Hours Required for Degree
Minimum credit hours required for degree: 120
Minimum credit hours required for major: 33
Students who also major in Criminology may use SOC 353 and SOC 354 towards both majors. They will have to take both SOC 401 and CRM 401 as Capstones. Electives may count toward one major, not both.
Core Courses (18 credit hours)
Electives (15 credit hours)
Students must complete five elective courses, at least four of which must be at the 300- to 400-level (see list of Sociology electives below).
Although a student is free to complete the major requirements with any combination of Sociology electives, the Department believes that the major program is greatly strengthened and better organized when there is judicious selection of electives. The Department makes available to every student who declares a major in Sociology an Undergraduate Advisor. The student is expected to plan a total academic program with the assistance of the departmental advisor.
Internships in Sociology
Students may qualify for an internship in Sociology (SOC 490 ) by achieving an overall GPA of 3.0 in the major or minor, completion of the required courses, and junior or senior standing. Students who qualify must arrange an internship with the departmental coordinator (call 216-687-4500). Internships may be for up to 6 credit hours. However, only 3 of these hours may be applied toward the requirements for the major.
Honors Program/Scholars Requirements
- Students must complete a two semester research course in their senior year, at the end of which they are required to produce a research paper and present it to the faculty (and they are encouraged to present it at a professional meeting as well).
- Students must complete an additional elective course, at the graduate level.
All of this is an additional 9 hours beyond the normal requirements in the major.
Accelerated 3+3 Degree
The CSU/Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 3+3 program permits a student who has completed three years of undergraduate study to be admitted to the College of Law to begin J.D. studies. The undergraduate degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the first full year of the J.D. curriculum, thus permitting the student to graduate with both an undergraduate and law degrees in six rather than seven years of full-time study (or its equivalent). In effect, the first year of law school completes the fourth year of the undergraduate degree (essentially serving as undergraduate elective courses) and serves as the first year of law school. This arrangement saves both time and money for the student.