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 department of Sociology

Sociology is the scientific study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.  Sociologists investigates the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.  Since human behavior is shaped by social factors, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports.  In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.

Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life, such as street crime and delinquency, corporate downsizing, how people express emotions, welfare or education reform, how families differ and flourish, or problems of peace and war.  Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasing tapped by those who construct policies and create social programs.  Students with an interest in understanding how society influences people's behavior would find sociology stimulating and rewarding.  In addition to preparing students for graduate school, the sociology curriculum is of value to any student who desires to work with people.  It forms an excellent background for those who desire careers in the areas of social services (e.g., youth services), family counseling, law, ministry, government services, teaching, policymaking, population research, personnel management, industrial policies, marketing, criminal justice, etc.

The Sociology curriculum is designed with five student oriented goals:  

  1. Students will be able to identify the structure of a sociological argument.

  2. Students will be able to master the key concepts and theories in sociology.

  3. Students will have developed critical thinking and will be able to evaluate theoretical concepts/perspectives.

  4. Students will have learned to assess the role of social context in determining the social location of an individual.

  5. Students will be able to design and implement an independent research project.

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology 
120 hours required for graduation  

  • General Education - 35-40 Hours, Major  - 18 hours
  • Core Courses
    • ​​SOC 101, 208, 310, 311, 320, 420
  • ​Major Electives – 21 hours Choose any 7 sociology courses from the catalog. The student must choose 4 (i.e., 12 hours) courses from 300 level or above.
  • Cognates - 19 Hours
    • PSYC 200, POSC 101, ECON 101, HIST 207 or 208, ENGL 112 or ENGL 201 or ENGL 204, Modern Foreign Language (3 hours) 
  • ​Math Requirement
    • ​Math 120 or Math 111   
  • ​(Six credit hours of Internship may be used for elective hours.) 
  • Free Electives - no more than the amount of hours required to reach 120 hours required for graduation.

​Minor in Sociology - 15 Hours SOC 101, 310, 311 and two SOC electives. 

The Philosophy faculty provides courses for various degree programs. Offerings include a minor and special interest courses. Philosophy courses are administered by the Department of Sociology and Philosophy.  

Minor in Philosophy - 15 Hours Students enrolled in other degree programs at West Virginia State University can enhance their degree by adding a Minor in Philosophy. Requirements for a Philosophy Minor are 15 credit hours in Philosophy including:  

  • PHIL 201 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 202 Ethics
  • PHIL 310 Logic
  • Two elective courses in Philosophy from the following:  
    • ​​PHIL 203 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy of the West
    • PHIL 204 Modern Philosophy
    • PHIL 205 Existentialism
    • PHIL 220 Philosophy of Science
    • PHIL 303 Contemporary Philosophy
    • PHIL 316 Independent Study in Philosophy.
    • The following courses offered in the Political Science Department are also approved as Elective courses:
      • ​​POSC 401 Classical Political Thinkers  
      • POSC 402 Modern Political Thinkers
Students should consult the coordinator of the Department of Sociology and Philosophy for information.

Faculty & Staff

Students in sociology class
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