Undergraduate Program

Butler Library

Sociology is the study of associational life. In this sense, sociology is not the study of people; it is the study of relationships among people. Sociologists explore a wide range of human activity: from politics, technologies, and economies, to cities, culture, media, and religion.

As a bridging discipline that seeks the scientific exploration of questions that matter to human communities such as inequality and social injustice, sociology addresses many of the same areas of life as our neighboring social science disciplines. Yet we often approach  these areas quite differently. For example, problems of economic and political life are a central concern to sociologists. But rather than  explore these as independent or particular features of society, we seek to embed them within the complex whole of the social world.

Students will find sociology to be a broad, demanding department that provides its students with the conceptual and methodological tools to make sense of the opportunities and social problems of the global communities in which we live.

Sociology undergraduate overview

Requirements

Core Courses:
SOCI W1000 The Social World (3 points)
SOCI W3000 Social Theory (4 points)
SOCI W3010 Methods for Social Research (4 points)

Electives:
6 courses in the Department of Sociology, including at least 3 lecture courses (2000 or 3000 level, 3 points each) and at least 2 seminars (4 points each). The 6th course can be either a lecture course or a seminar. For students taking the 2-semester Senior Seminar, the 6th course must be a seminar.

For course planning and requirement tracking, please use the Sociology Major Undergraduate Course Checklist.

For questions about double-counting and courses from other schools applying towards the major, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Teresa Sharpe at [email protected].

Requirements

Core Courses:
SOCI W1000 The Social World (3 points)
SOCI W3000 Social Theory (4 points)
SOCI W3010 Methods for Social Research (4 points)

Electives:
3 courses in the Department of Sociology, including 1 seminar.

To qualify for Departmental Honors, majors must have a minimum GPA of 3.6 overall and 3.8 in courses in the Department of Sociology. In addition, students must produce an honors-quality thesis in the two-semester Senior Seminar (SOCI W3995-SOCI W3996 ).

In order to register for the Senior Seminar, students must be a rising senior, must be a sociology major or concentrator, must have completed  SOCI W3010 Methods for Social Research, must meet the GPA requirements listed above, and must have a research proposal accepted by the faculty member teaching the Senior Seminar. Submissions of research projects are due preceding the seminar.

Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors in the department receive departmental honors each year.

To apply for the Senior Seminar, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Teresa Sharpe, at [email protected].

The Columbia sociology department has a cooperative relationship with Barnard Sociology. Courses taken at Barnard are considered fully equivalent for purposes of the major. So, for instance, W3000 (Theory) and W3010 (Methods) taken at Barnard fulfill Columbia requirements. Similarly, lecture and seminar courses (i.e. BC39##) can fill electives. There is no limit on the number of courses that may be taken at Barnard.