Department of Psychology and Sociology

The Major and Minor in Sociology

Prof. Jon Lewis teaches a classSince Auguste Comte coined the term in the early part of the nineteenth century, sociology has been one of the most popular majors on college and university campuses.  With an emphasis on the study of human societies, sociology covers a wide area including politics, religion, the economy, the legal system, the family, social work, and folklore.

In Benedictine's Sociology program, you will learn how people organize themselves and behave in society. Taking a cross-cultural perspective, you will study such topics as human culture; the interaction between and within groups; the creation, evolution, and transmission of group norms; and the primary factors that hold groups together and/or weaken them. You will also learn about the statistical and research methods used by professional sociologists, as well as gain exposure to the fundamentals of the other social sciences (psychology and economics).

Students who choose to major in sociology complete a six-course "department core" and then select one of two concentrations: sociology or criminal justice. Interested students also have the option to pursue a minor in the field.

Major Requirements

As a sociology major, you will complete at least 39 credit hours of coursework with a grade of "C" or better. You will learn the fundamental concepts of sociological study, statistics, research methods in the social sciences, the origins and development of sociological theory to modern times and how to do a senior thesis in the program's capstone course.

All majors are required to complete the "department core" and then select one of two concentrations within the program: sociology or criminal justice. All courses in the Department must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.

Department Core
  • SOCL 100: Principles of Sociology
  • SOCL 205: Racial and Ethnic Groups
  • SOCL 250: Basic and Applied Statistics
  • SOCL 350: Social Theory
  • SOCL 351: Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • SOCL 395: Senior Thesis

Majors are also required to complete MATH 105, MATH 108, or MATH 110(3) with a grade of “C” or better and fulfill the social science core requirement by taking one course in psychology, one in economics, and one in political science/anthropology.

Sociology Concentration

Student carrying booksThe sociology concentration consists of 7 elective courses.

  • three 200-level courses (9 hours) chosen from the following:
    • SOCL 210: Social Psychology
    • SOCL 213: Health Aspects of Aging
    • SOCL 231: Medical Sociology
    • SOCL 234: Sociology of Sport
    • SOCL 235: Popular Culture
    • SOCL 240: Social Problems
    • SOCL 245: Alcohol Problems and Alcoholism
    • SOCL 260: Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • SOCL 265: Introduction to Social Work
    • SOCL 270: Marriage and Family
    • SOCL 290: Social & Cultural Change
    • SOCL 291: Selected Topics in Sociology
  • three 300-level courses (9 hours) chosen from the following:
    • SOCL 301: Social Welfare Services
    • SOCL 306: Correctional Systems
    • SOCL 310: Social, Psychological, and Cultural Aspects of Aging
    • SOCL 321: Crime and Delinquency
    • SOCL 356: Clinical Practical Lab (required for field placement)
    • SOCL 371: Death and Dying
    • SOCL 394: Group Processes
    • SOCL 397: Sociology Field Placement
  • one additional course at either the 200- or 300-level.


Criminal Justice Concentration

The criminal justice concentration of the sociology major consists of 22 hours of coursework:

  • SOCL/CJUS 260: Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • SOCL/CJUS 306: Correctional System
  • SOCL/CJUS 356: Clinical Practicum Lab
  • SOCL/CJUS 390: Criminal Justice Field Placement

  • three electives (9 hours) chosen from the following:
    • SOCL 240: Social Problems
    • SOCL 245: Alcohol Problems & Alcoholism
    • SOCL 265: Introduction to Social Work
    • SOCL 270: Marriage and the Family
    • SOCL/CJUS 321: Crime & Delinquency
    • SOCL/CJUS 371: Death and Dying
    • CJUS 391: Topics in Criminal Justice


Minor Requirements

A Sociology minor consists of a program of courses totaling at least 21 hours, submitted to and approved by the program director, including at least 12 hours of courses at the 200-level or above, of which at least three hours must be at the 300-level and must be completed with a "C" or better. PSYC 150, PSYC 251, and PSYC 351 may not be included for the minor.


Teaching Certification Requirements

Students desiring to be certified to teach sociology-anthropology at the secondary level (grades 6-12) are required to major in social science.