Sociology, B.S. (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: SOCBS_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 21-23
Requirements for the Major 61-63

6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 6 credits of General Education GQ courses.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
SOC 1Introductory Sociology Keystone/General Education Course3
SOC 207Research Methods in Sociology3
SOC 400WSenior Research Seminar3
SOC 405Sociological Theory3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
STAT 480Introduction to SAS1
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 2-4 credits of GQ courses excluding STAT 3012-4
CAS 283Communication and Information Technology I Keystone/General Education Course3
or MATH 441 Matrix Algebra
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 18 credits in sociology, 15 credits of which must be in an area of specialization chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser (9 credits must be at the 400 level) 18
Select 18 credits in social sciences, 9 credits in each of two fields of the social sciences other than sociology (at least 9 credits must be at the 400 level)18
Select 3 credits in statistics at the 300 level or above3

Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program B.S. in Sociology and Masters of Public Policy

Requirements for the Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program B.S. in Sociology and Masters of Public Policy can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

Upon completion of their degree, students majoring in sociology will be able to:

Content Knowledge:

  1. Describe the focus of sociology as a discipline.
  2. State what is distinctive about the sociological perspective.
  3. Apply the sociological perspective to a problem or scenario.

Understanding of Theory:

  1. Identify theories and concepts from classical sociological theories.
  2. Apply theories and concepts from classical sociological theories.
  3. Identify theories and concepts from contemporary sociological theories.
  4. Apply theories and concepts from contemporary sociological theories.

Research Skills:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret quantitative sociological data using statistics, graphs, and data tables.
  2. Do research that develops and tests hypotheses using data, including use of appropriate previous research, theory, data collection, statistical analysis techniques, interpretation of research results and development of conclusions.
  3. Present research results in correct tabular and written form.

Communication Skills:

  1. Write a paper following the format of published sociological research, including each of the major sections of a research paper. 
  2. Communicate the results of sociological research in oral form.

Knowledgeable Consumers of Research:

  1. Comprehend and effectively extract central points from sociological research as this research is presented in professional articles, including substantive content, theory, methods and conclusions.

Career-Related Skills:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the career options available to someone with a background in sociology.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Sociology, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Course (GWS)*3General Education Course (GWS)3
SOC 1*3SOC (Lower Level Course)*3
General Education Course or First-Year Seminar3STAT 200 (GQ)4
General Education Course (GQ)3General Education Course3
Elective3General Education Course3
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 207*3Social Science Field II*3
SOC (Lower Level Course)*3SOC (Lower Level Course)*3
General Education Course3CAS 283 or MATH 441*3
Social Sciences Field I*3General Education Course3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC (400-Level Course)*3General Education Course (GWS)*3
Social Science Field I*3SOC (400-Level Course)*3
STAT 480*1Social Science Field II*3
General Education Course3STAT (300 or 400 Level Course)*3
General Education Course3General Education Health and Wellness Course (GHW)1.5
Elective3Elective3
 16 16.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 400W*3SOC 405*3
SOC (400-Level Course)*3Social Science Field II*3
Social Science Field I*3General Education Course3
General Health and Wellness Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3 
 16.5 15
Total Credits 125

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Note:

All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.

Sociology, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H3SOC XXX*3
SOC 1*3STAT 2004
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Elective3Elective3
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 1003SOC XXX*3
SOC XXX*3Social Sciences Field II*3
Social Sciences Field I*3MATH 111 or 141†‡*2-4
MATH 110 or 140‡†*4General Education3
General Education Course3Elective3
 16 14-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 207*3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
CAS 283 or MATH 441*3SOC 4xx Level Course*3
SOC 4xx level course*3Social Science Field II*3
Social Science Field I*3STAT 3xx or 4xx Level Course3
STAT 480*1General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
General Education3Elective3
 16 16.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 400W*3SOC 405*3
SOC 4xx level course*3Social Science Field II*3
Social Science Field I*3General Education Course3
General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
Elective3Elective2-3
Elective0-2 
 13.5-15.5 14-15
Total Credits 121-126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Sociology offers you a background in research, data analysis, statistics, and sociological concepts. You can explore positions in social work, corrections, business, health services and government services. Additionally, you’ll be well prepared to further your education in graduate school.

Careers

The Sociology degree prepares you for graduate school in sociology or a variety of careers in social science-oriented jobs.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE SOCIOLOGY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Ranked among the top sociology programs in the nation, the Penn State Graduate Program in Sociology offers students the flexibility to study a wide range of topics, reflecting both the size and intellectual breadth of the faculty. Our department provides strong training in the areas of Demography, Families, Relationships and Interpersonal Networks, Quantitative Research Methods, Social Inequality, Urban and Community Studies, Health, Immigration and Incorporation.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND CRIMINOLOGY
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-2527
sociology@psu.edu

http://sociology.la.psu.edu/