BA in Sociology

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-BA-SOCI

Sociology involves the systematic study of social structures, cultural patterns, and human relationships. It combines rigorous methods with theory and observation, yielding insights that challenge commonly held assumptions about the social world. Sociology also informs the practice of social and public service, aiding efforts to address important social problems. Sociology majors pursue a varied set of career paths, ranging from teaching, human service and human resource occupations, to positions in the criminal justice system, marketing, and social research. The major is excellent preparation for students considering law school or graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students majoring in sociology may apply to graduate with honors in the major. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 75 credits, taken ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core) for the social sciences, completed 21 credits of sociology, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 and a minimum grade of B+ in sociology courses. Applicants must have completed SOCI 303 Methods and Logic of Inquiry (Mason Core) and SOCI 311 Sociological Theory with a minimum grade of B in each.

If accepted, to graduate with honors in sociology, students must complete SOCI 480 Honors Seminar in Sociology I and SOCI 481 RS: Honors Seminar in Sociology II with a minimum grade of B+ in each of these courses and have an overall GPA of 3.50 in sociology courses presented for graduation. SOCI 481 RS: Honors Seminar in Sociology II includes completion of an honors thesis, which will be presented at a sociology colloquium.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses in the Major

The introductory course must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.00.

SOCI 101 Introductory Sociology (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 3

Additional Core Courses

Each of these courses must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.00.

SOCI 303 Methods and Logic of Inquiry (Mason Core) 3
SOCI 311 Sociological Theory 3
SOCI 213 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 10

Capstone Experience Course

Select one from the following: 3
RS: Sociological Analysis and Practice (Mason Core)
Internship in Sociology I (Mason Core)
RS: Honors Seminar in Sociology II
Total Credits 3

Electives in the Major

Select 18 credits in SOCI at the 100 to 400 level 1 18
Globalization and Society (Mason Core)
Introduction to Race and Ethnicity
Gender and Society
Total Credits 18
1

SOCI 101 does not count toward this requirement. A maximum of 6 credits of SOCI 120, SOCI 208, and SOCI 215 can be counted toward the major.

Students are strongly encouraged to focus four of their elective courses (12 credits) in one of the concentrations which follow, chosen to suit their interests and career objectives. Students who choose a concentration will complete two remaining electives.

Optional Concentrations in the Major

Students can focus 12 of their 18 elective credits to complete one of the following 12-credit concentrations.

Concentration in Childhood and Youth (CYC)
Concentration in Deviance, Crime, and Social Control (DCSC)
Concentration in Global Sociology (GSOC)
Concentration in Inequality and Social Change (INSC)

Students who graduate with honors in sociology may apply 3 credits of honors coursework to their selected concentration where appropriate and with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

Concentration in Childhood and Youth (CYC)

This concentration focuses on the changing social realities, experiences, and identities of children and youth as they are formed in different social and historical contexts. It emphasizes children in peer groups, youth subcultural activities, youth and children and the media, schools, families, social movements, social policy, and the welfare state. This concentration is appropriate for students interested in working directly with children and youth or in organizations serving  them in a broad range of fields, such as educational counseling, teaching, policy, advocacy or clinical work, family and community services, social work, early child development, and juvenile justice.

SOCI 360 Youth Culture and Society (Mason Core) 3
Select three from the following: 9
Sociology of Delinquency
Social Movements and Political Protest
Contemporary Families and Intimate Relationships
Sociology of Culture
Contemporary Gender Relations (Mason Core)
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)
Education in Contemporary Society
Special Topics in Sociology
The Sociology of Higher Education (Mason Core)
Total Credits 12

Concentration in Deviance, Crime, and Social Control (DCSC)

This concentration focuses on the social, legal, and political systems that underpin social control in Western societies and beyond. The emphasis is on how norms, values, and common sense regulate human action and the social forces that produce deviant behavior and societal responses to it. This concentration is appropriate for students interested in the criminal justice system and the law.

Select four from the following: 12
Criminology
Sociology of Delinquency
Social Movements and Political Protest
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)
Sociology of Deviance
Conflict, Violence, and Peace
The Urban World (Mason Core)
Power, Politics, and Society
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)
Social Inequality (Mason Core)
Violence and Religion
Special Topics in Sociology 1
Total Credits 12
1

Depending on topic.

Concentration in Global Sociology (GSOC)

This concentration focuses on global interconnectedness and its effect on the nature of societies around the world. It emphasizes new technologies and social processes, migration, transnational communities, global cities, and social movements working across state borders. This concentration is appropriate for students interested in pursuing internationally oriented careers in social change, political reform, and international development.

SOCI 320 Globalization and Social Change (Mason Core) 3
Select three from the following: 9
The Future of Work
Social Movements and Political Protest
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)
Conflict, Violence, and Peace
US Immigrants and Immigration (Mason Core)
The Urban World (Mason Core)
Power, Politics, and Society
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)
Violence and Religion
Special Topics in Sociology 1
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)
Total Credits 12
1

Depending on topic.

Concentration in Inequality and Social Change (INSC)

The focus is on inequalities, such as those of race, class, and sex, and on the manner in which such inequalities become structurally rooted in a society. The emphasis is on understanding the rise of the struggle for human rights, democracy, and various social movements that have sought to reverse these inequalities through protests, demonstrations, counterorganizations, and the ballot. This concentration is appropriate  for students who seek careers in social justice organizations, social services, or teaching, and those who wish to participate in social and political movements.

SOCI 355 Social Inequality (Mason Core) 3
Select three from the following: 9
The Future of Work
Social Movements and Political Protest
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)
Sociology of Deviance
Contemporary Gender Relations (Mason Core)
Globalization and Social Change (Mason Core)
US Immigrants and Immigration (Mason Core)
The Urban World (Mason Core)
Power, Politics, and Society
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)
Youth Culture and Society (Mason Core)
Education in Contemporary Society
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability
Special Topics in Sociology 1
Total Credits 12
1

Depending on topic.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in sociology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing SOCI 303 Methods and Logic of Inquiry (Mason Core), SOCI 412 Contemporary Sociological Theory (Mason Core), or SOCI 485 RS: Sociological Analysis and Practice (Mason Core).

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
PHIL 1
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253RELI 235RELI 333, and RELI 339 cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography (Mason Core)
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 305
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of Eastern Europe and Russia
Urban Planning
Geography of Virginia
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 and HIST 125 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 317 East Asian Cultures 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 365 Black and Minority Cultures in Arabic Literature (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 317 The Black Pharaohs: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Nubia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 Global Dance Perspectives I (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 317 Geography of China (Mason Core) 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 332 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Politics of East Asia 3
GOVT 338 Politics of Eurasia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 377 The Vietnam War (Mason Core) 3
HIST 384 Global History of Christianity (Mason Core) 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 380 Japan in Motion 3
KORE 300 Korean Culture and Society 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
KORE 385 Introduction to Korean Linguistics 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Introduction to Religions of the "West" (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Introduction to Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 312 Islam (Mason Core) 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 317 Daoism 3
RELI 318 Korean Philosophy and Religions 3
RELI 338 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 342 Comparative Study of Mysticism 3
RELI 344 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 358 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 367 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 368 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights (Mason Core) 3
RELI 384 Global History of Christianity (Mason Core) 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
WMST 407 Transnational Sexualities 3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Students who have completed the following credentials are eligible for a waiver of the Foundation and Exploration (lower level) requirement categories. The Integration category (upper level) is not waived under this policy. See Admissions for more information. 

  • VCCS Uniform Certificate of General Studies
  • VCCS or Richard Bland Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.&S.), or Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (lower-level) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Contexts 3
Global History 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Just Societies (optional) 1
Integration Requirements
Written Communication (upper-level) 3
Writing Intensive 2 3
Mason Apex 3 3
Total Credits 40
1

In addition to covering content related to the designated category, Exploration level courses marked with a Just Societies "flag" are specifically designed to help students learn how to interact effectively with others from all walks of life, including those with backgrounds and beliefs that differ from their own. Courses marked with the Just Societies flag are available for students starting in Fall 2024. Students admitted prior to the Fall of 2025 are not required to take courses with a Just Societies flag but may wish to do so to increase their knowledge and skills in this important area. Students interested in this approach to completing their Mason Core Exploration Requirements should work closely wiht their advisor to identify the appropriate Just Societies-flagged courses.

2

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.

3

Minimum 3 credits required.