Sociology at Aquinas College

Sociology Major (BA)

What Can I Do With This Major? 

Careers in Sociology
Career Opportunities for Sociology Majors 

>Four-Year Plan

Major Requirements:

Thirty-nine (39) - forty (40) Semester hours

Required Courses:

  • SY101
  • SY/PG202
  • SY291
  • SY403

Twenty four (24) semester hours of electives with at least one from each of the three (3) department foci:

  • Social Life, Inequalities & Social Change
    • SY103
    • SY/WS207
    • SY208
    • SY211
    • SY213
    • SY261
    • SY/WS305
    • SY311/WS314
    • SY312
    • SY/WS315
    • SY375
  • Social Work, Community Leadership & Human Services
    • SY102
    • SY162
    • SY205
    • SY210
    • SY260
    • SY261
    • SY263
    • SY302
    • SY311/WS314
    • SY/CL396
  • Environment, Health & Society
    • SY162
    • SY201
    • SY/CL209
    • SY260
    • SY264
    • SY285
    • SY312

Eighteen (18) semester hours to be taken at Aquinas College. To be a sociology major, a student must maintain a C or better grade in all major requirements.


  • SY101 Introduction to Sociology (3) PSC

    Introduction to the fundamental components and general principles of sociological through and research. Content will address cultural production, and the relationships and power dynamic among individuals and social institutions. Primer on the social construction of race, gender, and class. Students will also participate in the first stage of the engaged department initiative. This entails three (3) hours of observation, outside of the classroom, of a community-based initiative, organization or cultural event.

  • SY102 Introduction to Social Work (3)

    Historical approach to social welfare, case work, group work, and community organization as related to current efforts and futuristic trends.

  • SY103 Cultural Anthropology (3) PCG, GP

    Analysis of human cultural adaptations in various societies around the world.

  • SY162 Drugs and Society (3)

    Analysis of the manner in which drugs and society influence each other; contemporary “drug scene.”

  • PG201/SY201 Social Psychology (3) SS1/SS2

    Examines the relationship between individuals and their social environment including how individuals are influenced by, yet also shape groups and organizations. These questions are addressed with social psychological theories from both Psychology and Sociology. Prerequisite: SY101 or PG100. 

  • PG202/SY202 Research Methods (4) SS1/SS2

    Introduction to research process: analysis of variance, basic nature of research, analysis of major research designs used in lab, field, and natural environments; how to conduct an experiment and write a research report (lecture and lab). Prerequisite: PG100 or SY101, and MS151 or equivalent.This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.

  • SY205 Trying Social Work (4)

    Introduction to the practice of Social Work. A semester’s mini-placement in a social-service agency is required. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement. Prerequisite: SY102.

  • WS/SY207 Arab Women (3) GP

    This course explores various Arab communities, both historic and contemporary, to focus on the diverse lives of Arab women: tribal nomadic, small village, immigrant and urban. Through reading a variety of genres, including the novel, ethnography, memoir, and poetry, the course examines Arab practices and reflects on the dynamics of gender and power in students' own cultures.

  • SY208 Media and Society (3)

    This course introduces students to how sociologists study the relationship between media and society. Students will become aware of and use sociological concepts, theories, and research methods to examine how media shapes and structures our self-concepts, identities, cultures, and society.

  • CL209/SY209 Sustainable Cities and Environmental Justice (3)

    In this course, students investigate sustainable cities and environmental justice from the perspectives of social science scholars, focusing on the meaning of the global environmental crisis for particular urban areas. Throughout the course, students will identify, describe, and evaluate multiple theories and findings that attempt to explain and uncover how cities strive to be sustainable but fall far short of the demands for environmental justice. This course will enable students to attribute multiple social science theories and findings accurately, to take a position based on these theories and findings, to raise and answer counterpoints to these theories and findings, to pose solutions to environmental-based urban problems, and to use sustainability and environmental justice as frameworks for problem-solving.

  • SY210 Sociology of Marriage and Family (3)

    Marriage and family in context of contemporary Western culture; traditional and alternative family relationships; roles; family and new attitudes on sexual behavior.

  • SY211 Internet, Society and Social Media (3) SS1/SS2

    class examines the historical development of the Internet and is related technologies. The content of this course ranges from differential access (digital divides) and cultural production, to the material impact of the Internet on life chances, with an emphasis on the interplay between on-and offline lift. It unpacks how online interactions and social media, specifically, mediate the experience of everyday social life, paying particular attention to how it affects work, education, relationships, politics, privacy, and social change.

  • SY213 Race and Ethnicity (3) GP

    Underlying social and cultural dynamics of selected multicultural groups. Emphasis on the many dimensions of unequal power.

  • SY260 Social Problems (3) PSC

    Analysis of contemporary social problems and how they are defined by society.

  • SY261 Criminology (3)

    Analysis of crime with reference to behavior of those who engage in, or become victims of criminal behavior. Prerequisite: SY101.

  • SY263 Juvenile Delinquency (3)

    Study of the development, prevention, control, and treatment of juvenile delinquency. Prerequisite: SY101.

  • SY285 Sociology of Food (3)

    A multi-disciplinary approach to the relationships between food and society. Examining food historically, food production, health food, food distribution, nutrition, subcultures, social eating disorders, food and poverty, fast food, and world hunger.

  • SY291 History of Sociological Thought (3)

    critical survey of social theorists who shaped early sociology and remain relevant today. Also covers theorists who extended and challenged the sociological perspective, paying attention to critical race, queer and feminist theories that are fundamental to contemporary sociological thought. Emphasizes the development and application of theory in relationship to contemporary issues. Students will also participate in the second stage of the engaged department initiative. This entails ten (10) hours of participation, outside of the classroom, in a community-based initiative, organization, or cultural event. Prerequisite: SY101.

  • SY302 Community Sociology (3)

    Examination of communities of place and interest through a sociological perspective. Topics include history of community, theories of community sociology, community power and leadership, rural and urban communities, and factors influencing community growth and decline. Prerequisite: SY101, GY120 or CL100.

  • SY305/WS305 Masculinities, Femininities, Sexualities and Society (3)

    This course is designed to examine the ways in which gender, as a social construction, influences various aspects of social life. Particular attention will be given to the role of ideology in shaping conceptions of gender, how those conceptions are constructed through socialization practices, and how they are maintained through social institutions.

  • SY311/WS314 Women, Girls and Leadership (3)

    Examination of how the status of the women is defined and how social constructions influence various aspects of social life. Utilizes a sociological approach and theories that have contributed to establishing current ideas about women and girls, leadership, socialization practices and how they are maintained through social institutions.

  • SY312 Social Stratification (4)

    This course explores the nature of systems of inequality, as they appear in human societies, focusing on the political, economic, and social forces that help produce inequality and social stratification. Various sociological concepts and theories of inequality will be examined to help describe and explain social inequality in the United States and elsewhere. A lab component is also part of this course. Prerequisite: SY101.This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.

  • SY315/WS315 Women and Development (3)

    Examination of women’s involvement in development and social change activities across diverse societies. Use of sociology and women’s studies theories and analyses to understand development roles played by women in public and private spheres.

  • SY375 Complex Organizations (3)

    Theory and research on structures and processes of large scale, formal organizations. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement. Prerequisite: SY101.

  • SY396/CL396 Sociological Practicum in Community Leadership (4)

    In this field placement course, students spend at least 150 hours, or 10-15 hours per week, in service-work/learning-work situations relevant to careers in public, social service, or non-profit organizations, in addition to regular meetings with the instructor. This practicum provides the practical experience for deepening community engagement and raising important questions about society and social justice. Prerequisites: CL100 or SY101 This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.

  • SY403 Capstone Seminar (4) SC

    Students will reflect on the meaning and application of the sociological imagination, through active reading and discussion. Students will produce a milestone statement and portfolio of academic achievement in the major. This portfolio will include the production of a final research or community based project, presented at a local or regional professional association, which will satisfy the final stage of the engaged department initiative. Accompanying these tasks will be professional development training, and guidance on employment and continued education options for graduating seniors. Prerequisites: Senor status and twenty (20) semester hours of sociology courses. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.