Social Science BA: Sociology Track

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Arts

About this program

Why Sociology?

The Sociology Track is an ideal course of study for students interested in:

  • How society shapes our daily lives, sometimes in invisible and coercive ways. • How differences of abilities, culture, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation contribute significantly to the shaping of societies.
  • How to develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and change those obscure social processes that shape our lives.

The Sociology Track includes both the academic study of society and promoting social justice and cultural respect.

What will I do in the Major?

Sociology is a track within the Social Science Major. Courses in the Sociology Track fall into four areas of study:

  • Sociology is the study of what people do, think, and feel within formal and informal groups, organizations, institutions, and communities.
  • Sociological topics like social movements, the body, deviance, power, food, and homelessness.
  • Social institutions like the family, religion, education, government, and business.
  • Social dimensions of the inequalities of gender, race, class, religion, culture, and sexual orientation.

Students in the Sociology Track learn fundamental skills in sociological analysis and research, including hands-on experience in an internship, and conducting their own research projects in a senior capstone.

What can I do with the degree?

The Sociology Track offers graduates valuable training for professional or graduate work in several fields:

  • Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Local, State and Federal Governments
  • Advocacy
  • Private Sector
  • Graduate School in sociology and related fields More information on careers in sociology is on the American Sociological Association website.

Student outcomes

The learning outcomes for this major provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter the 21st-century workplace to:

  • know and understand the essential concepts of social science;
  • comprehend the historical foundations, theoretical paradigms, and research methods of social science;
  • develop higher order thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting social science literature;
  • write analytically in a style that is informed, well-reasoned, and literate;
  • recognize and understand differences of gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, and social class;
  • understand and utilize a global perspective
  • develop civic skills by participating in community-based learning and internships
  • become advocates and leaders in their communities, our nation, and the globe.

    Enrolling in this program

    Current students: Declare your program

    Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you declare your major or declare a minor.

    Future students: Apply now

    Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Social Science BA: Sociology Track now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

    Get started on your Social Science BA: Sociology Track

    Course requirements

    Requirements (120 credits)

    Core Courses (40 credits)

    At least half of the credits required for the major must be completed at Metropolitan State University. Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all major courses. Student should select lower division electives and upper division electives in consultation with an advisor. Transfer courses may be applicable to major requirements. The university's degree audit will specify transfer courses that are directly equivalent to major requirements. Other transfer courses must be approved by a faculty advisor in the department. Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501 and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452 must be taken in four separate semesters in the order listed above. SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 may be taken concurrently with departmental approval. All social science majors must complete these courses.

    SSCI 365 Leadership in Organizations and Public Life

    3-4 credits

    Students gain experience in applied social science while working as an intern in a non-profit or community-based organization, the public sector, or a social action group. Prior to registering, students meet with the instructor to select their specific internship project. Students supplement their specific field experience with participation in the group internship seminar which meets five times during the semester. Through this combination of extensive community-based experience and guided reading, writing and analysis, students develop their ability to integrate social science theory with community-based experience.

    Full course description for Leadership in Organizations and Public Life

    SSCI 300 Seeing Like a Social Scientist

    4 credits

    Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

    Full course description for Seeing Like a Social Scientist

    SSCI 311 Research Methods in Social Science

    4 credits

    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

    Full course description for Research Methods in Social Science

    SSCI 501 Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science

    4 credits

    The social sciences have been shaping views of the human condition for more than 150 years. This seminar explores those ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful observers of social life. Students become acquainted with writing by major thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Ruth Benedict, Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt. The course addresses the social and historical roots of the great ideas as well as the moral aspirations and creative impulses of these social scientists.

    Full course description for Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science

    Choose one

    SSCI 451 Empirical Research Capstone

    4 credits

    Social scientists investigate the patterns of human interactions and then seek to interpret, explain and communicate human behavior. This seminar is designed to provide a final, integrating experience for students with a social science major. Seminar participants complete a senior project that demonstrates an ability to design a study, collect new or existing data, analyze those findings and communicate the results.

    Full course description for Empirical Research Capstone

    SSCI 452 Conceptual Research Capstone

    4 credits

    The social sciences have been shaping our understanding of the human condition for 175 years. Students will be comparing and evaluating ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful public intellectuals. The capstone project involves researching an idea that remains disputable. The goal of a student's thesis is an independent interpretation of a specific concept.

    Full course description for Conceptual Research Capstone

    Lower division electives (up to 9 credits)

    SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

    3 credits

    This course is an introduction to the sociological perspective. Students examine the social processes that shape societies and the course of their histories. The social nature of biographies is explored through the study of the family and socialization, education and work, bureaucracy and the economy, gender, social class, and race and ethnicity.

    Full course description for Introduction to Sociology

    Survey (4 credits, select one course)

    SOC 301 Contemporary Sociology

    4 credits

    This course introduces and explores the sociological perspective. The central theme of the course is what C. Wright Mills called the sociological imagination which enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. Students explore how they are embedded in ever widening social circles that range from local to global. The focus is on how social forces such as culture, race and ethnicity, nationality, religion, social class, and gender contribute to the shaping of societies and the course of their histories. Students use conceptual tools drawn from sociology to analyze a range of contemporary social issues.

    Full course description for Contemporary Sociology

    SOC 302 Interpersonal and Social Power: A View from Below

    4 credits

    Power has traditionally been defined from the perspective of those who issue orders. This course examines power from the vantage point of those expected to follow orders. A model of empowerment is developed and applied to the interpersonal and social dynamics of domination and subordination with emphasis on gender, class, race and ethnicity. Novels, movies, autobiographies, simulation games and case studies are used to explore the power dimension in everyday life.

    Full course description for Interpersonal and Social Power: A View from Below

    SOC 321 Food, Culture, and Society

    4 credits

    This course introduces and explores the sociological perspective through the study of food. While eating is a biological necessity and often a social activity, the meanings of food are embedded in larger socio-cultural contexts. Food is connected to individual and cultural identities, structures of power and inequality, and activism and social justice. Students will examine the social forces and social relations surrounding food, and the links between food and bodies. Lecture, discussion, multimedia materials, and a variety of readings are used to study the complex connections between food, culture, and society.

    Full course description for Food, Culture, and Society

    Upper division electives (to reach 40 credits)

    Select 300-level courses in sociology. Students may also take:

    SSCI 401 Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives

    4 credits

    This course provides students with the opportunity to understand, integrate, and apply the core themes and contending perspectives that underline the social studies disciplines. Through guided readings, research and discussion, seminar participants further develop the capacity to analyze selected issues through multiple lenses. Students apply these multiple perspectives to teaching middle and secondary social studies.

    Full course description for Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives