Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Curriculum Overview

Sociology is both a specialized academic discipline and an important part of a liberal education. As a social and cultural science, sociology studies human interaction within and between groups, the forces of interest and meaning that help to shape and reshape that interaction and its consequences for the lives of individuals and social groups. As one of the liberal arts, sociology enriches the study of history, philosophy, science and the arts and assists students in examining their personal lives, professional activities and public issues in a more thoughtful and critical way. In both capacities, and as our graduates attest, the study of sociology can be excellent preparation for a wide range of careers including law, education, business, government service, medicine and social work.

A major in Sociology consists of a total of twelve courses, eight of which are Sociology classes, and four of which are in related social sciences. The eight Sociology courses must include SOC 100, 301, 302 and a 400-level seminar or Independent Study, along with any other four Sociology courses (though see below for recommended classes). Of the additional four courses in related social sciences, two must be in a single department, and one of these must be above the 100 level. Related social sciences include the following: 1) All courses in Anthropology (ANT), Economics (ECO), Government (GOV) and History (HIS); 2) All courses in other departments cross-listed with Anthropology, Economics, Government and History; 3) Courses in Africana Studies (AFS), American Studies (AMS), Judaic Studies (JST), Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) and Science, Technology and Society (STS) that are cross-listed with Anthropology, Economics, Government or History or that have a social science (S) designation; 4) LIN 120 (Sociolinguistics); 5) Selected courses in Business, Organization, and Society (BOS) and Psychology (PSY). Students should consult their adviser in Sociology with questions about the related social science courses.

For students completing a Sociology/Government double major or a Government major and a Sociology minor, GOV 250 may be substituted for SOC 302. Students electing this option are advised that the other requirements remain the same: eight courses in Sociology for a Sociology major; and six courses in Sociology for a Sociology minor. Thus, students who substitute GOV 250 will need to take an additional Sociology department course to bring their total number of Sociology courses up to eight (for the major) or six (for the minor).

SOC 100 is a prerequisite to all other courses in the department. Prerequisites may be waived only by the instructor.

The writing requirement in the Sociology major is met by completion of the normal courses required to complete the major.

Although SOC 210 and SOC 220 are not required courses, students contemplating a major in Sociology are encouraged to take these courses early in the major sequence as these subjects are important for upper-level courses. Additionally, we suggest that majors and minors complete SOC 301 (Theory) and SOC 302 (Methods) prior to the start of their senior year where possible, as these classes provide background and skills that are helpful for independent studies and 400-level seminars.

A minor in Sociology consists of a total of six courses, including SOC 100, 301 and 302, and three other courses selected in consultation with the student’s departmental adviser.

Majors in the Department of Sociology have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: School for International Training in Salvador, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Cape Town, South Africa; and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Institute for the International Education of Students in Barcelona, Spain and Buenos Aires; Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark; Institute for Study Abroad in Australia and Scotland; Syracuse University Abroad in Florence and Madrid. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.