The B.A. degree in sociology involves the study of human social relationships. “Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious traditions; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture” (American Sociological Society).
In addition to course work, all students at Rhode Island College are expected to participate in experiential learning opportunities prior to graduation. The classroom, laboratory, studio or authentic real-world experiences on campus and in the community can serve as experiential learning settings. Through experiential learning, our students bridge the gap between theory and practice.
As a sociology major, you will take a culminating capstone course in your senior year: SOC 460: Senior Seminar, as well as a two-course research methods sequence: SOC 302: Social Research Methods I and SOC 404: Sociology Research Methods II, in which you develop your skills in social research. You will learn to design research projects and data collection instruments, collect data in various ways and analyze your data using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. These experiential opportunities will enable you to develop and practice skills that are in high demand and which are vitally useful should you continue your education at the graduate level.
There are also optional courses you can take that offer experiential learning, including SOC 315: Community (a service learning course), SOC 450: Topics (service learning in Ecuador) and an independent or directed study focused on your own student-designed research. If you choose to take SOC 315 or 450, you will engage in service learning in which you connect your classroom learning to real-world social problems.
Upon completion of this program, students will:
- Understand basic sociological concepts, theories and paradigms in their historical context.
- Understand the relationship between sociological theory, research design and interpretation and engage in work developing their research literacy.
- Understand and engage in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analytical processes.
- Be able to communicate, in written and oral form, sociological arguments.
- Be able to exercise their sociological imaginations toward examining our social world as well as its practical uses and applications.
Writing in the Discipline
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
Writing is an essential activity in the discipline of sociology in terms of demonstrating an understanding of the relationship between sociological theory, research design and sociological interpretation. It is also a means to communicate sociological arguments, whether to other sociologists or to the general public.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?
There are two sociology courses that satisfy the WID requirement:
Sociology 302: Social Research Methods I
Sociology 460: Senior Seminar in Sociology
These two courses were selected as they bookend a student’s research trajectory within the major. Sociology 302, one of two required research methods courses for the major, introduces students to aspects of research design, analyzing data and making sociological conclusions. Sociology 460 is where students apply analytical and writing skills to various projects designed to reflect their maturation as sociology majors over the course of their time at RIC.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
Students will engage in research writing consistent with the sociological research method particular to our academic discipline, which involves research questions, data and methods, analyzing patterns of relationships in data and making sociological conclusions. These genres are consistent with traditional sociological research and will prepare students to participate in the discipline as both producers and readers of research.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Some of the teaching practices students will encounter will be journaling, low stakes and high stakes writing assignments, fishbowl feedback, peer reviews, scaffolded assignments and opportunities for revisions and incorporating feedback into later drafts.
5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
Students should know that writing is an iterative process – we get better at writing the more we do it; feedback and revision matters, and our writing improves as our reading increases. They should also know that participating in the discipline as producers, readers and teachers of sociology, involves a familiarity with sociological writing, the ability to communicate sociologically in written form and a familiarity with sociological research design.
Minor in Sociology
Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in sociology.
If you are thinking about coming to RIC as a transfer student from another college, including the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) or Bristol Community College (BCC), or if you have transferred already, you will find information here to help you navigate the transition. Many of our majors and minors transfer to our program, and if you have taken sociology courses elsewhere, you should be off to a great start in completing your degree here. Please note that you still need to complete all the general education requirements, along with your major requirements, and earn a total of 120 credits to graduate from Rhode Island College.
If you are a CCRI student with less than 30 credits, you can apply for the Joint Admissions Agreement (JAA) plan in sociology, which will enable you to leave CCRI having made the most progress toward your degree. Even if you don’t qualify for the JAA plan, you can use the JAA degree requirements to select the most appropriate CCRI courses. Click here for more information. You are strongly encouraged to complete your math course (see below) prior to transferring or in your first semester at RIC.
|RIC Course||CCRI Course||BCC Course||Quinebaug Course|
|SOC 200||SOCS 1010||SOC 101||SOC 101|
|SOC 202||SOCS 2020||SOC 251||SOC 210|
|SOC 204||SOCS 2030||--||--|
SOCS 2300 OR
|SOC 208||SOCS 2040||SOC 256||--|
|SOC 217||--||--||SOC 141|
Math 1475 OR
Math 119 OR
For more information about how courses transfer among the colleges and universities in Rhode Island, go to http://www.ritransfers.org/, and for more information about transfer admissions and the credit evaluation process, visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.