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Department of Sociology

Sociology Undergraduate Major and Minor

Professor Landis with students

B.A. in Sociology (30 credits)

As a sociology major, you will take four required courses in the fundamentals of sociology, including research methods and critical issues. You will build upon this foundational core by selecting six elective courses in sociology, depending on your unique areas of interest.

Minor in Sociology (18 credits)

A minor in sociology is a strong companion to any degree program at Syracuse University. The flexible minor curriculum allows you to customize your course selection based on your academic and professional areas of interest. To complete the minor, you must complete two required courses (SOC 101 and SOC 318 or 319 or WGS 317) and four upper-division electives of your choosing.

Core Requirements

Sociology majors enjoy a mix of required core courses and upper-division electives in areas of personal interest. The core courses are listed below. Please view the Course Catalog for a complete list of requirements for the major and minor in sociology.

Introduction to Sociology

Learn principal concepts, methods and findings in sociology. This course also explores societal structures, processes, institutions and social roles from both macro- and microanalytic human behavior perspectives.

Introduction to Research

Explore techniques and problems of research in the social sciences. Research design, measurement and data collection using surveys, and other techniques are introduced, and students will gain computer analysis skills through research projects.

Qualitative Methods in Sociology

Learn principal concepts, methods and findings in sociology. This course also explores societal structures, processes, institutions and social roles from both macro- and microanalytic human behavior perspectives.

Sociological Theory

Classic and contemporary theory in sociology, including the relevance of theory to research and analysis of social issues, are critical components of this course.

Natialia Rice

I am Maxwell.

I found myself having moments of inspiration when in class or while completing assignments—such as learning a new concept that shed light on a code that kept popping up in my interview transcripts. While the curriculum had always carried meaning for me, simultaneously conducting this research made me absorb it in a new way.”

Natalia Rice ’20 B.A.

Double major: sociology and english; chief equity officer at New View Alliance

Sample Elective Courses

Upper-division electives offer flexible options for studying a variety of topics and organizational structures. Below is a small sample of elective courses in sociology.

Sociology of Sex and Gender

Learn more about the social forces shaping women’s and men’s lives in contemporary societies, including hanging gender expectations, and the intersections of gender with race and ethnicity, class and age.

Criminal Justice

This course looks at the organization of the criminal justice system in the United States and relations between its parts. The course focus is on the ideal versus actual roles of police, courts and corrections in maintaining social control.

Aging and Society

Students will look at current policy issues in an aging society, including health care, end-of-life, social security, productive aging and generational equity. The course also deals with the problems facing elderly women and minorities.


of Syracuse students study abroad—the 19th highest participation rate nationwide.

Alpha Kappa Delta and Sociology Club

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is the International Sociology Honor Society dedicated to promoting an interest in the study of sociology, research of social problems and other intellectual activities that will lead to improvement in the human condition.

At Syracuse University, AKD functions within the Sociology Club, an organization dedicated to promoting interaction among sociology majors, minors, and others interested in sociology. Activities include intellectual, service and social programs to enrich the educational experience of students studying in the sociology department. The Sociology Club is open to all members of the University community. Class standing and GPA are not criteria for membership in the Sociology Club.

Alpha Kappa Delta
Student conducting research in a room with many books

Conduct Meaningful Research

As a Maxwell undergraduate student, you will conduct original research as a required element of your degree program. Students have additional opportunities to conduct research, including participation in the following:

  • Renée Crown Honors Program
  • Departmental Honors Distinction programs (varies by program)
  • Young Research Fellows Program, provided by The SOURCE
  • Assist faculty or serve as a student worker at a Maxwell or Syracuse University research center
  • Participate in the annual Maxwell Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship

Career Resources

Maxwell students have access to many career tools and resources, including Syracuse University’s exclusive online job and internship portal, alumni directories, networking treks and skill-building resources needed to apply for jobs or graduate school. As you start thinking about your post-graduation goals, career advisors are available—in person, via drop-in virtual appointment, and via text—to help translate your academic work into professional opportunities. You will quickly discover the many ways a liberal arts education can open new pathways to your future. 

Maxwell students in the career office
Sociology Department
302 Maxwell Hall