A minimum of 32 credits. With permission, up to eight of the required 32 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department. Required are Sociology 111, Sociology 285, and Sociology 291. In addition, eight credits are to be taken at the 300 level or above. In addition to the 32 credits, students are required to take Mathematics 336 or 209 (preferred), or Mathematics 115. The major normally consists of Sociology 111 by the second year and Sociology 285 and 291 by the end of the third year. Browse our website for more detailed information on considerations for planning the major. The course catalog has a full listing of all sociology courses offered.
Potential Paths Through the Major
As sociology is a vast and diverse discipline, it prepares students for careers across the spectrum of career fields. Some paths that our students often follow include law, public health, nonprofit/nongovernmental organizational work, academia, policy studies and plenty of other paths as well. Students who have a certain path in mind can create their journey through the major accordingly. However, you do not need an end-goal in mind, certainly, and many of our students--as per the Grinnellian tradition--forge their own paths through the major and their lives. For more detailed tips and considerations while creating your four-year plan, peruse our section on planning the major for useful suggestions.
To be considered for honors in sociology, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must demonstrate, by departmental consensus, excellent performance in classes, especially seminars, and an underlying commitment to the discipline as evidenced by strong interest above and beyond completion of the major.
Up to eight credits from outside the department may be applied to the major. Possible sources of outside credit include:
1. Transfer credits from another college or university
2. Off-campus study: Must be sociological in content and 200-level or above
3. "Cognate credits" taken in another department at Grinnell. Must be 200-level course with substantial sociological content. Must also connect with other sociology courses you have taken.
Whatever the source of outside credits, you need to bring written documentation of the content of the course (e.g. syllabus, textbook, papers you wrote) to the Chair of the Department for approval. If the chair thinks the course makes sense as part of your major, he or she will write a letter of recommendation asking the course be counted. If the chair has doubts, he or she will consult with the rest of the department on whether the course should be applied.
1. Sociological Knowledge. We expect students to have attained:
- a) Knowledge of basic sociological concepts.
- b) Familiarity with various theoretical perspectives within sociology.
- c) Knowledge of ways of collecting and evaluating sociological evidence.
2. Sociological Skills. We expect students to acquire:
- a) An ability to think critically and imaginatively about society and social issues, using sociological knowledge.
- b) An ability to express this thinking clearly through oral and written communication.
- c) An ability to use the standards of the field to evaluate the quality of sociological work, including one's own work.
3. Sociological Values. We expect students to demonstrate:
- a) An appreciation for social and intellectual diversity.
- b) An awareness of social inequality.
- c) A commitment to social justice