If you have decided to major in Sociology, chances are that you have taken care of your first requirement, Sociology 111 (Introduction to Sociology). Remember to leave space in your schedule for the other requirements: Sociology 285 (Contemporary Sociological Theory) and Sociology 291 (Methods of Empirical Investigation) as well as 8 credits (two classes) at the 300 level (these will be your seminars). Furthermore, one course in statistics is also a requirement--Mathematics 115 (Intro to Statistics), Mathematics 209 (Applied Statistics--recommended), or Mathematics 336 (Probability and Statistics II) can all fulfill this requirement. Majors are encouraged to take Statistics their sophomore year and Theory and Methods the first and second semesters of their junior year. However, due to study abroad options, this timetable is flexible.
All Sociology classes will recognize and discuss the interplay of race, class, and gender in all aspects of society. However, if you have a specific interest in either race, class, or gender, classes with a more specific focus are offered. For a more complete listing of the classes offered this year, please refer to the complete listing of courses. Three hundred level seminars are generally taken in the third or fourth year. In addition to the regular seminars offered, the Sociology department also offers a 300 level Practicum in Applied Sociology. By choosing this option, students will receive four upper level credits for participating in a Sociology internship in Des Moines, Grinnell, or the surrounding areas. This program will include weekly meetings with the advisor and other students taking advantage of the option to discuss assigned readings, as well as their experiences in "real world" organizations.
Paths Through the Major
While there are many, many, many ways of approaching the sociology major, we have found certain paths to come up more frequently than others over the years. You do not need an end-goal or a definite career path in mind when committing to the major, but if you have an inclination of the kind of work you'd like to pursue after Grinnell, keeping these path-specific four-year plan suggestions in mind might be helpful.
The following four-year plans are offered as suggestions and guidelines--not as requirements or mandatory steps--to give you a sense of what a liberal arts sociology major four-year plan with these career paths in mind might look like. Feel free to also look at the non-tracked sample four-year plans as many students do not major in sociology with a specific end-goal in mind upon declaring.
Public Health Track
Non Profit Work Track
Law School Track
Policy Studies Track
*This section is currently undergoing development. Check back here in the next few months for updated information.*
Many students find it helpful to make a four year plan of the courses they would like to take in the next few years. There are many options open to you as a Sociology major and so you will want to spend some time thinking about what plans you have for the future. However, don't let this scare you. Remember, this plan is tentative and open to changes and modifications!
Here are some worksheets, general tips for a liberal arts four year plan, and useful academic advise for your time here at Grinnell:
- Template Four-Year Plan for a Sociology Major
- General Academic Planning Advice
- Questions to Consider While Mapping Your Four-Year Plan
Your advisor can help you go over these sheets, but filling them out in advance will help you plan for the future, as well as impress your advisor. Many students in pursuit of a liberal arts education study abroad for a semester, generally during their junior year. You should consider this option when making your future plans and take a look at our page on off-campus study possibilities for sociology majors.
Good luck in making your four year plan! Remember that planning ahead is a good idea to ensure that you will be able to take all of the classes that interest you. There is a wide range of choices offered within the Sociology program and a little planning will help you get what you want. Also, don't hesitate to ask other majors or your advisor if you have any questions about the classes, professors, or major in general. Remember, we're all in this together!