The sociology major leads to the terminal degree of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). There are two “tracks” or concentrations that help students receive the education they need to prepare for careers and employment in sociology or related fields.
The Traditional Concentration is aimed at preparing students for graduate school, or for finding employment with a government agency, private business, or non-profit organization.
The Criminal Justice Concentration is aimed at preparing students for law school or employment in a law enforcement agency, such as the FBI, probation officer, or a local police force.
Regardless of the concentration, all students pursuing our major will receive personal instruction and one-on-one mentoring and advising. Majors are also encouraged to take courses from related disciplines on relevant topics in order to personalize their education.
Class sizes are generally small, intimate, and offer students ample opportunities to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world experiences. In fact, all majors are required to engage in experiential learning via internships and the senior thesis. Students are also encouraged to pursue cooperative learning, another form of experiential learning in which students are guided by a faculty member on how to use an existing employment setting as an opportunity to apply sociology.
Finally, the program offers a host of required and electives courses on-line which makes the program extremely flexible for those who must deal with time constraints as the result of full-time employment and/or family obligations.
The department offers two minors: the Sociology Minor and the Anthropology/Geography Minor (a combined minor).
Minor in Sociology
The Sociology Minor expands students’ knowledge about social reality, social inequality, social stratification, diversity, and social identity by introducing minors to the core social theories and topics within the discipline.
Students wishing to pursue the minor in Sociology must complete 18 hours of coursework in Sociology including General Sociology (SOCI 203), Social Stratification (SOCI 321), and Social Theory (SOCI 322). An additional 9 credit hours must be upper division sociology courses excluding Social Research Methods (SOCI 323), Quantitative Analysis and Data Management (SOCI 324), and Senior Thesis (SOCI 420).
Minor in Anthropology/Geography
The Anthropology/Geography Minor synthesizes and integrates understandings people and places, cultures and environments, relationships within and between them, and the multiple scales at which they operate. Anthropology is the scientific study of past and present biological and cultural heritage of peoples of the world. Geography provides an understanding of humanity’s cultural and physical environments by examining the natural and human systems through which diverse settings are changed or sustained.
The minor introduces the student to cultures and their adaptation to physical environments. Past and present cultures in their broadest scope are examined, along with humans’ use of natural resources, existing reserves, energy policy, and political economy. Students analyze social and environmental change as it affects local areas and regions. Students also compare solutions attempted in various parts of the world. The geography-anthropology minor is appropriately combined with other degree programs at Shepherd, such as history, political science, sociology, and environmental studies.
Students wishing to pursue the minor in Anthropology/Geography must complete 18 hours of coursework including World Cultural Geography (GEOG 105), World Economic Geography (GEOG 301), Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH 300), Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (ANTH 314), and Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 315). An additional 3 hours must be upper division elective courses in anthropology or geography.