College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Sociology & Criminology

Sociology and Criminology Course Descriptions

Major Core Requirements Show Courses

SW 200SO
Understanding Society:  An exploration of key concepts, research methods and theoretical perspectives in sociology applies to a specific topic, theme or set of topics.  Concepts covered include: culture, socialization, deviance, social structure, social stratification and inequality (inc. class, race and gender), and social institutions.  This course is a prerequisite to all upper-level courses. (U) (3) Fall and spring; counts for major/minor credit.
SO 205 Contemporary Social Issues:  Analysis of selected social problems in contemporary society using readings from both academic and popular sociological analysis.  The emphasis of this course is on developing in the students the ability to identify social phenomena, to understand how these causes may influence social policy, and to develop an ability to conduct basic research on social issues using social science methodology: including documentary and literature based search skills from bibliographical data bases and online web-based materials.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or any other social sciences course.  (U)(3).  Fall only.
SO 391W Social Theory Seminar: An historical and analytical survey of major contributions to social theory with major emphasis upon late 19th-century, 20th-century and contemporary developments.  Prerequisites:  SW200SO, two sociological courses and junior standing.  (U/G)(3).  Spring only.
SO 393 Research Methods Seminar: The principal methods of social research -- formation of research problem concepts and hypotheses;  measurement and data collection and analysis;  and reporting of research. Prerequisites:  SW200SO, SO293 or equivalent, and Junior standing.  (U/G)(3). Fall and spring.
SO 486 Senior Research Seminar I:  First of a two-course sequence in the senior year.  Capstone experience emphasizes synthesis, integration, and application of theories and methods in completion of an independent research project.  Proposal, IRB approval and data collection are expected.  Prerequisites:  SO391, 393, and senior standing.  (U/G)(2).  Fall only.
 SO 487 Senior Research Seminar II: Second of a required two-course sequence. Capstone experience emphasizes synthesis, integrations and application of theories and methods in completion of an independent research project. Data collection and analysis, final paper, and URC presentation are expected. Prerequisite: SO486.  (U/G)(1).  Spring only.

Additional Sociology and Criminology Courses Show Courses

SO 293 Statistics for Social Research An introduction to statistical techniques and their application to problems in social research. This course covers descriptive and inferential statistics including measures of central tendency and variability, correlation, cross-classification, sampling and statistical inference, and an introduction to multivariate analysis. An emphasis is placed on sociological application of such techniques, and on developing an understanding of when they are appropriate, and the information they yield. Students will learn to use the computer in data analysis.
Prerequisites: MA101 or equivalent. (U)(3) Spring only.
SO 301 Families and Gender Roles: The organization and functions of marriage and the family. Cross-cultural and historical perspectives provide background for analysis of contemporary family patterns.
Prerequisites:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 311

Law and Society:  An analysis of the legal system, legal doctrines and legal institutions as social phenomena.  The focus is on law in action as it reflects the relationship between law and society.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).

SO 315 Film, Media and Society:  This course examines how film and electronic media have impacted our cultural values and social institutions.  Film and media will be studies sociologically both as a form of popular culture (symbolic analysis) and as a new social institution in its own right (structural analysis).  Prerequisites:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 317 Gender and Society:  An examination of gender as a system of stratification and a social construction, which changes over time and differs cross-culturally. Focus is on the structural and interactional aspects of gender, class, race and sexuality. Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U)(3).
SO 319 Mental Illness, Culture and Society: A sociological analysis of mental health and mental illness. This course examines the social, cultural and political factors involved in the definition of mental illness and the control of mental illness in society. Emphasis is placed on labeling theory, on the impact of status characteristics (e.g. race, ethnicity, social class, and gender) and social relationships on levels of stress and social functioning; and on legal and ethical issues associated with current health care trends, including the deinstitutionalization of mental patients and the movement toward community-based care.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or the permission of the instructor.  (U/G)(3).
SO 321 Crime and Society: An analysis of the definition and extent of crime; the impact on society; and the theoretical explanations of crime, offending and victimization.  Prerequisites:  SW200SO and junior standing.  (U/G)(3).
SO 323 Racial and Ethnic Relations: Analysis of the ethnic (including racial) composition of society, the minority group status of some ethnic groups and the strains toward assimilation or cultural pluralism.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 325 Class, Status and Power: A study of the dynamics of class and caste, class mobility, power, authority, influence and prestige in different kinds of communities.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 326 Gender, Race and Crime:  Current sociological and criminological theories will be used to examine gender and crime, race and crime, and the intersection between the two.  We will cover topics such as such as men and women as offenders and as victims, domestic violence, child abuse, and juvenile delinquency.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U)(3).
SO 329 The Sociology of Racism: This course is designed for students interested in understanding how racism affects our social institutions and interactions. We will take a close look at understanding prejudices and myths about race. A clear retrospective will be explored in events that have influenced the establishment of racist institutions and behaviors.
Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 331 Latin American Societies: This course introduces the student to the culture and social structures of Latin American societies and aims at undermining the traditional stereotypes that have long been a part of Latin American images circulating throughout the United States. It examines in particular Latin America in the context of the globalizing of social life.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or any social science course.  (U/G)(3).
SO 333 European Societies: This course acquaints the student with the culture, economics, and politics of Western Europe and with the general process of European integration. First, it provides a general overview of contemporary Western Europe and then emphasizes the workings of the European Union, introducing the student to the organization and functioning of the different institutions of the European Union and interpreting the meaning of this process within the global context.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or any social sciences course.  (U/G)(3).
SO 335 Global Societies: This course is about the constitution of the global system, and the processes, which are reproducing and transforming the structures of globalization. The course acquaints the student with the process of worldwide economic, cultural, and political flows and provides an introduction to the organization and functioning of the global society.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or any social sciences course.  (U/G)(3).
SO 339 Violence, Media, and Culture: This course examines the topic of crime in popular culture: crime as portrayed in print and electronic media, film, and entertainment industries. We will study the "popular" manifestation of crime as it exists in the stories reported by news media and in the cultural images produced for mass entertainment.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 341 Self and Society: The socialization of the individual; the bearing of culture and social structure on the formation of personality; and group influences upon human response and patterns of perception.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 343 Popular Culture: An examination of the role and function of popular culture in generating and sustaining a common realm of meaning and values in contemporary society. Popular works of fiction, television, film, sporting events, parades, etc. will be considered.
Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 345 Deviance and Social Control: The ways in which the discrepancies between social reality and the individual experience generate deviance, with emphasis on the roles of institutions and counter-institutions in maintaining or changing behavior patterns.
Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 347 Urban Community: Urban origins, the genesis of the modern city and the metropolitan area and region-structure, ecology, problems and programs for their control. Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 349 Social Movements: Analysis of representative economic, political, religious and other social movements, defining typical lines of genesis, objectives, structures, leadership and methods of operation.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 351 Punishment and Society: Analyzes the incidence of deviance and crime, and the different approaches to social control and prevention of crime. It offers an introduction to penology and corrections and explores public reaction to contemporary corrections.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 353 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency: This course focuses on the topic of childhood and juvenile justice from a sociological perspective. We will examine how society provides a framework for how we understand, interact with, and pattern our relationships with children in general and with "deviant" or "delinquent" children in particular.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 355 International Crime: This course is intended to introduce students to the basic concepts and problems of international crime and international law. It will also address the definition, detection, prosecution, sentencing, and impact of international crime, including terrorism. Special consideration is given to the role of international law; including international organizations and enforcement practices. The course will cover the major topics in the international legal system, such as the sources and subjects of international law, the jurisdiction of states (relationship between international law and the internal law of states), and the use of force.  Prerequisite:SW200SO or any social sciences course.  (U)(3).
SO 360 Selected Topics in Criminology: Designed to give the advanced undergraduate student academic flexibility. An in-depth analysis of the theory, methodology and subject matter in an area not provided for in the current offerings of the department.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U)(3).
SO 370     Selected Topics in Social Work:  An in-depth analysis of the theory, methodology and subject matter in an area not provided in the current offerings of the department.  Prerequisite: SW200SO.  (U)(3). 
SO 380 Selected Topics in Sociology: An in-depth analysis of the theory, methodology and subject matter in an area not provided for in the current offerings of the department.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO.  (U/G)(3).
SO 381 Social Work and Social Policy: The history and types of public and private social work in the United States from early colonial times to the present.  Prerequisite:  SW200SO or permission.  (U/G)(3).  Fall only.
SO 383 Social Work Methods: An introduction to social work fields of practice and the methods used by Social Work professionals.  Prerequisite:  SO381 or permission.  (U/G)(3).  Spring odd-numbered years.
SO 385 Practice Skills in Social Work: This foundation practice course focuses on basic social work theories and skills that are necessary when working with a wide variety of client systems; individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. Students will have opportunities to learn about themselves and will examine their personal values and any conflict between personal and professional values so they are able to practice with diverse populations in a confident and professional manner.  Prerequisite:  SO381 or permission.
(U/G)(3).  Spring even-numbered years.
SO 461, 462, 463 Directed Research:  An independent research experience in which students assist a faculty member on a research project. Activities may include library research, data collection, data entry and data analysis. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor, two courses in Sociology and junior standing. (U). (1,2,3).   
SO 481, 482, 483 Independent Study: An opportunity for qualified students to pursue a topic of individual interest. Open to seniors and juniors with permission of department head. (U/G) (1, 2, 3)
SO 484, 485 Internship: A program offering the superior student the opportunity to participate in a closely supervised work experience in a setting pertinent to the major area of study. Majors are strongly encouraged to engage in the internship experience.  Prerequisites:  SW200SO, 10 hours in sociology and permission of the department chair.  (U/G)(3,6).
SO 499 Honors Thesis: (U)(3).