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BA in Sociology

Degree Program Description

Sociologists systematically investigate the causes of social problems and how people make meaning collectively using both quantitative (statistical) and qualitative techniques. Sociologists are curious about the hows and whys of human social life.  Sociological perspectives and methods have many applications: in non-profit organizations, marketing departments, criminal justice organizations,  public health agencies, and many other academic disciplines. Sociological knowledge helps businesses, policy makers, and the public navigate the complex social and cultural structures that shape everyday life.

A Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology consists of 30 credits including introductory courses, the fundamentals of research and theory, and more in-depth coursework that leads to a capstone experience. The capstone, taken during the senior year, allows students to choose between a professional internship, a research oriented course, or an honor's thesis if they qualify.

Sociology at Mizzou offers students the opportunity for in-depth study of some of the big questions and problems of the 21st century: culture and identities, justice, social inequalities, and health and environment. Sociologists are involved in analyzing some of the most critical issues of the contemporary world: class, race and gender oppression, sex and gender diversity, and global issues like health disparities and climate change. Sociologists empirically study these issues not simply to understand them, but to help create a more just society through the production of evidence-based knowledge. Sociology majors gain key skills necessary for today’s careers, including critical thinking, global/intercultural fluency, teamwork, and oral and written communication. Sociology majors also build cultural literacy that helps them understand current events and their own place in history.

Major Program Requirements

A Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology consists of 30 credits organized to provide progressively more sophisticated levels of sociological analysis culminating in a capstone course. It is expected that students start with entry courses, progress to basic courses and then to upper-level electives. In addition, students must complete all degree, College of Arts and Sciences and University graduation requirements, including University General Education.

Major core requirements
Entry courses
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology (Recommended)3
or RU_SOC 1000 Rural Sociology
SOCIOL 2200Social Inequalities3
Basic courses
SOCIOL 3100Recent Theories in Sociology (prerequisite: SOCIOL 2200)3
SOCIOL 3950Social Research3
Post-basic courses
Three additional sociology courses numbered 3000 or above; may include no more than 3 credits in SOCIOL 4940 or SOCIOL 49609
Additional hours in sociology6
An additional 6 credits in elective coursework in the major
Capstone course
A choice between a 4000 Level Course (3 hours), Internship in Sociology (SOCIOL 4940) or an Honors Thesis (see Departmental Honors below). The capstone should be taken in the last two semesters of undergraduate work.
Departmental honors
SOCIOL 4995Honors in Sociology (1st semester of senior year)3
SOCIOL 4995Honors in Sociology (2nd semester of senior year)3
Students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 are eligible for departmental honors in sociology. Qualified students who seek this option must write an honors thesis under the supervision of a sociology faculty member. Students enroll in SOCIOL 4995 for 3 credits each semester of the senior year.
Total Credits30

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOCIOL 10003SOCIOL 22003
ENGLSH 10003MATH 1100, 1050, or STAT 12003
Humanities Elective3Humanities Elective3
Social Science Elective (Missouri State Law Requirement)3Social Science Elective3
Science Elective3Science Elective with Lab4
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOCIOL 16503SOCIOL 36003
Foreign Language level 13SOCIOL 39503
Humanities Elective5Foreign Language level 25
Social Science Elective (upper level)3Humanities Elective (upper level)3
Science Elective3Behavioral Science Elective3
 17 17
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOCIOL 32003SOCIOL 31003
Foreign Language level 33Elective - upper level3
Behavioral Science Elective (upper level)3Elective - upper level3
Writing Intensive Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOCIOL 33303SOCIOL 49703
Elective - upper level3SOCIOL 42203
Elective - upper level3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 125

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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