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Courses, Requirements & General Information


Major in Sociology

Learning Objectives

Students who graduate with a major in Sociology will have developed:

  1. a broad understanding of the historical and theoretical development of the discipline;
  2. an understanding of how to gather and analyze quantitative data;
  3. the skills to develop an original research question, design a project using qualitative data to study the question, and gather and analyze qualitative data to answer the question;
  4. an in-depth understanding of classical and contemporary sociological theories;
  5. the ability to examine social structures analytically and critically;
  6. an understanding of how social constructs such as gender, race, and class influence people's social positions and organize their daily lives;
  7. knowledge of how people change society by forming social movements and using the media;
  8. a comparative perspective on cultures, social structures, institutions, and practices;
  9. skills that integrate their coursework with field research or volunteer experience in the community;
  10. the ability to read and understand original research published by sociologists;
  11. the ability to produce a major piece of writing that reviews published sociological research, develops a sustained argument, and uses theory and research to support the argument; and
  12. in-depth knowledge of a subfield in the discipline.

Major Requirements
All Sociology majors, including those who elect to do one of the three clusters (see below), must complete ten Sociology courses, at least six of which must be listed or cross-listed by the Tufts University Department of Sociology.

Of the 10 Sociology courses, 4 must be the following core courses, at least 2 of which must be taken in the Tufts University Department of Sociology:

  • 1: Introduction to Sociology
  • 101: Quantitative Research Methods – offered in fall semesters ONLY
  • 102: Qualitative Research Methods
  • 103: Survey of Social Theory – offered in spring semesters ONLY

Of the 10 required Sociology courses, one must be a seminar numbered 180 or above. Sociology 193, 197, 198 and 199 do not count as seminars.

Five of the 10 required courses are unrestricted electives, except for students who choose to complete a cluster.

These requirements become effective in September 2011.

Majoring in Sociology Using a Cluster Option
Students can major in Sociology by choosing their electives to complete one of the following Cluster Options:

  1. Media, Culture, and Society
  2. Social Inequalities and Social Change
  3. Globalization, Transnationalism, and Immigration

Reasons for Sociology majors to choose a cluster option

  • Specialize in an area of personal interest
  • Discover connections among Sociology courses
  • Get to know other Sociology majors in the cluster
  • Develop an idea for a Senior Honors Thesis
  • Build a resume with a specialization

Majors are not required to choose a cluster. The clusters are offered as an alternative to the general Sociology major. A student who elects to do a cluster must take four Sociology electives from the approved list for the cluster.

To complete the major using a cluster, a Sociology major must fill out the Declaration of Cluster form also available in the Department Office in Eaton Hall 102B, have his or her academic adviser sign the form, and turn it in at the Department Office. There is no available transcript notation for the cluster, but students who complete majors with a cluster option and file the signed form will receive a certificate acknowledging they have completed the cluster at commencement. The Department suggests that these students write in their clusters on their resumes after their majors.

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