Sociology - B.A.

The Sociology bachelor's degree program develops in its graduates the sociological imagination: the ability to see connections between personal experiences and public issues. As students apply the sociological perspective widely across the human world, from small-scale groups to international institutions, they learn that they are not only lifelong participants in socialization, but are affected by those agents of socialization as well. The Sociology program curriculum equips students to answer questions about contemporary cultures, cities and inequalities, such as: How do new technologies affect social lives and cultures? What are the benefits and risks as millions of people move from rural to urban lives? How do inequalities of class, race and gender reinforce or sometimes contradict each other? Graduates are prepared to address the challenges posed by our increasingly global, diverse and urban world.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Apply sociological theories and research methods to various social issues.
  • Develop a sociological imagination and use it to explain, in the language of the profession, the correlates, causes and consequences of various social issues.
  • Examine the ways in which various social forces — i.e., individuals, groups, cultures and institutions — contribute to both social reproduction and social change.
  • Apply theories and methods to evaluate policies and programs at multiple levels of organizations: local, state, national and global.
  • Identify and explain sociologically informed possibilities and strategies for positive social change.

Students study sociological theories from the classical to the contemporary, and this informs their outlook and skill set. Core courses provide practice in research methods in their qualitative, quantitative and mixed forms. In addition to this training in the discipline, students develop analytic and expressive skills and an array of pragmatic tools, ranging from program evaluation to grant writing. With opportunities for experiential learning in internships or through study abroad, graduates of the Sociology degree program are well prepared to apply their perspective and skills across the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and in pursuit of graduate studies.


A four-year program leading to the bachelor of arts degree

Major Courses
RSCH2050Workshop in Acquiring Social Research Skills3
SOC1001Sociology I3
or SOC2005 Honors Seminar: Social Inequalities
SOC2620Classical Sociological Theories3
SOC3620Contemporary Sociological Theories3
SOC3720Intersecting Inequalities3
SOC3850Research Applications and Interventions3
SOC4900Capstone in Sociology3
Major Electives
Choose six of the following courses (at least two at the 3000 level): *18
Marketing Research
Sociology of Digital Environments
Sociology of Aging
Community Leadership: An Applied Sociology
Cultures of Africa
Honors Seminar: Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Social Issues in Contemporary America
Sociology of the Family
Culture and Food
Cultural Tapestry: Perspectives in Diversity
Deviant Behavior
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Environmental Sociology
Gender in Global Perspective
Producing Culture, Societies and Selves: The Sociology of Culture in Global Perspective
Applied/Experiential Learning
Choose 6 credits from the following: **6
College of Arts & Sciences Internship Ic
Directed Experiential Education D
Undergraduate Research Experience
Study Abroad
Related Professional Studies
Arts & Sciences Electives9 credits with an EASC attribute selected from offerings within the College of Arts & Sciences9
CAR0010Career Management1
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses9
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning6
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, and one at the 4000 level
Arts and Humanities6
Two courses from ART, HIST, HUM, LIT, PHIL or REL
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student's placement)
Statistics I
One course from BIO, CHM, PHY or SCI
Social Sciences6
Cultural Anthropology
One course from ECON, LEAD, PSCI, PSYC or SOC
A&S Electives6
Two courses with an EASC attribute
Free Electives #
18 credits selected from 1000-4999 numbered offerings within the university18
Total Credits121.0

IcTypically, internships require a minimum of six credits. Students interested in a 9 or 12-credit internship can apply additional experiential learning and free elective credits, if available. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty adviser before scheduling internship and free elective credits.

D Directed Experiential Education (DEE) opportunities are based on project availability with community partners and student eligibility. For more information, visit Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS). 

#  In addition to classes, free elective credits may be applied to a number of options such as internship, study abroad, Directed Experiential Education courses and courses in a specialization or minor as relevant. For Accelerated Master's program students, up to three graduate-level courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty adviser before scheduling free elective credits.

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Basic Mathematics or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree must leave Johnson & Wales University with effective writing skills to fulfill the graduation writing requirement. These writing skills are assessed in ENG1021 Rhetoric & Composition II. Students who have met the requirement of ENG1021 Rhetoric & Composition II or ENG1027 Honors Advanced Composition and Communications: Civic Discourse outside of Johnson & Wales University must fulfill the graduation writing requirement through successful completion of ENG0001 Writing Workshop.

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Global Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international options for major, minor, arts and sciences, and elective credit at many affordable price points for students during the academic year, break periods, and summer. Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester or full year. Financial aid may be applied and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications. Where will you go?