Ready to Apply?
Why Major in Sociology?
"For me sociology was a revelation. I never knew there was a whole field of study that made so much sense and spoke directly to my personal convictions.”
"The Belmont Sociology program guides you through your own journey of discovery.”
Those are comments from just two of the exceptional graduates of Belmont University’s sociology program, a major that provides students with the specific knowledge, skills and theoretical frameworks for developing an understanding of how social behaviors shape society at every level. Through Belmont’s Sociology major, you'll get a powerful learning experience with small classes that emphasize student-faculty interaction and active learning. Our Sociology students develop interpersonal skills, cross-cultural awareness and the communication savvy that will serve them throughout their lives in a variety of contexts.
The subjects you can study in Belmont's Sociology department are not only relevant to an ever-changing world, but they also give you the ability to take a deeper dive into topics that impact every person on the planet. Course offerings include topics like gender, race, family, change and the environment. Many of our students emphasize the study of social issues ranging from poverty to hunger, racism to religious conflict. Others study the mass media, the internet and popular music. What you emphasize is largely up to you!
As a Sociology major you will have a competitive advantage in today's information society. Our students learn content and approaches that make them marketable in a wide range of modern workforce environments. Technical and data-oriented research, statistics, analysis and critical thinking are all central elements of the field, giving students the abilities to translate their learned skills into almost any future career or educational pursuit.
What You'll Learn
- Critical thinking
- Technical and data-oriented research
- Statistics and analysis
- Social issues, ranging from environmental concerns and poverty to hunger, racism and religious conflict
- Mass media, the internet and popular music
- Government Services
- Marketing Research
- Health Services
- Criminal Justice and Law
- Social Services
- Urban Planning
- Community Work and Development
"To describe the sociology department at Belmont as outstanding is an understatement. The faculty foster personal relationships with their students and consistently encourage me to further my understanding of my place in society. Not only have I learned to think critically, I have also become a better citizen because of my sociology classes. The department builds a community like no other based on compassion, trust and communication."
Mary Elizabeth McIntosh
The Sociology major leads to either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. It requires 128 hours of coursework:
- BELL core requirements: 53 hours
- Major requirements: 6 hours, plus area of emphasis
- Minor requirements: 18 hours
- General electives: 21 - 27 hours
Courses You'll Take
- MTH 1150 Elementary Statistics
Prerequisites: MTH ACT score greater than or equal to 22, Math SAT score greater than or equal to 520, Math RSAT score greater than or equal to 550, Belmont Math Placement Test score greater than or equal to 20, MTH 1010, MTH 1110 or MTH 1130.
An introduction to statistical reasoning. Topics include descriptive measures, elementary probability distributions, sampling distributions, one and two sample inferences on means and proportions, simple linear regression and correlation. Case studies of real data will relate to various fields of interest. Special emphasis will be placed on communication of statistical results through projects using computer software. Credit is not allowed for this course if the student already has credit for MTH 1151.
- SOC 1010 Introduction to Sociology
Sociology is the study of human groups, organizations and societies and the patterns of similarity and difference among them. It includes but is not limited to the study of culture, inequality, gender, race, religion, the economy, sexuality and family life. This course will explore sociological ways of seeing the world, provide you with tools for understanding your own social position and the context in which you live, and fuel your passion for a just, peaceful and diverse society.
- SOC 2200 Sociological Theory
An analysis of macro-social theories including Marx, Durkheim and Weber, and micro-social theories including symbolic interaction, role theory and social exchange theory.
- SOC 2250 Social Research Methods
An introduction to the basic skills necessary in conducting empirical research in the social sciences. Topics covered will include the logic of science in sociology, literature reviews, design and measurement, use of primary and secondary data, ethical issues in research and writing research reports.
- SOC 3000 Schools and Society: The Sociology of Education
The role of education in modern industrial life. The contributions of various theories to understanding how schools affect the individual and relate to the economy, families, race, ethnicity and social class.
- SOC 3220 Sociology of Religion
This course studies religion as a force of moral solidarity and social change. It reviews the history of the post-Enlightenment study of religion, major sociological theories and their assumptions. Substantive topics include the history of struggles among religious organizations in the American South, contemporary debates about morality and the state nationwide, overlap and tensions between mass religion and our secular popular culture. This course focuses on the place of mainline Protestantism in these struggles.
- SOC 3230 Sociology of Health and Illness
People often view illness and disease as individual issues. Individuals get sick, get diseases and are treated by (individual) physicians. However, social contexts shape the way we view and experience illness. For experience, our social context affects our ability to obtain health insurance, our chance of contracting contagious diseases and the type of health behaviors (e.g., cigarette smoking, healthy eating) that we practice. Topics include but are not limited to: the history of medical sociology, the subjective experience of health, the organization of health care, inequality in health care access by race, class, age or gender, health and illness behavior, disability and mental illness, alternative medicine, birthing and midwifery, health policy, death and dying, HIV/AIDS and medical ethics.
- SOC 3260 Family Problems & Social Change
This course in family problems is sociological in focus and specifically addresses how families are influenced by the social and economic context in which they exist. It will address major historical transformations in society (i.e. social change) and corresponding family change. This course is organized in three main sections. The first section of the course approaches families historically and geographically, examining Western family patterns prior to the Industrial Revolution. It examines changes in family forms beginning with the 18th century and resulting in the nuclear family form of the 19th century. In reviewing families of the 20th and 21st century, we will discuss patterns of fertility, divorce, remarriage, “singlehood,” women’s labor force participation and accompanying structural and cultural changes that coincide with these changing patterns of organization. The second section examines multiple family forms, including but not limited to variations based on ethnicity/race, class and sexual orientation. The final section of the course examines specific problems contemporary families face, including family violence, child and elder care and equitable division of labor in the home.
- SOC 3800 Criminology
The study of motives for and situations conducive to crime, this course reviews major theories of crime and methods for its study. Focus on specific crimes may vary by semester, but the role of inequality in the shaping of crime remains central.
- SOC 3700 Criminal Justice
The study of the institutions that process suspected and convicted criminal offenders, this course focuses on legal codes, courts, police, prisons and mass-media crime scares. It offers study of the ways in which these institutions shape and are shaped by large-scale inequality.
- SOC 3200 The Sociology of Gender
What does it mean to be a “real man” or a “real woman” in the contemporary United States? How does that meaning vary across societies or historical eras? How are masculinities and femininities shaped by social factors such as race/ethnicity, class and sexual orientation? Gender plays and important part of our lives as individuals, but also structures life within U.S. society and throughout the world. This course will focus on gender socialization, practices and inequalities in the United States and globally. Specifically, we will examine the influence of gender in interpersonal relationships, at work, in education, in families and in other areas of social life.
- SOC 3400 Inequality
An analysis of the dimensions of stratification in American society, namely, race, class and gender. It will also discuss occupational prestige, class and social change, socialization and values, structural opportunities for social mobility, class consciousness and class conflict, and the underclass and American public policy.
- SOC 3450 Race and Ethnic Relations
Diversity of people gives creativity and strength to U.S. society, but also the most passionate conflicts and acute suffering of many of our citizens. This course will examine why some groups are more successful than others in achieving the American Dream and its connection to the origins of ethnic pluralism in the U.S. We will use social science perspectives to gain insight into the personal, group and larger social structural issues related to racial and ethnic identity, prejudice and discrimination, and ethnic violence. We will see how we can reduce racial and ethnic tensions and discrimination and enjoy and celebrate our diversity.
- Belmont Pre-Law Society: This organization is dedicated to educating students on trial advocacy and social justice, all the while giving them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in law school. Our goal is to build a community of ambitious students who are invested in helping members of the student body reach informed decisions about their futures. We aim to promote general interest in legal processes and professions by hosting engaging speakers from different areas of the legal field and organizing a diverse series of information sessions, LSAT preparation workshops, volunteer opportunities, networking programs and social events. Additionally, we are affiliated with the American Mock Trial Association and sponsor two competitive mock trial teams that compete numerous times each year. Through our pre-law programming and participation in collegiate mock trial, we hope to enhance student preparedness through providing the tools and resources necessary to effectively navigate the law school admissions process.
- UNICEF Belmont: UNICEF’s mission is to promote the rights and well-being of every child. This organization carries out various activities to meet the needs of children in developing countries. This organization is designed to educate, fundraise and raise awareness and will fundraise for UNICEF each semester.
- Belmont Ascend: The organization's main goal is to create a diverse community, foster a global mindset among all Belmont students, develop cross-cultural fluency and prepare Belmont graduates to lead on a global scale. In collaboration with Center for Global Citizenship, Ascend student organization will sponsor monthly series, including global summit, global executive spotlight, town halls, global experiences, volunteering in the community and opportunities to engage with students from other countries.