The Washington State University Catalog

Department of Sociology

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Department of Sociology
Wilson-Short 204

Department Chair and Professor, J. Kmec; Professors, D. Dillman, C. Horne, M. Johnson, A. MacLean, C. Mosher, T. Rotolo, J. Schwartz; Associate Professors, J. Denney, E. Johnson, J. Sherman; Assistant Professosr, M. Amorim, D. Bugden, K. Leupp; A. Zamora-Kapoor; Clinical Assistant Professors, K. Cutler, J. Kremer S. Whitley; Instructors, M. Nesbitt, J. Schmidt.

Sociology is the scientific study of social life. The fundamental insight of the discipline is that the social matters; our lives are affected not only by our personal psychology, but by our place in the social world. Substantively, sociologists look at a range of issues, from inequality to human ecology, from deviance to social order, from medicine to politics. Few fields offer students (and researchers) opportunities of such breadth.

Courses in sociology are designed to provide the student with an understanding of what makes Individuals and groups behave the way they do. Social inequality, social order, and social change are prominent themes. In today’s changing job market, the skills developed by sociology majors are important – skills in analyzing problems, understanding diverse peoples, and assessing how changes in the broader social structure shape individuals’ daily lives. Sociology also provides training in social science research methods and statistics, communication, and critical thinking. Successful sociology majors enter the professional world with skills useful in a wide range of careers including public relations, community planning, positions in government and social agencies, as researchers and data analysts, criminal justice system professions, health and medical fields, and business. Sociology also provides an excellent foundation for professions that may require graduate school training, such as counseling, law, public policy and administration, social work, public health or teaching.

The department offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Master of Arts in Sociology, and Doctor of Philosophy. It also offers an undergraduate minor in Sociology, a minor in At-Risk Youth, a minor in Workplace Diversity, and, in partnership with the Carson College of Business, a certificate in Organizational Leadership in Sustainability. 

Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the bachelor of arts degree in sociology, students will be able to 1) think critically about social problems; 2) understand and apply basic statistics to social issues; 3) clearly communicate sociological concepts, theories, and findings; 4) evaluate and conduct empirical research, and use social science to develop informed judgements about significant social issues; 5) analyze the relationships between social, technological, and natural physical systems; 6) analyze the contributions of social institutions to social order; 7) analyze the causes and consequences of social inequality; and 8) put into practice the skills and habits of successful professionals.

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