Principles of Sociology (SOC 1001) represents the bridge between the Department of Sociology & Criminology and the Merrimack College community. It is taken by many students either to satisfy an institutional distribution requirement in the social sciences, or as the required entry-level course to admit any student, including Sociology majors or minors, to upper-level sociology courses.
Sociology majors take five required courses and five elective courses, for a total of ten Sociology courses.
The following five courses are required of all Sociology majors:
SOC 1001 Principles of Sociology
SOC 4300 Social Class in America
SOC 4600 Research Methodology
SOC 4725 Social Theory
SOC 4740 Statistical Analysis
The Department strongly recommends that students majoring in Sociology take SOC 4300, SOC 4600, SOC 4725, and SOC 4740 by the end of their junior year.
Sociology majors’ five elective courses may be chosen from the following list of regularly offered courses:
SOC 2050 Social Work
SOC 3040 Juvenile Delinquency
SOC 3050W Female Deviance, Crime and Social Control
SOC 3060 White Collar Crime
SOC 3120 Sociology of Law
SOC 3150 Social Movements
SOC 3200 Criminology
SOC 3300W Sociology of Education
SOC 3350 Alternative Approaches to Criminal Justice
SOC 3380W Race, Class and Crime
SOC 3370 Urban Sociology
SOC 3400 Population Problems
SOC 3430 Criminal Justice and Mental Health
SOC 3450 Sociology of the Family
SOC 3500 Domestic Violence
SOC 3600 Sociology of Health
SOC 3700 Hate Crimes
SOC 3850 Sociology of Aging
SOC 3900 Sociology of Incarceration
SOC 4810/4815 Directed Study
SOC 4860/4865 Social Service Field Work
In addition to the required and elective courses in Sociology, the Department recommends that students develop proficiency in a foreign language as part of their undergraduate curriculum. Languages in which there is a sociological literature and which are taught at Merrimack College include French, Italian, and Spanish.
Sociology students are permitted, and often encouraged, to pursue a course of study that involves a double major in a related social science department such as Psychology, Political Science, or Economics. Nonetheless, a major in Sociology also makes sense with disciplines outside the social sciences (English, Fine Arts, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, or World Languages and Cultures), or outside the liberal arts either in business, or in the natural sciences.
Sociology majors also have a wide choice, depending on career intentions, on selecting a minor. Often Sociology majors select a minor in one of the related social science departments such as Psychology, Political Science, Economics, or Women’s Studies. But again, a major in Sociology may also decide to minor in a discipline outside the social sciences or outside the liberal arts either in business, or in the natural sciences. For those wishing to pursue a career in public health, for example, a double major or minor in Biology or Health Sciences makes sense. For those who wish to work in the area of human resources, a double major or minor in Business is a sensible option to consider. For students considering careers in social work or human services, a double major or minor in World Languages and Cultures, especially Spanish, is advisable. In today’s post-modern, global society, the sociological perspective provides a valuable type of critical thinking and informed analysis that is increasingly required in other areas of study. In addition to the major and minor programs in the Department, Sociology students also may create a self-designed major that allows them to do interdisciplinary work with a strong sociological focus.
The required courses in Sociology provide a solid foundation for students who wish to pursue graduate study in Sociology. It also serves as an excellent preparation for students considering a graduate degree in law, criminal justice, conflict resolution, public health, social work, gerontology, human services, public administration, human resources, journalism, or business.
The following resources, published by the American Sociological Association, also are made available to students in the Department of Sociology and Criminology:
• Careers in Sociology (5th edition)
• Embarking Upon a Career with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology
• Sociologists in the Corporate World: Academic, Research and Practice Roles in Business and Industry