Requirements for the Major in Sociology (SOC)

The major in Sociology leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. All sociology courses offered for the major, except those graded S/U, must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher. Of courses outside the Department offered for the major, only one may be taken with the Pass/No Credit option.

Completion of the major requires 39 credits, of which 30 to 33 are in sociology courses.

A. Study within the Area of the Major

1. Required courses
SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 201 Research Methods
SOC 202 Statistical Methods in Sociology or another allowed statistics course
SOC 361 Historical Development of Contemporary Sociology

2. Sociology electives
Free selection of courses, totaling 18 credits, from among all sociology course offerings.


1. If any required course is waived for any reason, it must be replaced with an additional elective.
2. Only six credits of independent study courses (SOC 447, 487, and 488) may be used toward the requirements of 18 elective credits in sociology.
3. SOC 362, Contemporary Sociological Theory, is strongly advised for any student who is considering graduate education in sociology.

B. Study in Related Areas

At least three courses (nine credits) chosen from one of the following related social sciences: Africana studies (only those courses with designator AFS), anthropology, child and family studies, economics, history, linguistics, political science, psychology, and women's studies (only those WST courses crosslisted with social sciences courses). Credits from applied social science professions such as social work, police science, education, and management science are not applicable. Courses that are crosslisted with a sociology course do not satisfy this requirement.

C.    Upper-Division Writing Requirement

Sociology majors are expected to fulfill the upper-division writing requirement by the end of the 7th semester. Students may meet the requirement by having their writing evaluated in certain upper-division courses. Students who have indicated that they wish to have their writing evaluated receive a separate report on writing proficiency in addition to their regular course grade.

Students whose writing is not judged adequate should consult with the director of undergraduate studies on further steps to fulfill the writing requirement.

Notes for Transfer Students:

1. The Department of Sociology requires that transfer students take at least 12 credits in sociology in residence at Stony Brook to complete the sociology major.
2. No transferred sociology course with a grade lower than C is accepted for credit in the major.

Honors Program

The honors program is open to seniors majoring in Sociology who have maintained a g.p.a. of 3.50 in the major and 3.20 overall, and who have completed or are in the process of completing the methods and statistics requirement and the upper-division writing requirement. Students should apply for the honors program before the beginning of their senior year. With the approval of the sponsoring faculty member, the student must submit a written proposal for a major paper or research project to be completed during the senior year. Acceptance into the honors program depends on the approval of the proposal by the Department.

In the senior year, the student enrolls in SOC 495 during the first semester and SOC 496 during the second semester, for a total of six credits. The student's major paper or research project must be completed no later than four weeks prior to the end of the second semester, to allow for possible revisions. It is read and evaluated by a committee consisting of the student's sponsor, one other Sociology faculty member, and one faculty member from another department.

If the honors program is completed with distinction and the student has achieved a 3.50 g.p.a. in all sociology courses taken in the senior year, honors are conferred.