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Sociology (B.A.)

Website: School of Social Science and Human Services

Sociology Major

Concentrations: Social Inequality and Criminology




Current as of June 2023

About the Major

Sociology is unique among the social sciences because it examines the whole of human societies.  It focuses on institutional and sociocultural changes rather than on simply economic, political, or technical transformations.  For example, sociology provides an understanding of “modernization” and “globalization” by analyzing their impact on culture human subjectivity, power relations, and collective resistance.  Sociology prepares students to scientifically study and personally engage with human groups and communities.  It links individual biographies with public issues.

Recognizing the international character of contemporary life, the Sociology program at Ramapo College emphasizes internships in local New Jersey and New York communities, as well as in study abroad programs.  By engaging in field study internships, sociology majors develop a broad and refined world perspective and become highly prepared for graduate school and the workforce.

A degree in Sociology provides our graduates with analytical capacities and practical skills for understanding and working with human groups and for conducting research using a precise and humanistic scientific methodology.  Sociology majors are employed as researchers and human relations personnel in industry and government, human services, and criminal justice.  They fill positions in regional and community planning and environmental protection.   Many of our students enter a range of graduate programs and professions.  Students may also select Sociology as one of the suitable majors for Teacher Education and Social Studies certification.

The Sociology major offers two concentrations to Ramapo College students interested in studying questions of human diversity, inequality, and social justice in the U.S., as well as international societies:

  • Social Inequality
    The Social Inequality concentration offers students opportunities to engage public issues like poverty, race relations, popular culture, gender, and globalization in their studies.  This concentration emphasizes applied research experience which will prove invaluable in the job market and as an excellent preparation for graduate school.
  • Criminology
    The Criminology concentration offers students interested in law enforcement fields the opportunity to explore issues of class, race, gender, religious difference and Human Rights, both locally and globally.  The Concentration offers a unique perspective with the inclusion of a Human Rights component.  Students will be trained to analyze diverse situations they may face within their future professions in law enforcement.

Students majoring in Sociology are urged to pursue a minor, such as Africana Studies, Anthropology, Gerontology, Latin American Studies, or Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.  The Sociology major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services and leads to a B.A. degree.

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1. A student majoring in sociology will be able to articulate foundational sociological theories and terminology.

1.1 Compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations (e.g., structural-functionalist, conflict, interactionist).

1.2 Define and use basic sociological concepts (culture, structure, agency, status, role, norm, stratification, social class).

Goal 2. A student majoring in sociology will understand the centrality of key characteristics, such as race, class, age or gender in society and in sociological analysis.

2.1 Explain how one of the following concepts are socially constructed: race, ethnicity, social class, sex, gender, religion, age, immigration status.

2.2 Demonstrate and explain examples of structural inequality based on race, social class, gender, religion, and age.

2.3 Be able to apply sociological imagination by identifying empirically- verifiable patterns and generalizations based on race, social class, gender, religion, and age and providing examples of social facts (e.g., norms, structures) that possibly shape such patterns.

Goal 3. A student majoring in sociology will be exposed to key texts in cultural studies with an emphasis upon meaning-making, multicultural, cross-cultural, and cross-national global contexts and content relevant to sociology.

3.1 Provide illustrative examples of cultural differentiation in national and international contexts.

3.2 Explain and provide examples of contemporary processes of globalization, such as the construction of diverse cultural meanings, processes related to the spread of global information, and immigration flows.

3.3 Conduct qualitative research from a cultural perspective, with an emphasis upon meaning-making, and write a paper discussing this research in a critical analysis of theoretical and applied texts.

Goal 4. A student majoring in sociology will be exposed to analytic and empirical experiences that develop his/her critical thinking skills.

4.1 Identify key tenets of particular theoretical orientations or arguments.

4.2 Identify strengths and weaknesses in particular methodological approaches to research.

4.3 Show how patterns of thought and knowledge are directly influenced by political-economic social structures.

4.4 Present opposing viewpoints or alternative hypotheses on various issues.

Goal 5. A student majoring in sociology will be exposed to research experiences that require posing sociological questions, data gathering with quantitative and/or qualitative methods, developing theoretical explanations, and bringing the aforementioned data to bear on them.

5.1 Be able to use theoretical arguments to explain the relationship between concepts.

5.2 Be able to correctly describe quantitative or qualitative data collection procedures.

5.3 Be able to correctly describe quantitative or qualitative data analysis procedures.

5.4 Be able to answer/test a sociological question/hypothesis using empirical data.

5.5 Be able to describe the process of protecting human subjects in empirical research studies.

Goal 6. A student majoring in sociology will be able to articulate sociological theories, data, and perspectives using clear writing in professional academic format.

6.1 Be able to write a clearly organized, grammatically correct, research report in professional, journal quality format.

6.2 Be able to write a clearly organized, grammatically correct analysis of published theoretical works and empirical studies.

6.3 Be able to use basic writing structures for successful argumentation: thesis statement, introduction, conclusion, topic and supporting sentences and transitions.

6.4 Be able to use a professional citation format correctly.

Goal 7. A student graduating with a degree in sociology from Ramapo College will be well prepared for subsequent employment or education.

7.1 Be able to demonstrate on a resume or curriculum vitae how specific skills attained in the sociology program are applicable to a future career – OR – Be able to write a graduate or professional school application essay that demonstrates a sociological understanding of future topics of study.

Requirements of the Major and Concentrations
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, school core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in Arts & Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  5. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation.  Visit the Cahill Career Center.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Sociology Minor
  1. The Sociology Minor provides students with the knowledge to understand the problem of social life by examining the social, cultural, political, and economic forces which impact human beings.  Students may choose from a wide array of courses in order to explore topics such as race relations, food sustainability, health and illness, culture and social movements.
  2. Courses fulfilling the requirements for the primary or second major may count towards the requirements of the minor, but may not exceed one-half of the credits required in the minor. A School core does not need to be completed for a minor.  Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
  3. The Sociology Minor consist of 5 courses.
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • Select four SOCI courses (at least one course must be 300- or 400-level)
  • Note: INTD303 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN INDIA (at least one course must be 300- or 400-level)