Sociology is the study of society and the social forces that affect human behavior. It provides insight into how our lives are influenced by the social relationships around us.
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Total Credit Hours: 120
Sociology Core Requirements (22 hours)
General Education (up to 45 hours)
Sociology Electives (18 hours)
What You’ll Study
Some classes are required, but for most of your time, you'll choose from over 60 courses to design a degree based on what interests you. Requirements for the Sociology major include:
- 120 credit hours for a bachelor of science degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways or Curriculum for Liberal Education
- 22 core credits in Sociology, including:
- Introductory Sociology
- Social Inequality
- Sociological Theory
- Social Research Methods
- Senior Seminar
- Statistics for the Social Sciences
- 3 credits in Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, or Women's and Gender Studies
- 18 credits of Sociology electives
You can also choose to pursue a degree option in the following areas:
- Africana Studies
- American Indian Studies
- Social Inequality
- Research Methods
- Women’s and Gender Studies
What Is a Degree in Sociology?
Sociology attempts to understand important social phenomena, like the values and beliefs societies share and the ways we're affected by race, class, age, and gender. Since all human behavior is social behavior, the subject matter ranges from two-person relationships up to global communities. The diverse course topics and social science background give you analytical skills that will help you see the world from entirely new perspectives.
Why Study Sociology Here?
A sociology major provides experience and critical thinking skills that you can bring to almost any field. You'll learn rigorous research methods and how to work and communicate successfully with diverse types of people. In addition to preparing for a wide range of careers, sociology also gives you a strong foundation for graduate school or a professional degree in fields like law, business, health care, social work, or public administration.
Beyond the Classroom
Join Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honor Society, or join the Criminology and Sociology Club; they sponsor guest speakers and go on field trips related to their field. Many of our majors also take part in social or cultural student organizations, where they learn about the roles individual and group identities play in society.
Many students discover the sociology major when they take a class with our faculty and find out how interesting social research can be. Our professors have a reputation not just for their scholarship, but also for being friendly, caring, and passionate about making the world a better place. They've won local and national awards for both research and teaching.
Many of our students have the opportunity to explore their own questions by taking part in undergraduate research. These projects ask the hard questions about society and provide real research experience that is directly applicable to the workplace. Our students undertake a wide variety of projects, including: how job and home stressors affect drug and alcohol disorders; the effects of bullying and cyber bullying; policing and urban social control; or how racial and gendered knowledge is institutionalized in American culture.
Our centers and programs help you design research projects and take courses specifically tailored to your interests. You can pursue a degree option or project in Africana Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, or American Indian Studies or do research with our Center for Race and Social Policy, Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, or the Laboratory for the Study of Youth Inequality and Justice.
What Our Students Are Saying
Careers and Further Study
What can I do with a sociology major?
Our sociology degree prepares you for jobs that require research skills, cultural and diversity awareness, and a deep understanding of human behavior. Many students also go on to graduate school to get an advanced degree.
Here are some common careers our graduates go into, according to Virginia Tech Career Services:
- Social work and social services
- Family therapy and counseling
- Criminal justice, law, and law enforcement
- Political campaigns specialist, civic leadership
- Non-profit program coordinator