Sociology Coursework Level

Coursework

The required coursework, normally taken in the first year of graduate study, focuses on theories and methods of sociological research. The required coursework includes a two-semester sequence on theory (SOC 2040: Classical Sociological Theory; SOC 2050: Contemporary Sociology), a course on the logic of inquiry (SOC 2430: Fields and Methods of Social Research), a qualitative methods course (SOC 2210: Qualitative Methods), and a two-semester sequence covering basic applied statistics (SOC 2010: Multivariate Statistical Methods I; SOC 2020: Multivariate Statistical Methods II).

In addition to the required courses, students take advanced courses in theory, research methods (e.g., survey methods, qualitative methods, advanced statistics), and areas of substantive specialization. The goal of these courses is to master foundational knowledge in two or more areas of specialization within sociology, and to acquire the empirical research skills to complete the dissertation. The additional coursework is normally selected from graduate courses numbered over 2000. Selected courses should include seminars covering the department’s preliminary exam areas, other advanced courses in sociology and other advanced courses in appropriate departments. 1870-level seminars and courses between 1000 and 1860 may count toward the 24-credit requirement with DGS approval. 

The residence requirement for the Ph.D. is the equivalent of three years of full-time study past the bachelor’s degree (i.e., 24 enrollment/tuition credits). At least two semesters beyond the master’s degree must be spent exclusively in full-time study at Brown University. Students who have completed graduate work while in graduate residence at another institution and who have not completed the required number of courses in fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree may, on petition to the Graduate Committee and with the approval of the Registrar, transfer credits equivalent to eight (8) course credits in partial fulfillment of both the residency requirement at Brown and the department’s 24 course credit requirement. After completing all course requirements students must be registered in at least one course in order to remain an active student. Please see below for the listing of the two zero course credit options available.

Teaching

Teaching experience is both a fundamental aspect of scholarly development and a valuable signal on the job market. To provide all students with this experience, the program requires one full year (two semesters) of a teaching assistant assignment. Students who have been unable to TA by the penultimate year (due to receiving multiple fellowships that prohibit teaching) should enroll in a 1-unit teaching practicum [(SOC 2500 (fall) / SOC 2510 (spring): Teaching Practicum in Sociology] with a sponsoring faculty. TA assignments include regular attendance at class, class lecturing or leading discussion sections, and some responsibility for course activities and grading. In addition, we strongly encourage students to complete the Sheridan Center (Level One) teaching certification program early in their time at Brown. 

Sociology Major
A major in sociology consists of 30 hours of coursework organized to provide progressively more sophisticated levels of sociological analysis culminating in a capstone experience. It is expected that students start with Level 1 courses, progress to Level II and then to Level III and so forth. The structure of the major is as follows:

I. Entry Courses (6 hours)

  • Sociology 1000: Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology 2200: Social Inequalities

II. Basic Courses (6 hours)

  • Sociology 2950: Social Research
  • Sociology 3100: Recent Theories in Sociology (prerequisite: Sociology 2200)

III. Post Basic Courses (9 hours)

  • Three additional sociology courses numbered 3000 or above. May include no more than three hours of Sociology 2940, 4941, 2940, and/or 4942.

IV. Additional Hours in Sociology (6 hours)

  • Students must take an additional 6 hours of elective coursework in the major.

V. Capstone Course (3 hours)

  • Capstone or 4000 Level Course (3 hours) The Senior Seminar (Soc. 4970) or another 4000 level course (with the exception of Soc. 4940, 4942 or 4960) is required for all students in the major, except those writing an Honors Thesis (see VI. Departmental Honors below). This course should be taken in the last semester of undergraduate work.

VI. Departmental Honors (6 hours)

  • Sociology 4995: Honors in Sociology. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 are eligible for departmental honors in Sociology. Qualified students who seek this option must write an honors thesis under the supervision of a Sociology faculty member. Students who take the honors thesis option are not required to take Sociology 4970. Students enroll in Sociology 4995 for 3 hours each semester of the senior year.

VII. Statistics

  • A course in statistics is required for the sociology major beginning in fall 2017. Students are required to take Statistics 1200, Introductory Statistical Reasoning or Statistics 2200, Introductory Statistical Methods (or above) to complete this requirement.

Related coursework in sociology has five tracks, listed below. Although sociology majors are not required to select a specific track, students who want a closer tie between the major and future employment are encouraged to do so. Each track area has recommended courses in the major, complementary internships, service learning opportunities, and suggested courses offered by other departments. The tracks are:

  • Law, Justice, and Society
  • Power, Inequalities, and Social Change
  • Sexuality, Health, and the Life Course
  • Culture, Identity, and the Media
  • Organizations, Work, Technology, and the Economy

Sociology Minor
To minor in Sociology, a student must complete a total of 15 hours of Sociology coursework as follows:

  • Sociology 1000: Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology 2200: Social Inequalities
  • Two courses of 3000-level or above
  • One other sociology course

Track 1: Law, Justice, and Society

  • Sociology 1000: Law, Justice, and Society
  • Sociology 1650: Social Deviance
  • Sociology 3010: Social Problems
  • Sociology 3500: State Legitimacy and Revolt
  • Sociology 3600: Criminology
  • Sociology 4500: Sociology of Social Policy
  • Sociology 4600: Contemporary Corrections

Track 2: Power, Inequalities and Social Change

  • Sociology 1000: Power, Inequalities and Social Change
  • Sociology 2182: Critical Dialogs: Nonviolence in Peace/Democracy Movements
  • Sociology 2210: The Black Americans
  • Sociology 2284: Critical Dialogs: Global Environmental Policy Conflicts
  • Sociology 3200: Class, Status, and Power
  • Sociology 3320: Sociology of Sex Roles
  • Sociology 3500: State Legitimacy and Revolt
  • Sociology 3510: Public Opinion and Communication
  • Sociology 3520: Collective Behavior
  • Sociology 4220: Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Sociology 4230: Global Perspectives on Women and Development
  • Sociology 4510: Social Movements and Conflicts

Track 3: Sexuality, Health, and the Life Course

  • Sociology 1000: Sexuality, Health, and the Life Course
  • Sociology 1360: The Female Experience
  • Sociology 2230: Social Perspectives on Aging
  • Sociology 3010: Social Problems
  • Sociology 3300: Queer Theories/Identities
  • Sociology 3320: Sociology of Sex Roles
  • Sociology 3420: The Family
  • Sociology 3440: Sociology of Health
  • Sociology 4210: Sociology of Aging
  • Sociology 4400: Sociology of Health Systems
  • Cross-list WS 4420: The Politics of Reproduction and Fertility Control

Track 4: Culture, Identity, and the Media

  • Sociology 1000: Culture, Identity, and the Media
  • Sociology 2300: Self and Society
  • Sociology 2310: Culture and Mass Media
  • Sociology 3300: Queer Theories/Identities
  • Sociology 3310: Social Psychology
  • Sociology 3400: Politics of the Media
  • Sociology 3430: Sociology of Sport
  • Sociology 3450: Sociology of Religion
  • Sociology 3510: Public Opinion and Communication
  • Sociology 4320: Self, Identity, and Interaction

Track 5: Organizations, Work, Technology, and the Economy

  • Sociology 1000: Organizations, Work, Technology, and the Economy
  • Sociology 3200: Class, Status, and Power
  • Sociology 3500: State Legitimacy and Revolt
  • Sociology 3520: Collective Behavior
  • Sociology 3700: Organizations and Institutions
  • Sociology 3710: Sociology of Work
  • Sociology 4230: Global Perspectives on Women and Development
  • Sociology 4530: Social Organization of Industrial Societies

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