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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2010-2011

College of Liberal Arts


Sociology (SOC)


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Chairperson: Michele Dillon
Professor: Michele Dillon, Cynthia M. Duncan, David Finkelhor, Lawrence C. Hamilton, Kenneth M. Johnson, Murray A. Straus, Heather A. Turner, Sally Ward
Associate Professor: Benjamin C. Brown, Sharyn J. Potter, Cesar Rebellon, James Tucker, Karen Van Gundy
Research Associate Professor: Barbara A. Wauchope
Assistant Professor: Rebecca Glauber, Thomas G. Safford
Research Assistant Professor: Marybeth J. Mattingly, Kristin E. Smith, Wendy A. Walsh
Clinical Professor: John T. Kirkpatrick
Senior Lecturer: Jean Elson
Lecturer: Michelle Gawerc, Catherine L. Moran, Nena Stracuzzi

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.

Since human behavior is shaped by social factors, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture.

Majoring in sociology provides a solid, multifaceted foundation in the liberal arts, including analytical thinking and writing, and skills in collecting and analyzing data. Students learn diverse theoretical approaches to the social world and acquire tools for conducting and understanding social science research. The wide range of substantive areas taught in the UNH Sociology Department includes courses concentrating on family and work; environmental sociology; social policy; inequalities of race, class, and gender; criminology, social control, and deviant behavior; medical sociology; and religion.

Undergraduate training in sociology is an excellent background for a variety of careers, including the business world, where majors might work in marketing and sales or human resources; government and non-profit  services, where majors might work in education, health services, social welfare, criminal justice; and research. An undergraduate degree in sociology is also excellent preparation for graduate work in law, social work, criminal justice, counseling, public administration, public health, business administration, urban planning, or further studies in sociology.

To declare a major in sociology, students must have completed at least one introductory level sociology course with a grade of C or better. New students who declare the major upon admission to UNH must enroll in SOC 400 during their first semester and earn a grade of C to maintain status in the program.

Majors must complete a minimum of 40 semester credits in sociology courses with grades of C- or better in each course and a GPA of 2.0 or better in sociology courses. SOC 400, 502, 599, 601, and 611 are required. At least two of the additional five major courses must be at the 600 or 700 level (upper-level electives). Majors may meet the Discovery Program capstone requirement in a variety of ways, including the satisfactory completion of a senior thesis (SOC 699), IROP, SURF, a 700-level course, or a capstone project within a 600-level course. Both SOC 502 and 599 are prerequisites for SOC 601; SOC 599 must be completed no later than the junior year and is a prerequisite for majors taking 600- and 700-level courses. SOC 595 can be used to fulfill one lower-level elective or SOC 699 can be used to fulfill one upper-level elective. Courses taken to complete the major requirements cannot be used to satisfy Discovery requirements. (Statistics courses taken in other disciplines are generally not acceptable as a substitute for SOC 502). 

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. B.A. candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Conjoint minors (allowing double-counting of one or two courses) are available for justice studies; gerontology; American studies; race, culture, and power; women’s studies; and other approved minors. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a second major, including justice studies. Students interested in social work or teaching can develop programs in conjunction with the appropriate departments. The departmental honors program is recommended for students with cumulative grade-point averages over 3.2, and especially for those anticipating graduate study.

Students interested in majoring in sociology should consult with the chair of the Undergraduate Committee in the Sociology Department for guidance. It is the responsibility of all sociology majors to obtain the latest information from the department office. A minor consists of any five four credit courses in sociology with a C- or better in each course and a grade-point average of 2.0 or better in these courses.

Sociology Language Requirement
The Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of New Hampshire requires that students satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement. The requirement may be met by demonstrating language proficiency equal to a one-year college-level course (401 and 402, 403 and 503, 501 [Latin only], or 503 and above in a spoken language). American Sign Language courses do not meet the foreign language requirement for sociology majors.

The Department of Sociology requires all students declaring the major after fall 2006 to choose from one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  Exceptions to this list must be petitioned and approved by the Department of Sociology’s Undergraduate Committee and a student’s adviser.

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