Sociology (B.A.)

Sociology (B.A.)
Sociology Major

What is sociology?

Sociology is the study of society, or the way groups of people in a community, large or small, interact. This includes the ways in which a group or organization can affect individual decisions and behaviors, as well as the ways in which an individual can influence the group. You’ll learn how to conduct research, analyze data and perform statistical analyses while studying topics such as racism and gender inequality, communities and the environment, religion, drug addiction and mental health. You’ll be prepared for work or further study in fields such as counseling and social services, healthcare, management, education, marketing, criminal justice and government.

Why study sociology at UNH?

The sociology degree program at UNH will prepare you to succeed in an increasingly diverse, global and technologically-driven world. The program promotes scientific inquiry, digital literacy and cultural awareness. It helps you hone creative thinking and written and verbal communication skills. You’ll have opportunities to work closely with faculty on their own research projects, and through independent study. Perspectives, the student-run digital journal, publishes student work each spring. We’ll encourage you to expand your perspectives through study abroad in one of the many UNH-approved programs, including the UNH Budapest program, which is run by UNH faculty and focuses on justice studies.

Potential careers

  • Business or data analyst
  • Criminologist
  • Criminal investigator
  • District attorney
  • Family counselor
  • Guidance counselor
  • Lawyer
  • Market or survey researcher
  • Policy analyst
  • Public relations specialist
  • Social worker
  • Sociology professor
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    Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies Majors
    When Caitlin Turner ‘23 realized the research opportunities offered at UNH, she made the connection between a UNH degree and her future. “The undergraduate research prospects are phenomenal. And UNH has fantastic alumni and networking opportunities,” Turner says. “I recognized that a degree from this university would lead to fascinating possibilities.” But before deciding for certain…
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    Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Maybe it was because of COVID restrictions. Or maybe she would have come to the same conclusion anyway: Aashaya Rajbhandari ‘23 cites learning to make the most of the time she has as the most valuable lesson she’ll take away from UNH. It’s a lesson that she’s good at. Here’s proof: Rajbhandari is graduating after only three years. She  chose to study both sociology and justice…
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    Sociology Major
    Hometown: Plymouth, Minn. What made you choose UNH? I play on the Women’s Ice Hockey team here at UNH, so recruitment was a big part of my choosing process. I stepped onto the UNH campus when I was 15, and it just felt like home…
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    Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Not every student arrives at COLA with a plan. Taylor Donnelly wasn’t sure she wanted to attend college; she decided to try UNH for a year, believing it would help her step outside her comfort zone and grow emotionally and academically. That self-motivation has helped make her stand out. Donnelly took classes in human development and family studies as well as courses in political…
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    Sociology Major and M.A. | Research Fellow
    Following the completion of my master’s degree in sociology in 2021, I have been working as a research fellow at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.
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Curriculum & Requirements

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 Department of Sociology include 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 mental health; 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 nonprofit services, where majors might work in education, health services, social welfare or 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.

Conjoint minors (allowing double-counting of one or two courses) are available for justice studies; gerontology; American studies; race and ethnic studies; women's and gender 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 3.4, and especially for those anticipating graduate study.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Majors must complete a minimum of 40 semester credits in sociology courses with grades of C- or better in each course as well as maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or better in all sociology courses.

Required Core Courses
SOC 400Introductory Sociology4
SOC 402Statistics4
SOC 599Sociological Analysis 14
SOC 601Methods of Social Research 24
Select five sociology elective courses, at least two of which must be at the 600 or 700 level (upper-level electives).20
SOC 450
Contemporary Social Problems
SOC 444A
Honors/Society in the Arctic
SOC 515
Introductory Criminology
SOC 520
SOC 525
Juvenile Crime and Delinquency
SOC 530
Race and Racism
SOC 535
SOC 555
Death and Dying in America
SOC 565
Environment and Society
SOC 570
Sexual Behavior
SOC 595
Independent Reading and Research
SOC #597
Special Topics
SOC 620
Drugs and Society
SOC 625
Mental Health and Society
SOC 627
Sociology of Fashion
SOC 636
Sociology of Justice
SOC 645
Class, Status and Power
SOC 647
Sociology of Work and Well-Being
SOC 665
Environmental Sociology
SOC 693
Global Change and Social Sustainability
SOC 697
Special Topics
SOC 725
Social Demography
SOC 611
Sociological Theory
SOC 635W
Medical Sociology
SOC 799H
Senior Honors Thesis
SOC 730
Communities and the Environment
SOC 740
Sociology of Mental Health
SOC #745
Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality
SOC #788
Advanced Medical Sociology
SOC 792
Internship Independent Study
SOC #797
Special Topics
SOC 799
Senior Thesis
Capstone Requirement
Fulfilled by the successful completion any 600 or 700-level UNH sociology course, or a senior thesis (SOC 799), or an IROP/SURF research experience during the student’s senior year
Total Credits36

SOC 599 Sociological Analysis must be completed no later than the junior year and is a prerequisite for majors taking 600- and 700-level courses.


SOC 402 Statistics is a prerequisite for SOC 601 Methods of Social Research.

SOC 595 Independent Reading and Research can be used to fulfill one lower-level elective or SOC 799 Senior Thesis can be used to fulfill one upper-level elective. Sociology majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements. In addition, SOC 599 Sociological Analysis can be used to satisfy both a major requirement and the Inquiry Discovery requirement. (Statistics courses taken in other disciplines are not acceptable as a substitute for SOC 402 Statistics.)

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.

Students interested in majoring in sociology should consult with the director of undergraduate program in the sociology department for guidance. It is the responsibility of all sociology majors to obtain the latest information from the department office.

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 meet the foreign language proficiency requirement for sociology majors when ASL I and ASL II have been completed.

  • Outcome 1: Students will learn to articulate and evaluate how individual biographies are shaped by social structures, social institutions, cultural norms, and multiple of dimensions of social stratification and inequality.  (Sociological imagination)
  • Outcome 2: Students will learn to analyze and evaluate multiple and competing arguments about high-profile social, political, and cultural current events; distinguish between evidence and opinions; and use reason and data to advance an argument. (Critical thinking)
  • Outcome 3: Students will learn to use, evaluate, and apply classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives to historical and contemporary events.  (Sociological theory)
  • Outcome 4: Students will learn how to generate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a value-neutral way. (Data analysis)
  • Outcome 5: Students will learn how to interpret and evaluate several of the major social science research methodologies, as well as the relationship between research questions and appropriate methods. (Research methods)
  • Outcome 6: Students will learn to effectively communicate a sociological perspective both in writing and verbally.  (Communication skills)
  • Outcome 7: Students will learn to understand how people of different cultural, racial, ethnic, sex, gender, religious, and political identities interpret the world around them. (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Outcome 8: Students will learn to work effectively and respectfully with people of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. (Collaboration)

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