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

Contact

Sociology Department
McConnell Hall
University of New Hampshire
15 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2500
Fax: (603) 862-3558
Email: sociology.department@unh.edu

Connect with us

This form is only for prospective students who are not already enrolled at UNH. If you are a current UNH student and interested in this program, please reach out to the contact on this page.


  • 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. I knew I was going to spend my college years here. Durham is awesome...
    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. I knew I was going to spend my college years here. Durham is awesome...
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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.
    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.
  • Sociology major and M.A. | Research Associate
    As a Research Associate at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at UNH, I work on projects about child sex trafficking and online victimization of children.
    Sociology major and M.A. | Research Associate
    As a Research Associate at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at UNH, I work on projects about child sex trafficking and online victimization of children.
  • Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Laura Clancy wasn’t sure she wanted to attend UNH. The daughter and sister of former Wildcats, the Rhode Island native initially wanted to attend a larger school, perhaps farther away. But now, looking back on her UNH experience, she knows it was the right choice. “UNH has everything I wanted:...
    Sociology and Justice Studies Majors
    Laura Clancy wasn’t sure she wanted to attend UNH. The daughter and sister of former Wildcats, the Rhode Island native initially wanted to attend a larger school, perhaps farther away. But now, looking back on her UNH experience, she knows it was the right choice. “UNH has everything I wanted:...

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.

Students may declare a major in sociology in Webcat. New students who declare the major should enroll in SOC 400 Introductory Sociology during the next semester.

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.

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
Electives20
Select five sociology elective courses, at least two of which must be at the 600 or 700 level (upper-level electives).
SOC #440A
Honors/Drug Addiction in American Society
SOC 444A
Honors/Society in the Arctic
SOC 450
Contemporary Social Problems
SOC 515
Introductory Criminology
SOC 520
Family
SOC 525
Juvenile Crime and Delinquency
SOC 530
Race and Racism
SOC 535
Homicide
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 #640
Religion
SOC 645
Class, Status and Power
SOC 647
Sociology of Work and Well-Being
SOC #655
Sociology of Law and Justice
SOC #656
Terrorism
SOC 660
Urban Sociology
SOC 665
Environmental Sociology
SOC #656
Terrorism
SOC 693
Global Social Change
SOC 697
Special Topics
SOC #715
Criminological Theory
SOC 720
Sociology of Drug Use
SOC 725
Social Demography
SOC 730
Communities and the Environment
SOC 740
Sociology of Mental Health
SOC 745
Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality
SOC 773
Childhood and Social Policy
SOC 788
Advanced Medical Sociology
SOC 792
Internship Independent Study
SOC 797
Special Topics
SOC 799
Senior Thesis
Capstone Requirement
SOC 611Sociological Theory 34
Total Credits40
1

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.

2

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

3

Complete SOC 611 Sociological Theory during senior year.

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)