Sociology General Education Requirements

Sociology 101 and 102 satisfy the General Education requirement in the social sciences.

Sociology Majors

  • Majors are required to take Sociology 101, 301, 302, 303, and 470 and four additional upper division courses, three of which must have the Sociology prefix.
  • To graduate with a major in Sociology, a student must have a grade-point average of 2.0 in all Sociology courses.

It is advisable for majors to take as many of the following as possible:

  • Computer Science 101, Economics 111, Philosophy 101 and Psychology 111.
  • All majors are encouraged to take the advanced sociology section of the Graduate Record Examination.

Sociology Courses

Course Descriptions


101 Introduction to Sociology (formerly SOC 11) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) 

Introduction to the sociological perspective on human behavior, including an analysis of theory, research methods, culture, society, personality, the socialization process, social institutions, and social change.

Dr. Maher's Sociology 101 course Budget Exercise can be found here.

Back to top


102 Social Problems (formerly SOC 24) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)

Analysis of current social problems and social policies: the definitions and causes of problems as well as the efficacy and feasibility of proposed solutions.

Back to top



211 Introduction to Criminology (formerly SOC 22) (4)
GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)

Introduction to the field of criminology. Topics include the criminological enterprise; measuring criminal behavior; victims and criminals--profiles; theories of crime causation--biological, psychological, and sociological; crime typologies-violent and property. Police, courts and corrections will also be briefly discussed.

Back to top


212 Law and Society (formerly SOC 39) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101 or PSC-101

Examining the relationship between law and society from a sociological perspective. How social forces influence the nature and content of law. Fundamental problems encountered in the administration of the American criminal justice system. Analyzing how the system of law and social control works by examining its various components-- lawyers, police, courts, and corrections. Also studied is the interaction between the various components of the criminal justice system and larger legal, political, and social communities.

Back to top


213 Deviance and Social Control (formerly SOC 48) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Introduction to research on many forms of deviance, including smoking, mental disorders, suicide, substance abuse, cult membership, sexual nonconformity, and violence. Readings emphasize what sociologists currently know about these behaviors and conditions and how people's reactions and forms of control have changed with time.

Back to top


215 Cultures of Control (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

State control in contemporary American society, showing how organizational cultures of control come to exist in their present form and what kinds of consequences follow. Exploration of "law in action;" how powerful bureaucratic structures interpret criminal law and apply it to individuals. Fundamental problems encountered in the administration of the American criminal justice system. It analyzes how the system of law and social control works by examining various components--lawyers, police, courts, and corrections. Each component is examined as an organizational structure with its own needs and interests. Also studied is the interaction between the various components of the criminal justice system and larger legal, political, and social communities.

Back to top


221 Population, Economy and Society (formerly SOC 35) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) and NE (Humans & the Natural Environment) Prerequisite: ECN-111, SOC-101 or 102 Same as ECN-235.

Explores the trends and determinants of vital events such as fertility, mortality, marriage, divorce and migration from sociological and economic perspectives. Presents a brief history of world population change and explores current trends and theories that are used to understand them. Students may not receive credit for both ECN-235 (35) or SOC-221 (35) and SOC-222 (46).

Back to top


222 Population and Environment (formerly SOC 46) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) and NE (Humans & the Natural Environment) Prerequisite: SOC-101

Analysis and review of basic population theory and trends, including a detailed study of the effects of demographic components (fertility, mortality and migration) on contemporary human society and the environment. Students may not receive credit for both ECN-235 (35) or SOC-221(35) and SOC-222 (46).

Back to top


223 Urban Community (formerly SOC 43) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Exploration of the dynamics of urbanization and urbanism, with an emphasis on American cities. The roles of urban places, institutions, and lifestyles are explored in depth.

Back to top


225 Sociology of Development & Globalization (4)

GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Explores development in the Third World, with a special focus on the continent of Africa. Addresses the question why such a large gap between rich and poor countries exists, why this gap is increasing, and how sociologists and global institutions such as the World Bank have addressed this problem. Issues of the environment, sustainability, the role of women in economic development, the WTO and the push for free trade and social problems in the Third World such as unemployment, poor labor conditions, industrialization, and ethnic conflict will also be addressed.

Back to top


231 Media, Culture and Society (formerly SOC 30) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Examination of the relationship between media and society. Covers various aspects of media, including television, radio, movies, popular music, the internet, advertising, and public relations. Addresses the issue of how social forces shape media content, especially public and political interests. Also examines how needs of media organizations influence images and ideas presented. Considers ways in which media influences society.

Back to top


232 Sociology of Contemporary Families (formerly SOC 31) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Examining historical and current variation in the institution of the family, the construction of the "ideal" family, and the impact of this construction for how the family as an institution both contributes to social order and perpetuates inequality. Marriage, divorce, child-rearing, work and family policy will be considered.

Back to top


233 Sociology of Religion (formerly SOC 49) (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-101

Examination of religion's role in social cohesion and conflict, in continuity and change. A central focus is contemporary American religious life and its mix of seemingly contradictory trends.

Back to top


234 Medical Sociology (formerly SOC 44) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Introduction to the sociological study of medicine and the applications of sociology in medicine, emphasizing the sociocultural aspects of health and illness. Requires extensive field work at a Greenville hospital. Entry is by application only. Course must be enrolled with PHL-302 (28).

To open the Medical Class Application: click here: Application for Medicine Program. The Learning contract can be found here.

Back to top


241 Social Class in America (formerly SOC 40) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Analysis of social stratification, status and social class in the United States. Relationship of social class to social intimacy, style of life, values, mobility, and the socialization process. Structure and function of power systems.

Back to top


242 Sociology of Gender (formerly SOC 42) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Analysis of the role of gender in society. Exploration of the ways gender differences are culturally reproduced transforming male and female biology into masculinity and femininity. Historical and cross-cultural examples are examined as well as a discussion of the nature or nurture debate. Consideration of the influences of the family, media, and language are included. Additional attention is paid to the role of gender in the social institutions (e.g., education, work, health care).

Back to top


243 Race and Ethnic Relations (formerly SOC 47) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

An exploration of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in United States and around the world. Topics covered include "race" and social identities; stigmatization and prejudice; inter-group cooperation, collusion, and competition.

Back to top


251 Social Movements and Collective Behavior (formerly SOC 45) (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)  Prerequisite: SOC-101

Broad examination of social movements, considering movement emergence, movements' influence on social institutions, and movement success. Also considers dynamics within movements, including movement culture and the motivations of, and impact on, movement participants. Special focus on civil rights, Southern mill strikes, and solidarity movements.

Back to top


260 Global Health Inequities (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human behavior) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: SOC-101

Investigation of morbidity and mortality, common epidemics (HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria), cultural factor shaping ideas about health, illness, and healing along with an examination of the role of national health care deliver systems, international groups and NGOs in Southern Africa. This course is part of a study away program in Southern Africa and Latin America.

Back to top


261 Self and Society (4)

GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human behavior) Prerequisite: SOC-101

Examination of the self at the intersection of the individual and society with particular attention to the interdependent nature of micro-level interactions and macro-level structures and institutions. Exploration of how sociologists understand the relationship between the self and society, surveying the fields of symbolic interactionism, social structure and personality, ethnomethodology, role theory, social exchange theory, phenomenology, social constructionism, and the life course.

Back to top


301 Sociological Theory (formerly SOC 50) (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-101

Philosophical and historical influences on and contemporary orientations in sociological theory. The sociological approach to knowledge is compared to that of the other sciences and the humanities.

Back to top


302 Methods of Social Research (formerly SOC 52) (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-101

Introduction to the basic techniques of social research including both quantitative and qualitative methods and to the basic techniques of statistical description and inference. Team-based research projects are developed which are then completed in SOC-303.

Back to top


303 Analysis of Social Data (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-302 and MTH-110, 141 or 150

Continuing introduction to basic techniques of statistics, including descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis on the application and critical consumption of statistics. Completion of quantitative research project begun in SOC-302.

Back to top


470 Qualitative Sociology (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-101 and at least one more sociology course numbered 200 or greater.

Advanced reading, research, and discussion course for majors covering a specific topic in sociology. Topics vary by instructor and term and could include such topics as Subcultures and Alternative Lifestyles, The Built Environment, or Ethnography of Everyday Life. Special emphasis on qualitative methodology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project. May be repeated for credit based on change of topic.

Back to top


475 Sociology Seminar (4)

Prerequisite: SOC-101 and at least one more course numbered 200 or greater in sociology.

Advanced reading, research, and discussion course for covering a specific topic in Sociology. Topics vary by instructor and could include such topics as Organized Deviance: Terrorists, the Mafia and Genocidal States or Environmental Sociology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project. May be repeated for credit based on change of topic.

Back to top


501 Independent Study (formerly SOC 80)

Independent Study Guidelines

Prerequisite: instructor permission

Prospectus for study must be presented to instructor and approved in the term preceding registration for the course. Variable credit.

Back to top


503 Individualized Internship (formerly SOC 83)

Individualized Internship Guidelines

Prerequisite: SOC-101 or 102, at least one sociology course numbered 200 or greater and a GPA of 2.80 or greater in the major.

Practical experience in a variety of local social service agencies. Interns complete at least 120 hours of on-site activities relating to their internship objectives, participate in scheduled seminar meetings, workshops, and field research exercises, and meet regularly with the internship director and agency supervisor. Course cannot be enrolled pass-fail. Variable credit.

Back to top

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now