Bachelor of Arts
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Nearly everything a person does, knows, and becomes results from social relationships. This dependence is considered the fundamental principle of sociology.
The basic goal of sociology is to understand social reality with the ultimate hope that this knowledge will improve the human condition. In recent decades, sociologists have developed methods and techniques to gather and analyze large quantities of data, with a goal of making life better for every individual.
Studying sociology contributes to an objective understanding of both personal and social relationships. Sociologists also know how to create, interpret and analyze large data sets that describe various social processes such as the U.S. Census and several types of crime statistics.
Sociology provides students with basic skills that can be applied in a variety of work environments. Many market researchers, public relations directors and recreation workers have sociological training. Students obtaining the bachelor’s degree in sociology or a strong minor in the field are often employed in jobs related to the understanding of human social behavior.
New fields of opportunities are continually being developed. Studies indicate that there are at least half a dozen major job categories where the majority of graduates with sociological training find employment including:
The department encourages students to participate in internship experiences to develop skills and to gain experience for a future career. These experiences provide students with chances to learn more about occupations and to determine whether these jobs and careers are compatible with their interests.
The sociology major is flexible and prepares students for many diverse careers in law, business, human services, public administration, communications and research.
The American Sociological Association offers the following advice concerning some specific skills sociologists learn and use:
Regardless of one’s special interest in sociology, students would do well to emphasize research methods and statistics. It is precisely these courses that are cited as most valuable by persons already employed in jobs who are asked to reconsider their education with the wisdom of hindsight.
At BGSU the sociology courses clearly enhance students’ employment prospects by including courses in statistics, interviewing, data-analysis, program evaluation, report- writing and social-survey techniques. Employers hire graduates who can write and speak well, work in groups and can use research techniques and computers.
To ensure a basic sociology foundation, all majors are required to take the introductory course and at least one course in research methods, statistics, and social psychology or social theory.
The major offers several areas of concentration including criminology/corrections, family and social services, and population studies. Selecting an area of concentration improves marketability.
This concentration explores the nature of criminal law, causes and consequences of criminal behavior and ways society handles criminal offenders. Students participate in internship experiences with police departments and centers for juvenile offenders. Electives include, but are not limited to, Juvenile Delinquency, Criminology, Corrections, White Collar and Organized Crime, and Deviance and Social Control.
Students are prepared for careers in agencies responsible for the planning, delivery and administration of services and resources for the well-being of individuals and families. Coursework provides a strong background for management decisions that focus on family dynamics and interactions with social institutions and human service programs.
Students often participate in internships with local social service agencies such as The Children’s Development Center and Behavioral Connections. The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission actively recruits students in this concentration.
Electives include, but are not limited to, Fertility and Family Planning, Alcohol and Public Policy, The Family, Social Gerontology, Gender and Socialization, and Sociology of Family Violence.
This concentration examines human populations, communities and organizations as they adapt to their environments and focuses on basic understandings of contemporary energy and ecological issues. The curriculum provides training for careers in business planning, labor force analysis and economic development. Population analysts are employed in all levels of government and private business. The U.S. Bureau of the Census actively recruits students in this concentration. Electives include, but are not limited to, Population and Society, Society and the Environment, and Population and Development.
A sociology major requires a minimum of 32 semester credits, approximately eleven courses, and a minor requires a minimum of 20 semester credits, approximately seven courses.
Student are encouraged to consult the departmental advisor when designing a program and plan ahead in order to schedule required courses early in the academic career. It is recommended that students discuss their career goals with a faculty member specializing in their area of interest. Students are also able to use the excellent services offered by the Career Planning and Placement Office on campus and to participate in activities organized jointly by the sociology department and the Career Office. The Sociology Club is an additional resource available to undergraduates.
High school students should develop skills in reading, writing, mathematics, computer applications and critical thinking. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook offers the following recommendations:
The ability to handle independent research is important for sociologists. Intellectual curiosity is an essential trait. Like other social scientists, sociologists must be objective in gathering information about social institutions and behavior; they need analytical skills in order to organize data effectively and reach valid conclusions, and they must be careful and systematic in their work. Because communicating their findings to people is such an important part of the job, sociologists must be able to formulate the results of their work in a way that others will understand.
Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent for preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.
BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.
Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.
NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Sociology, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: choose.bgsu.edu/catalog/SOCI