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University Catalog

Department of Sociology

Donna Barnes, Department Head
406 Ross Hall
Phone: (307) 766-3342, FAX: (307) 766-3812


DONNA A. BARNES, B.A. Louisiana State University 1975; M.A. University of Texas 1978; Ph.D. 1982; Professor of Sociology 2011, 1991.
MALCOLM D. HOLMES, B.A. University of Texas at El Paso 1974; M.A. 1976; Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin 1982; Professor of Sociology 1999, 1991.

Associate Professor

MATTHEW A. PAINTER II, B.A. Kansas State University 2003; M.A. Ohio State University 2005; Ph.D. 2010; Associate Professor of Sociology 2016, 2010.
B.A. Hunter College (CUNY) 1999; M.S. Rutgers 2004; Ph.D. Princeton University 2006; Associate Professor of Sociology 2014, 2009.

Assistant Professor

SHIRI NOY, B.A. McGill University 2005; M.A. Indiana University 2007; Ph.D. 2013; Assistant Professor of Sociology 2013.

Adjunct Professors

Anatchkova, Inman, Straight, Ukaegbu

Professors Emeriti

David Ashley, Audie Blevins, Gary Hampe, Quee-Young Kim, Richard Machalek


Sociology is the scientific study of group life and the investigation of the social causes and consequences of human behavior. This discipline occupies a central position in the social sciences and covers the full scope of social behaviors from intimate interactions between individuals to relationships among entire societies. Most importantly, sociology invites students to analyze those features of social existence that we are most likely to take for granted. As such, sociological training imparts critical and analytical skills of great value in virtually all aspects of modern life.

Much of the applied knowledge employed in diverse fields such as communications, social work, business management, family life, health care, urban planning, government, education, religion and the administration of justice derives from basic sociological research. Consequently, sociological training provides an excellent background for occupations connected with these fields. In addition, an undergraduate degree in sociology prepares many students for advanced study in law, education, business, public administration, social work, pastoral work, health care and other professions.

The department provides a comprehensive sociology education both for students who elect to terminate their formal education with the B.A. and for those who plan to pursue advanced degrees in sociology or a related social science. Fundamentally, however, the department aspires to prepare students for informed participation in an increasingly complex world.

Undergraduate Major

In addition to University and College requirements, the following are minimum requirements for the undergraduate major in sociology leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Thirty-five credit hours are required to earn a major in sociology. These courses are listed below. This includes 14 hours of required Foundation Courses, 12 hours of Core Courses, and 9 hours of sociology elective courses. Of the 12 hours of required Core Courses, students must take one course each from any 4 of the 5 Core Course areas identified below. Grades of "C" or better must be earned in all 35 hours of coursework in order to be counted toward the major.

Foundation Courses

SOC 1000 3
STAT 2070 4
SOC 3900 3
SOC 4095 4
Total Foundation Hours 14

Core Courses

Complete four courses from the following list:

SOC 2350 3
SOC 3110 3
SOC 3140 3
SOC 3200 3
SOC 3400 3
SOC 3500 3
SOC 3550 3
SOC 3605 3
SOC 3880 3
SOC 4050 3
SOC 4110 3
SOC 4370 3
Total Core Hours 12

Elective Courses

Complete 9 additional hours of sociology courses. Electives may be used either to develop additional expertise in an area of interest or to broaden the student's sociological training.

Undergraduate Minor

The sociology minor requires a total of 18 sociology credits including SOC 1000. At least 9 of these 18 hours must be upper-division sociology credits.

Only grades of C or better can be counted toward the minor. Also, A&S students seeking a minor must have 12 credit hours exclusive to the minor and not counted toward their major.

Honors in Sociology

Sociology majors with a 3.5 overall GPA, a 3.5 GPA in sociology courses and one 5000-level sociology course graduate with honors in sociology. The department also nominates students for membership in Alpha Kappa Delta, the international honorary society for sociology. Selection is based on academic excellence.

Graduate Study

The Department of Sociology offers programs leading to the master of arts degree in sociology under Plan A.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Admission based on the university minimum requirements.

Program Specific Graduate Assistantships

Graduate education allows students to acquire both teaching and research experience. Assistantships are available, upon application, to many incoming students and continued support is contingent on adequate progress in the program.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Sociology

Plan A (thesis)

To graduate with a master's degree in sociology, the student must complete a minimum of 26 hours of coursework.

The student is required to take Advanced Social Theory (SOC 5000), Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (SOC 5070 - no other statistics course can be substituted), and Advanced Social Research Methods (SOC 5100).

The student must also take three elective sociology courses, as well as three additional elective courses that may be outside of the department. In addition, all graduate students must complete a thesis.

Credit for Practicum in College Teaching (SOC 5900) may not be included in the minimum number of course hours.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for satisfactory progress in the program and graduation. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in required classes.

Students whose undergraduate training in sociology does not include the prerequisites for the required graduate courses may correct the deficiencies by taking such undergraduate courses early in the graduate program. However, such work does not count toward graduation requirements.

Students also are required to write a master's thesis for which they receive a minimum of four hours of credit (SOC 5960). Before undertaking the thesis work, students must write and defend their thesis prospectus before a select faculty committee.

The department emphasizes both research skills that prepare the student for immediate job placement and broad academic work facilitating entrance to doctoral programs.

Sociology (SOC) Courses

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