Sidebar Site Navigation
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.
RICHARD S. MACHALEK, B.S. Texas A&M University 1969; M.A. University of Texas 1972; Ph.D. 1975; Professor of Sociology 1988.
SHIRI NOY, B.A. McGill University 2005; M.A. Indiana University 2007; Ph.D. 2013; Assistant Professor of Sociology 2013.
MATTHEW A. PAINTER II, B.A. Kansas State University 2003; M.A. Ohio State University 2005; Ph.D. 2010; Assistant Professor of Sociology 2010.
ANNA ZAJACOVA, B.A. Hunter College (CUNY) 1999; M.S. Rutgers 2004; Ph.D. Princeton University 2006; Assistant Professor of Sociology 2009.
David Ashley, Audie Blevins, Gary Hampe, Quee-Young Kim
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.
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 (14 total hours):
SOC 1000, 2070, 3090, 3900
Core Courses (Complete four courses, one each in any four of the following five areas for 12 total hours):
Area A: Society and Inequality
SOC 2340, 3500, 4000, 4160
Area B: Social Organization and Processes
SOC 4020, 4500, 4650, 4805
Area C: Social Institutions
SOC 3200, 3605, 3880, 3140, 4350
Area D: Individual and Society
SOC 2400, 3110, 3150, 3400
Area E: Global Comparative Sociology
SOC 3000, 4110, 4300, 4370
Elective Courses (9 total hours):
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.
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.
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.