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University Catalog

Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology


Adrienne Freng, Department Head
208 Arts & Sciences
Phone: (307) 766-3342, FAX: (307) 766-3812


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.

Assistant Professor

JENNIFER TABLER, B.A. University of California Los Angeles 2010; M.S. University of Utah 2013; Ph.D. 2016; Assistant Professor of Sociology 2018.

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/CRMJ 3400 3
SOC 3500 3
SOC 3550 3
SOC 3605 3
SOC 3640 3
SOC 3880 3
SOC/INST 4110 3
SOC/INST 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 3.500 overall GPA, a 3.500 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.

Sociology (SOC) Courses

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