Sociology (BA, BS)

A sociology degree at Ohio State provides students with the scientific skills and social perspective necessary to analyze and understand the complexities of modern societies and to address challenging social problems. Sociology is distinct in its integration of a broad perspective on social life with real-world applied skills that allow students to identify and solve problems across a range of professions and careers. Students learn how to:

  • think critically about human social life
  • conduct empirical research and analyze data using statistics
  • help others understand the social world
  • become problem solvers and leaders in enacting positive social change

The American Sociological Association notes that "few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory and application of knowledge. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs."

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Major sectors of employment for undergraduate sociology majors include: health and social services (in family planning, substance abuse, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration); community work (in fund-raising, social service organizations, or child welfare agencies); criminal justice and corrections (in law enforcement, probation, parole); the business community; and the federal, state, or local government (in transportation, housing, agriculture and labor).

courses you might take:

SOCIOL 3463: Social Stratification: Race, Class, & Gender

This course challenges the conventional wisdom that individuals are responsible for their own poverty, that racial inequality has been eradicated by Civil Rights era legislation and that gender inequality is caused primarily by natural differences between the sexes. Students will learn to understand how inequality is socially created and maintained.

SOCIOL 2309: Introduction to Law and Society

Students learn about legal institutions and how they relate to other aspects of society, such as the socioeconomic environment, intergroup relations and politics. Attention is given to basic legal concepts, such as the principles of criminal liability, criminal procedure, reading court cases and writing legal briefs.

SOCIOL 4506: Drugs and Society

This course uses a sociological perspective to critically examine why people use drugs, why some substances are criminalized while others are not, how race and class influence the adoption and enforcement of drug laws and how the proliferation of drug laws have influenced a range of social institutions.

SOCIOL 4000S/E: Social Science Business Collaborative: A Service Learning Approach

This service learning course helps students develop research projects by familiarizing them with: the process of collaboration with a local business or non-profit organization to work on a service project; hands-on data collection; project management; present research in both academic and applied settings; and learning through bettering the local community.

SOCIOL 629: Health Disparities in Social Context

Introduces students to the important role of a sociological perspective in understanding and improving health in the U.S. and across the globe. Attention is given to the ways in which macro-level social, economic and political factors influence individual mental and physical health and health disparities.

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