Major in Sociology

Sociology is a social science dealing with the study of social life, social rules and processes, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. The field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes. Sociology offers a rich source of conceptual frameworks into which the most pressing issues of our times can be placed, and a powerful set of methodological tools with which to study them. A focus on sociology as an “applied” discipline emphasizes the “real-world” applicability across society.

About The Program

The sociology program provides real-life occasions and intellectual resources that can help students understand the social and cultural dimensions of human behavior. By focusing on the concepts, theories and techniques of inquiry employed by sociologists, the Department hopes to foster the sociological perspective. The department offers a major in sociology and provides a great number of courses that serve other major programs and the general goals of a liberal arts education.

Major: Sociology (BA)
Minor: Sociology

Program Chair: Jeff Toussaint
College: Birdsong School of Social Science

The sociology major is a strong supporter of the liberal arts and complements the liberal arts curriculum. The department can also model the major around the individual needs and interests of the student. A student majoring in sociology at Virginia Wesleyan is required to complete 40 hours in specified coursework, and 50 hours if choosing to pursue an internship as part of their program.

Students may elect to complement the classroom experience with an internship opportunity supervised by the department. An internship is a practiced, super ­ vised experience in direct student learning in applied social settings in which students learn how sociological knowledge and skill sets can be applied to the work ­ place. Practical and applied learning through student performance in the applied setting gives the student a “competitive edge” for future

The variety of skills that students gain through the sociology program enables students to plug into many roles, such as clinicians (with further study) and researchers who implement the theory in day-to-day life. Students enter a variety of career fields including public administration, education, social work, business, politics, protocol and personnel work. A degree in so­ ciology also enables students to also work in health and human services-related fields or in the criminal justice system. In addition, some graduates seek postgraduate degrees such as law, M.S.W. and M.B.A. degrees.


Course Number And Title

Sem. Hrs.

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 270 Social Problems*
SOC 345 Foundations of Sociology 4
SOC 350 Introduction to Social Research 4
SOC 353 Applied Sociology*
SOC 480 Senior Research Project
SOC 489 Senior Integrated Assessment
SOC 430 Women’s/Gender Studies Seminar
Two additional SOC courses at the 300/400 level 8
Three additional courses at any level, including one or two from the allied course list 12

SOC electives:
SOC 110, 219, 251, 303*, 308*, 311, 336, 351, 430, 460

*Students seeking an applied emphasis should consider taking these courses.

Internship (optional)
SOC 483 Internship Preparation (2 sem. hrs.)
SOC 484 Internship in Sociology (8 sem. hrs.)

Suggested Allied Courses (see advisor):
ENVS 106 Humans, the Environment & Sustainability
GEOG 112 Cultural Geography
GEOG 113 Human Geograph
SW 361 Human Sexuality  
SW 402 Women on the Brink  
HIST 451 History of the Holocaust  

MATH 210 Introductory Statistics
MATH 310 Statistical Models

PHIL 272/372 Beyond the Western Tradition
PHIL 292/392 Alternative Futures

POLS 103 Global Realities
POLS 353 Globalization & its Discontents
PSY 227 Social Psychology  
RELST 116 World Religions  
RELST 140 Religion in American Culture
RELST 250 Religion & Popular Culture
SPAN 210 Hispanic Myths/Rituals
SPAN 265 U.S. Latino Culture
TH 375 Images of Women in Theatre & Film  
Students should consult their advisors and choose allied courses suited to their academic and career interests  
Total without Internship 40
Total with Internship 50


Course Number And Title

Sem. Hrs.

One of the following:
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 270 Social Problems
Two Sociology courses at the 200 level or above 8
Two Sociology courses at the 300/400 level 8
Total 20

Thomas F. Brown

Thomas F Brown

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice-Sociology
Coordinator of
Social Science


112 Allen Commons, Allen Village

Thomas S. Liverman

Thomas S. Liverman (Scott)

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice


4 Graybeal Hall, Allen Village

Kathy S. Stolley

Kathy S. Stolley

Professor of Sociology

Jeffrey G. Toussaint

Jeffrey G. Toussaint

Associate Professor of Sociology/Criminal Justice
Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice


3 Graybeal Hall, Allen Village


John Glass

Adjunct Faculty


Keith Hurley

Adjunct Faculty

Classes at VWU are small and interactive. Some of the courses within the sociology program include: Applied Sociology; Cultural Anthropology; Family; Foundations of Sociology; Medical Sociology; Social Research; Sociology of Religion; Social Problems and Social Solutions; Visual Sociology; and special topics courses such as Animals and Society.

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