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Sociology & Criminal Justice Programs


Mission Statement

The Sociology program at Curry College offers students the opportunity to look at small-scale interactions of daily life and the large- scale organization and functions of social institutions in various settings and societies. Students gain insight into how the social world transcends individuals in historically evolving structural and cultural patterns. The program enables students to understand the influence of diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation) and inequality on their lives and the lives of others.

These influences will be framed under the larger themes of social justice and global awareness, with an emphasis on social construction and the ways in which these constructions create boundaries that categorize, separate, advantage, or marginalize people. Using the knowledge gained from this perspective, students will better understand how people live together and give meaning to their own actions and attribute meaning to others’ actions. Students will be able to think critically about solutions to social problems in the United States and globally. Students will gain a deeper understanding and awareness about themselves and the wider world and acquire knowledge and skills that are useful personally and professionally (e.g., human services, social work, criminal justice, politics, and business). The program and its faculty encourage community service and internships.


The Sociology major offers students an in-depth look at contemporary human society, its culture and social institutions. It provides a critical lens for examining the construction and framing of social issues, a platform for global awareness, and a deeper understanding of social justice. The course work in the major brings together the disciplines of: sociology, with an emphasis on social construction, institutions, social issues, and social justice; and social work and social policy, with a focus on intervention and social problems, and anthropology, with its cross-cultural perspectives. A selection of diversified courses linked together by a number of important themes is offered.

The larger focus is on the relation between social forces and the individual. Sociology courses examine customs, norms, roles, and the overall organization of contemporary society. Within this context the following themes emerge:

  1. The social facts and problems associated with inequality, emphasizing gender, race, ethnicity, and social class;

  2. Social groups and institutions from family to bureaucracy, emphasizing health care, education, work, and social policy;

  3. Methods of social change for individuals and groups confronting social change, conflict, and differences in wealth and power.

For the sociology course offerings, 1000-level courses provide a comprehensive descriptive overview at the introductory level, 2000-level courses provide an in-depth specialized study of a particular case, area, or social phenomenon and introduce theoretical perspectives, and 3000-level courses analyze case materials applying theory critically in specific cases and consider the consequences of various theories on social policy and strategies for social change.

Any 2000-level sociology course is a prerequisite for any 3000-level sociology course. Any student who has grounds to request a waiver of this requirement may do so by contacting the Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice. This request must be made prior to enrolling in the upper-level sociology course.

Grade Requirements for Sociology Majors

Students who major in Sociology must achieve a grade of C- or above in all core courses in the major. If a student receives a lower grade than a C-, that student will need to repeat the course.



SOC 1000 Introduction to Sociology: The Sociological Imagination


SOC 1140 Quantitative Data Analysis for the Social Sciences


Core Requirements for Sociology Major:

SOC 2130 Sociological Theory


SOC 2600 Methods in Social Research


SOC 4000 Independent Research


Choose (at least) two from these course options

SOC 2200* Race and Ethnicity


SOC 2470* Sex, Gender and Sexuality


SOC 2510* Social Movements and Social Action


SOC 2760* Wealth, Poverty and Social Class




*Course may be used as an elective after core requirement is satisfied

Electives (5 courses/15 credits)


Students must take 5 courses/15 credits at the 2000- or 3000-level with at least 1 from 3000-level. These courses may also be used toward a concentration. Elective options include any course with a SOC designation or cross-listing.

Sociology courses used toward concentrations may be used to meet elective requirements (CJ only courses CJ 2170, CJ 3300 and CJ 3212 may not.) 

Requirements in Related Areas:

CJ/SOC 1001 Academic and Career Exploration


CJ/SOC 2340 Developing Foundations for Success


CJ/SOC 3901 College to Career Transitions


Survivor/Witness/Victim Advocacy Concentration (5 courses/15 credits)

The concentration, by promoting empathy and human rights, helps prepare students for careers in informed advocacy for people who have witnessed or have been victimized by crime. 

Required (12 Credits)

SWK 2310 Introduction to Social Work Practice

CJ/SOC 2350 Human Diversity in Criminal Justice

CJ 3300 Justice and Human Rights Advocacy (prerequisite for concentration, CJ/SOC 2350)

SOC/SWK 3390 Crisis Intervention

Electives for the concentration (3 credits) – choose one of the following:

SOC/CJ 2160 Urban Life: Culture and Change

CJ 2170 Population, Immigration, and Crime

SOC/CJ 2402 Domestic Violence: Family and Intimate Partner Violence

SWK 2410 Working with Individuals

SOC/SWK 2420 Working with Groups and Communities

CJ 3212 Community Policing: Case studies and problem solving

SOC/CJ 3404 Sociology of Violence

SOC/CJ 3640 Deviance and Social Control

Requirements for Sociology Minor:

Students can earn a minor in Sociology by taking SOC 1000 Introduction to Sociology and four courses in the sociology curriculum at the 2000- level or above (excluding SOC/CJ 2340), with at least one course at the 3000-level. 

Experiential Learning (Internships):

Sociology majors are encouraged to experiential learning in fieldwork settings to observe social life and institutions and to participate in programs and projects designed to develop critical understandings of our society.

  1. Completion of SOC/CJ 2340, Introduction to Experiential Learning, with a grade of C or better;

  2. A 2.75 cumulative average overall;

  3. A 3.0 average in the major;

  4. No outstanding “Incomplete” in an earlier field placement.

Additionally, Sociology students electing to do an internship are required to take the co-requisite:

SOC 3450 SM Sociology Internship Seminar.