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The Department of Sociology at Mount Saint Mary’s University applies a human rights framework as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (1948) to examine social behavior in many contexts, including the family, the community, and the workplace, at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
The Sociology major, which offers six areas of specialization (see descriptions of each, below), directly prepares students for a range of specific careers and excellent graduate school preparation. The major challenges students to become leaders and advocates for human rights in their communities and in their professions. The human rights principles of dignity and equality in all respects for all human beings is infused throughout the curriculum. This value-added dimension, which is a unique feature of our program, puts you on the cutting edge of local to global social issues and the human rights challenges of our times, while preparing you for excellent careers in such fields as criminology, social services, medical social work, communications, family or school counselors, and others.
Our department faculty get to know all of our students individually, mentoring them throughout their academic experience at the Mount. We will help you explore career options, succeed in research work, and find the right internships that will provide valuable hands-on experience and networking. The Sociology major is an excellent foundation for a variety of careers in social work and social services, public and urban policy, the criminal justice system, healthcare management, communications, public relations, human resources, mediation and negotiation, and more. In addition, we have carefully designed the major to optimally prepare you for graduate school and a high percentage of our students are accepted into some of the premier universities in the nation, such as Columbia University, USC, UCLA, American University, and UC Berkeley.
The faculty of the department very much look forward to working with you! Feel free to contact me personally if you are interested in learning more about our dynamic major.
Dr. Sande Harte
Chair, Department of Sociology
Specialization One: Criminology: Excellent preparation for careers in law enforcement, probation, crime prevention, criminal investigation, forensics, rehabilitation, programs for at-risk youth.
Specialization Two: Global Development and Human Rights: Addresses the fundamental challenges of population growth, migration, cultural diffusion and environmental change, through the lens of human rights advocacy. A range of topics are explored, including poverty, child labor, children of war, women's rights, economic development, healthcare, and the intersection of religion, politics, economics and culture.
Specialization Three: Medical Sociology: Recommended for those interested in careers in health and human services, medical social work, case management of healthcare resources, and other healthcare-related professions. Work settings include hospitals, health management organizations, rehabilitation centers, hospices, and other healthcare agencies.
Specialization Four: Communications: Basic theories and practice of communication through mass media are examined, along with hands-on practice using a variety of tools, including video production, sound and film editing, and web newscasting. Provides a good foundation for careers in the media or virtually any other career in which media communication skills are necessary and important.
Specialization Five: Social Services: Prepares students for careers in social service agencies, providing a foundation of understanding of development of the life course, and basic skills necessary for working with people in the helping professions. Good preparation for advanced study in social work.
Specialization Six: Family Relations: For students interested in working with couples and families in a variety of clinical settings. Prepares students for advanced studies in marriage and the family.
Total units for BS degree in Sociology: 50No lower division courses in sociology can be applied for the BS in Sociology other than SOC 1.
Plus five additional courses in sociology. A maximum of 12 lower
division units in Sociology may be counted toward completion of the
major. These units cannot, however, include lower division internship
units (SOC 25).
Total units for BA degree in Sociology: 36
To fulfill a BA Degree in Sociology students must complete the
sociology requirements, the general studies requirements, which includes
a language requirement, for a total of 124 units.
The following specializations within the sociology major are
available, but not required. However, a specialization can enhance your
preparation for certain career directions, as discussed within each
specialization. The courses required within each specialization will
count toward the required 36 units for the BA in sociology.
For the BS or BA degrees in Sociology, there are five specialization options:
A minimum of six courses, two of which must include:
Plus four elective courses in the Sociology curriculum.
Total units for the Minor in Sociology: 18
Plus 4 additional courses (12 units) from below for a total of 18 units:
Or any course approved by the Department
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a field of study that
combines spatial theory, GIS technology and software, geographic data
and analysis (including GPS and field work), and cartographic design
principles for the purpose of exploring and understanding the world
around us from a spatial perspective.
Employers in the most competitive industries continue to seek
applicants whose resumes include additional computational skills beyond
the Microsoft Office Suite, and having a GIS Minor would give students
an "edge" in the workforce. According to the most recent edition of the
Harvard Business Review, one of the most valuable jobs emerging in the
21st century is that of the "data scientist," which includes skills such
as knowing how to find, manipulate and interpret different types of
data. Being able to work with and visualize spatial data using GIS
technology will be an invaluable tool for any student in a variety of
majors and concentrations.
A GIS Minor is particularly valuable when paired with the following
fields of study: Sociology, Business Administration, Biology and the
STEM Sciences, though it is not confined to these disciplines. For
instance, someone pursuing a career in urban planning, law enforcement,
environmental science, forensics, health care and health policy,
epidemiology, marketing, etc., could benefit greatly with a background
in GIS, as nearly every company or governmental agency uses GIS within
GIS elective courses:
Additional GIS Courses (Not Required)
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