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Sociology is the systematic study of society, social institutions, social organization, and social behavior, focusing primarily on the influence of social relationships upon people’s attitudes and behaviors and on how societies are established and changed. Sociology has an extremely broad scope, encompassing, for example, the study of social theory, social change, social structures, gender, ethnicity and race. A major goal of sociology is to identify underlying, recurring patterns of and influences on social behavior—love, poverty, conformity, discrimination, illness, alienation, deviance, crime, overpopulation and community.
A strong liberal arts curriculum is an integral element of an undergraduate major in any of the behavioral sciences and a vital component of professional practice and lifelong learning. In addition to major requirements, students fulfill the The fundamental goal of an undergraduate education in sociology or criminology is to teach students to think like scientists about individual and social behavior. Scientific understanding requires:
- recognition of ethnic, cultural, social and gender diversity;
- a broad and deep knowledge base incorporating social and natural science aspects of each specific discipline;
- methodological competence in statistics, research design and assessment methods;
- effective communication skills; and
- sensitivity to ethical issues.
Integrated with Capital University’s liberal arts core educational goals, the sociology and criminology major and minor prepares students with a curriculum that reflects a commitment to human understanding of social diversity and ethical practice in the pursuit of knowledge, professional careers, and graduate study. In the advancement of knowledge, sociology and criminology students throughout the curriculum are assigned primary source material, e.g., classical and contemporary scholarly works, journal articles, and research material.
As a community of learners, thinkers, and scholars, sociology students have the opportunity to attend the sociology and criminology lecture series, colloquia, and to join national honor societies based on high academic achievement, e.g., Alpha Kappa Delta for sociology majors and Alpha Phi Sigma for criminology majors. Students with high academic achievement may qualify for membership in multiple honor societies.
Under the direction and/or supervision of sociology and criminology faculty, students have the option to complete an Undergraduate Thesis, study and research specialized topics, pursue additional majors and minor in, e.g., sociology, criminology, psychology, cultural studies, business, environmental science, international studies, and computational science. Students can further participate in faculty supervised internships, volunteer activities, and service-learning in a variety of private and public agencies, local, state, and national government, business, and community-based organizations and social services, including a wide range of legal, governmental and, law enforcement agencies.
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