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Columbia Campus    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
  Jun 22, 2024
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin

Sociology, BS

Learning Outcomes

  • Sociology majors completing the required SOCY 303 capstone course will demonstrate they understand the general sociological perspective and the uses of sociological theory, can apply critical reasoning skills to evaluating theoretical explanations, and can identify uses and limitations of major sociological research methods in evaluating theories. Majors will evidence these ability to apply these skills to the study of social issues of broad impact and interest beyond the discipline. 
  • Sociology majors  completing advanced substantive courses (500-level) will demonstrate they (1) understand the major sociological theories in a specific substantive area of specialization, (2) can critically evaluate competing theories in the field, and (3) can identify and critique major methodological approaches within the specialty area. Examples of substantive areas are Social Inequality, Social Psychology, Sociology of the Family, and Sociology of Medicine and Health. 
  • Sociology majors will demonstrate an understanding and ability to use the following statistical tools: 1. The distinction between descriptive and inferential statistics  2. Levels of measurement, ratios and rates  3. Various measures of central tendency and statistical variability used to describe distributions  4. Hypothesis testing, sampling and inference from sample estimates for a population  5. Simple bivariate modeling techniques such as correlation and regression.. 
  • Students should demonstrate that they can apply elementary statistical tools and research methods to the analysis of basic sociological questions. 
  • Graduating sociology majors should evidence an integrated preparation for career pursuits and self assess their career preparation as adequate for career plans at the point of graduation. 

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Sociology, BS


Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

  1. Carolina Core (32-44 hours)
  2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
  3. Program Requirements (31-46 hours)
  4. Major Requirements (27 hours)

1. Carolina Core (32-44 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written — CMW (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving — ARP (6-8 hours) 

Scientific Literacy — SCI (8 hours)

  • Two 4-credit hour CC-SCI laboratory science courses

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language — GFL (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required for all baccalaureate degrees. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

​Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking — GHS (3 hours) 

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences — GSS (3 hours) 

Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding —  AIU (3 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component* — CMS (0-3 hours)

Information Literacy* —  INF (0-3 hours)

Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility* — VSR (0-3 hours)

*Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours) 

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

Analytical Reasoning (6 hours)

History (3 hours) 

The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:

  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111 112 214 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.


  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101 102 104 105 106 108 109 GERM 280 FAMS 300 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.

Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (6 hours)

3. Program Requirements (31-46 hours)

Supporting Courses (3 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)


The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs, depending on the interests of the student and the judgment of the advisor.

Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences .

For cognate course offerings in other colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.

It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the major advisor as being related to the major field of study. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.

For Bachelor of Science degrees, grades of D are acceptable for completion of the cognate requirement, except where restricted by the major program.


In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of 16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.

The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.

Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z .

Electives (10-31 hours)

No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.

4. Major Requirements (27 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.

Major Courses (9 hours)

Major Electives (18 hours)

  • Select 4 additional SOCY courses from the 300-level or above
  • Select 2 additional SOCY courses from the 500-level or above

B.A. with Distinction in Sociology

The Departmental Undergraduate Research Track (BS with Distinction in Sociology) is available to students majoring in Sociology who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major and 3.50 cumulative and who wish to plan and conduct an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty committee.

A student seeking to graduate with Distinction in Sociology must select a faculty member to chair the committee that guides and evaluates the research project. At least two other faculty members will be appointed by the committee chair to serve as members of the committee. A written sponsorship agreement signed by the committee chair must be filed with the departmental chair. The student must successfully defend a research proposal and final paper to the committee. Ideally, the project should be finished within two semesters.

Research projects must conform to the University’s policy on the treatment of human subjects. Proposals mustadditionally be subjected to the scrutiny of the Department of Sociology ethics committee.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and a GPA of 3.50 or higher in the major;
  • Successful completion of requirements for the Sociology major;
  • Research proposal approved by faculty committee;
  • Successful completion of 3-6 hours SOCY 599 including written and oral presentation of research project.