Department of Sociology

Sociology is the study of interpersonal and group aspects of human behavior. Its subject matter ranges from the family to the state, from crime to religion, from work to health, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from stability to change in whole societies.

Coursework in sociology offers students strong preparation in analytic skills and broad knowledge of human relations and social systems. As such, the discipline provides useful tools for a variety of careers, including those in law, business, education, journalism, social work, criminal justice, and policy impact analysis.

The department offers both a major and a minor in sociology.

College Prize for Excellence in Sociology

Awarded by the College of Arts & Sciences on the basis of faculty recommendations and GPA in the major, the winner of this top prize addresses their graduating class at the Sociology convocation each year.

ASA Departmental Prizes

The American Sociological Association (ASA) Departmental Prizes are offered to outstanding seniors graduating with a major in sociology. Prizewinners are selected on the basis of GPA in the major and faculty recommendations for excellence in sociology coursework. Prizewinners are honored at the senior graduation ceremony.

Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society in Sociology

Founded in 1920, Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is an international sociology honor society with more than 400 chapters worldwide. Membership allows students to participate in national undergraduate research paper competitions and receive support for travel to professional meetings.

The Boston University chapter of AKD inducts majors in their junior or senior years who meet certain academic standards. For more information, students can visit our departmental website, consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, or see the Honor Societies section of this Bulletin.

Diedre H. Symington Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to one of several juniors or seniors receiving financial aid and concentrating in sociology. The recipients are nominated by the faculty of the department on the basis of academic accomplishments and financial need.

Undergraduate Sociology Association (USA)

Students are encouraged to join this independent undergraduate organization which “strives to engage Sociology majors/minors and the BU undergraduate community on the themes, concepts, and skills central to the discipline of Sociology.” In conjunction with faculty advisors, USA represents undergraduates in the department and coordinates various events and meetings for students interested in sociology. More information can be found on the association’s website.