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 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. For example, pre-law students may wish to take courses in the sociology of law, criminology and criminal justice, and deviance and social control. Students pursuing careers in business may wish to take courses in the sociology of work, business and society, formal organizations, technology, law, and economic sociology, while premed students might take courses in sociology of health care, medical sociology, and epidemiology.

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.

Honor Society in Sociology

Majors in their junior or senior years who meet certain scholastic standards may be inducted into the Boston University chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society. For more information, see the undergraduate studies director in the department; also see the Honor Societies section of this site.

Honors in the Major

The department encourages interested and qualified students to pursue a special program combining a sociological research practicum in the Spring Semester of their junior year with a faculty-mentored, yearlong research project and thesis aimed toward graduation with honors in the major. Interested students are encouraged to discuss this senior honors thesis with their advisors in the Fall Semester of the junior year, when applications for the program must be filed. For more information, visit the site or see the director of undergraduate studies.

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.

Undergraduate Sociology Association

Students are encouraged to join this independent organization, which provides a number of services and programs for students, including working with faculty committees that do program planning in the department. More information can be found on the association’s website.