Department of Sociology

Sociology is the study of interpersonal and group aspects of human behavior. Its subject matter encompasses topics like families, the state, crime, religion, work, health, the divisions of race and social class, shared beliefs of a common culture, stability and change in whole societies, and the consequences of interactions across societies and cultures.

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, medicine, business, public health, 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, contributions to the department and University, and GPA in the major, the winner of this top prize addresses their graduating class at the Sociology convocation each year.

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.

Outstanding Senior Thesis Prize

Awarded by the Department of Sociology faculty to the author of the best senior Sociology honors thesis written during the academic year.

Outstanding Seminar Paper Prize

Awarded by the Department of Sociology faculty to the author of the best seminar paper written during the academic year.

BU Sociology Department Promise Grant

The program grant provides two deserving students each year a small grant to help defray the high costs of applying to and attending graduate school, including application fees, GRE preparation, travel to potential graduate schools, and moving expenses. Applicants must be a graduating senior sociology major or minor with plans to enter an accredited graduate program within two years of graduation. Preference is given to students with demonstrated financial need, and to students pursuing an advanced degree in sociology or a related discipline.

BU Undergraduate Sociology Association (BUUSA)

Students are encouraged to join this independent undergraduate organization that “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.