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School of Arts & Sciences-Newark


B.A. in Sociology

Major Requirements:

The requirements for the major include 36 credits as follows:

1.  15 credits that must include:

  • Introduction to Sociology (3 credits) 21&62:920:201
  • Social Research I (3 credits) 21&62:920:301*
  • Social Research II (3 credits) 21&62:920:302*
  • Classical Sociological Theory (3 credits) 21&62:920:409
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory (3 credits) 21&62:920:415

2.  21  additional elective credits in Sociology. Of these, five courses (15 credits) must be taken in Sociology, and up to two courses ( 6 credits) may be taken  in Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Social Work courses with the explicit approval of the Sociology department.

*Note: Research Methods in Criminal Justice (CJ 301 & 302), or Statistical Methods in Psychology (Psych 301 & 302) may be substituted for the Social Research (Soc 301 & 302) requirement with approval of the Sociology department.  Where it is required of another major, double-majors are only required to take the research methodology/statistics sequence (301-302) once to satisfy the requirements of both majors.

Sociology Major Checklist


Minor Requirements:

The requirements for the minor include 24 credits as follows:

  1. Introduction to Sociology (3 credits) 21&62:920:201
  2. 3 additional credits that must include: Classical Sociological Theory (3 credits) 21&62:920:409 OR Contemporary Sociological Theory (3 credits) 21&62:920:415
  3. 18 additional elective credits in Sociology.*

*Note: Up to 3 of these elective credits may be earned in Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Social Work courses with the explicit approval of the Sociology department.

**Note: Required courses must have a grade of C or better to qualify for the major or minor.

Sociology Minor Checklist

Sociology Major/Minor Requirements

Sociology at Rutgers-Newark

"The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise."    - C. Wright Mills (1959)

  • Sociology is the scientific study of society and social relations. Using cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative research methods, sociologists seek to systematically understand social interaction, social organization, social institutions, and social change.  Major questions sociologists address include:

    • How are groups, organizations, and societies structured, and how do individuals interact within these contexts?
    • What are the causes and consequences of social inequality?
    • How do social categorizations such as gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality shape life chances for individuals?
    • How do important institutions such as education, the family, religion, and the economy shape society?
    • What forces lead to social change in a society?  How do social movements originate, and what makes them succeed or fail?

    The sociology major is uniquely suited to provide students with the critical thinking and practical research skills necessary to answer questions and discover solutions in an increasingly complex world.  Sociology is a useful field of study for anyone whose work focuses on human social behavior, whether that work is in sales, politics, law, management, criminal justice, medicine, education, advertising, finance, journalism, research, or social welfare. 

  • Upon graduation, undergraduate majors in Sociology assume a broad diversity of career paths ranging from post-graduate programs in law, management, and counseling to positions in business, government, and non-profit organizations.  The Sociology faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology on the Newark campus of Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey meets these diverse needs by providing undergraduates with an education in the central theories, concepts, methods, and substantive themes that distinguish Sociology as one of the basic disciplines included in curricula of Arts and Sciences at all major universities across the United States. We include five learning objectives with this disciplinary framework in mind.

    I. A Firm Grasp of Sociological Theory:  Our courses in Classical and Contemporary Social Theory enable students to master theories and concepts ranging from social structure and social interaction, to race, class, and gender as fundamental mechanisms of social inequality and bureaucracy as the definitive mode of complex organization in the modern world.  Our classes in Classical and Contemporary Social Theory also stress the basic characteristics of modernity as the civilizational epoch in which we all must live today.  In this regard our undergraduates encounter the ongoing tensions between religion and science, the powerful influence of capitalist enterprises and markets as well as the manifold policies and programs pursued by the modern state. Undergraduates who receive this training possess an intellectual toolkit that prepares them not only for the vocational paths they pursue, but also for their own understanding of the life and times which they will encounter as they proceed.

    II. An Ability to Rigorously Analyze Social Science Data:  As a matter of practical application, undergraduates derive special benefits from our year-long sequence of courses in sociological research methods and social statistics.  The skills students acquire in these courses enable them to collect quantitative and qualitative data from a multitude of social settings and enable them to analyze these data from a variety of sociological points of view. Sociology majors will be able to implement research skills using a wide range of sources such as research databases, policy reports, and electronic and medial resources. Employers in many different fields of business, government, and non-profit organizations place a high stock in these skills.  Undergraduates who successfully major in Sociology thus come away with distinctive advantages when applying for jobs that require these most valuable sociological proficiencies.

    III. An Ability To Appreciate and Apply the Contribution of Sociology in Understanding and Explaining Multiple Social Realities: Undergraduate majors in Sociology take an array of courses in specialized areas ranging from Urban Sociology, Political Sociology, Sociology of Education, Race and Ethnicity, Social Movements, to Marriage and the Family, just to name a few. These courses provide students with the ability to appreciate and apply the contribution of sociology in understanding and explaining multiple social realities. Students majoring in Sociology will possess the ability to describe how sociology is similar to and different from other social sciences through the lenses of these specialized subject areas. In addition, depending upon the particular interests students have in mind, the more specialized courses may be relevant for future careers of many different kinds, e.g. counseling, marketing, law, and administration. 

    IV.  Critical Thinking: All of the core disciplines in the Arts and Sciences provide students with skills in critical thought and the mastery of the language in both reading and writing that employers in particular and society in general expect from all who have earned an undergraduate degree.  The faculty in Sociology at Rutgers in Newark provides instruction in critical thought and college level language skills in all of our classes.  As a result of this instruction, Sociology majors are expected to evaluate information from various sources, and then be able to develop coherent arguments and questions as they relate to the work. Sociology courses also encourage cooperative learning, as students will often be required to work in groups to write, synthesize, and produce oral presentations. The ability to effectively communicate through writing and orally are skills that the majority of employers find highly desirable in their workforce. The Sociology faculty at Rutgers-Newark strives to ensure that the intellectual abilities our students acquire in our classes will facilitate their success in future endeavors. 

    V. An Understanding Intercultural Relations and Diversity in Human Societies: In addition to being able to define and demonstrate the relevance of the basic sociological concepts such as: culture, social structure, social institution, status and role, socialization, social stratification, and social change, Sociology majors will be able to articulate how society (both domestically and internationally) is critically shaped by dynamics of prejudice, discrimination, oppression, and social inequality. Students will be expected to describe and explain the significance of variations by race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. The expertise of the Sociology faculty is crucial to the development of our students as we specialize in understanding the social, economic, political, and moral importance of reducing the negative effects of social inequalities. Students who can effectively engage in discussions of civic responsibility and continuing ethical dilemmas of social inequality are well-positioned for their future endeavors, whether they are interested in continuing their education in graduate or professional schools, or are interested in employment opportunities in social science-related fields such as law, policy-development, counseling, teaching, consulting, marketing, government, and non-profit work.


    Study of society: social structure, culture, and social interaction; the nature and historical developments of modern forms of social organization and social relationships.


    21:920:209 CRIME AND JUSTICE (3)

    Analysis of major criminal justice institutions in American society; the function of courts, police, and judicial systems in helping or impairing the fair administration of criminal law.

    21:920:275 POPULAR CULTURE (3)

    Description pending. 


    21:920:285 DRUGS AND SOCIETY (3)

    An examination of the socio-cultural contexts, results, and realities of psycho-active drugs both legal and otherwise. The course considers drugs in both a current and an historical context as well as being comparative when possible. Issues such as narco-trafficking and “drug legalization” are considered in both a local and global context.


    21:920:301 SOCIAL RESEARCH I (3)

    Lec. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 21:920:201, 202, or equivalent. The art and the science of doing research; how to develop a researchable question (hypothesis construction and causal modeling); how to collect (observation, surveys, experiments, and secondary analysis) and analyze data (statistics); and how to write a scientific report. Independent research project required.


    21:920:302 SOCIAL RESEARCH II (3)

    Lec. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 21:920:201, 21/62:920:301. Students will gain a practical understanding of statistics for quantitative analysis of social science data. Students will learn: 1. to produce descriptive and inferential statistics; 2. to interpret univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics; 3. to construct tables and graphs for a presentation of data; 4. to select the appropriate type of statistical procedure to summarize data and test hypotheses; 5. to use statistical software to manage and analyze a large data set. 


    21:920:303 SOCIAL CHANGE (3)

    Causes and consequences of change, as it touches individuals, small groups, communities, organizations, and societies; analyzes intended and unforeseen changes in both current social relations and the history of social structures.

    21:920:304 SOCIAL PROBLEMS (3)

    Social problems facing Americans today; causes and processes underlying these problems; evaluation of proposed solutions.

    21:920:306 MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY (3)

    The institution of the family; emphasis on the modern American family and the current search for alternatives to the traditional monogamous family.


    Problem of order in social groups and entire societies; the production and enforcement of norms; the role of authority in social life; institutional integration and disintegration; oppression, revolution, and normative reconstruction. 


    21:920:308 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

    The manifestations of social change as they appear in diffuse collective behavior and subsequent reintegrative social movements. 



    Variations in cultural definitions of work, attitudes toward careers, and the social environment of work; the development of professions; occupational and professional recruitment.


    Development and significance of modern industry and bureaucracy; division of labor; growth of corporations; interplay of formal and informal organization; sources of labor supply; the role of labor unions in industrial conflict; economic classes and status positions in large-scale organizations. 



    Crime and criminals in modern society, including causes of crime; machinery of justice; penal and correctional institutions; probation and parole; theories of crime and punishment.

    21:920:314 BUREAUCRACY AND SOCIETY (3)

    Causes and consequences of organizations; internal arrangements; effects of environment; organizational performances and effects on people.

    21:920:315 THE PERSON IN SOCIETY (3)

    The interaction between the development of the self and the social environment in which it occurs.


    Comparative view of ethnic relations; origins in migration and mixture of populations; social-psychological consequences of stratification along racial and ethnic lines; prejudice; special emphasis on black Americans. 


    21:920:318 SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH CARE (3)

    The health care system in the U.S.; social behavior of patients and providers within the system; the role of the patient in the delivery of health care; the health professions; health service organizations.

    21:920:321 URBAN SOCIOLOGY (3)

    The city as a mosaic of communities; persistence and change in the structure of urban neighborhoods; city life and the urban personality; the sociology of community planning; the future of neighborhood, suburb, and city. 


    21:920:324 INEQUALITY (3)

    In this course we’ll ask specific questions about inequality, regarding its origins, the shapes and forms it takes in everyday life, its consequences, and the overall impact it has on society. We’ll explore how social scientists interpret and explain inequality mainly from sociological perspectives, but we’ll also include some political and economic perspectives. We’ll consider inequality as a result of race, ethnicity, and gender divisions. We’ll include the historical roots of social organization and consider problems related to inequalities in industrialized as well as less developed countries. We’ll study the institutionalization of inequalities and the patterns that reproduce and maintain them. Finally, starting from the question why we go along with inequalities, we’ll explore some approaches that aim to address and challenge inequalities in our society.



    Since the passage of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), human rights have become a leitmotif of the modern world, the emergence of which is directly bound up with the Holocaust in particular and mass atrocity more generally. This course explores the origin and proliferation of concepts and institutions related to human rights, with an emphasis on the global infrastructures that have emerged to prevent mass human rights violations such as genocide and atrocity crimes. Along the way, we will take up a variety of topics as we explore how human rights ideas, laws, institutions, movements, and practices are enacted, transformed, contested, and understood in contexts ranging from race and slavery in the United States to international criminal tribunals and rural villages in the Global South. Throughout the course, you are expected to continually reflect not just on the readings, but also on how the concepts and ideas we discuss relate to your lives and the contexts of diversity and intercultural complexity through which you move.

    21:920:326 AMERICAN SOCIETY (3)

    This course provides a survey of sociological theory and research on current prominent aspects of American society. A range of sociological perspectives and methods are used to analyze leading American social institutions and cultural values, social inequalities, and forms of social relationships and interactions. 



    Content and transmission of popular culture from a sociological perspective; evaluation of selected forms of popular art and their place in American culture; theories on the social evolution of popular forms from folk and elite cultures; methods employed in analysis of mass culture.


    This course will provide an understanding of the challenges facing the global community as it contemplates sustainable development and will introduce strategies and instruments for achieving the UN’s ambitious, global sustainable development goals.


    21:920:329 SOCIOLOGY OF LAW (3)

    This course is divided into two parts. The first part considers sociological theories of the law around two themes. The first theme considers the relationship between democracy and law, comparing and contrasting theories from Marx, Hayek, Polanyi, and Du Bois. The second theme compares theories addressing the question “why do people obey the law?” from the perspectives of Weber, Durkhiem, and Foucault. The second part of the semester focuses on sociological perspectives on different legal domains. Specifically, we will examine sociological perspectives on corporate lobbying, mass incarceration and the war on drugs, white collar crime and economic crisis, critical approaches to aggravated felony deportations, and the relationship between international law and state sovereignty. Students are required to complete two essays (midterm and final) and in-class activities. There is no textbook for the course.


    21:920:332 CLASS, STATUS, AND POWER (3)

    Theories of inequality, social ranking, and the distribution of resources and opportunity as they affect individuals and groups in terms of crime, health, family life, and value systems. 


    21:920:336 PUNISHMENT AND PRISONS (3)

    Examines and analyzes major types of custodial and community-based criminal corrections in contemporary America. Discusses purposes of corrections, correctional organization, impact of corrections, and contemporary issues facing the field.

    21:920:337 SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER (3)

    What is gender and why do we need it? How is it shaped and constructed? Does gender rely solely on the dichotomy masculinities/femininities? How does gender help us understand issues of race, class, sexuality etc.? This course explores gender and feminisms from a sociological perspective. It looks at the ways in which gender norms, roles, relations and practices are shaped through social structures, institutions and power relations. It also analyses how gender and sexualities are related to race, class, religion, ethnicity etc. We will also explore feminist theories and concepts such as patriarchy, sexism and intersectionality. The course encourages students to investigate central themes in sociology such as violence, family, education, health, work, state, nation, religion etc.


    21:920:338 SOCIOLOGY OF DEATH (3)

    Social factors that influence death and dying in the U.S.; characteristics of patients, professional staff, and institutions as these relate to the dying process and the definition of death; the routinization of death; the impact of technology on dying; current issues in the field.

    21:920:340 SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION (3)

    Social influences on religious organizations and religious beliefs; aims and methods in the study of churches, sects, cults, and civil religions.

    21:920:344 SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE (3)

    Forms of social deviance; theories of deviant behavior; the amount and distribution of deviance in society; societal reaction to deviants and deviant behavior.

    21:920:345 SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION (3)

    The interaction between schools and society; basic social concepts such as stratification, social role, and bureaucratic organization as they relate to the educational system; the system in relation to the larger institutions in the society, with emphasis on both stated objectives and actual social functions. 

    21:920:346 POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY (3)

    Perspectives on the nature, organization, and historical development of power in society; social dimensions of the state, democratic politics, and political change; consequences of the social organization of power for other elements of society.

    21:920:349 LAW AND SOCIETY (3)

    Law as a social institution; social processes in the creation and enforcement of law; the professions of law; law as product and producer of social change; ancient and modern legal institutions; modern societies and their legal systems.

    21:920:354 APPLYING SOCIOLOGY (3)

    Sociological practicum; the sociological meaning of the practical experiences in work, internships, volunteer programs, and other "real world" organizational settings.

    21:920:355 SOCIOLOGY OF MIGRATION (3)

    The course is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of the study of migration. Rather, we will use critical sociology to have a rigorous discussion about certain immigration trends in the US, and within a global context. The course is divided into four interrelated topics, they are: (1) rising global inequality and migration from poor to rich countries, (2) the criminalization of migration to the US, (3) the feminization of migration to the US, (4) mass deportations in the US and their social impacts. These topics are analyzed using sociological categories of class, race, gender, culture, citizenship, and their intersections.



    How have racial and ethnic inequalities in housing and neighborhood development become hallmarks of many U.S. cities? This course focuses on the complex and often misunderstood topics of race and racism from a spatial perspective, paying particular attention to the effects of interlocking systems of oppression on the economic restructuring and spatial transformation of primarily urban African-American communities. However, students will not just examine the built environment of such communities. People shape and are shaped by the places they physically occupy. Students, therefore, also delve into the narratives and everyday experiences of racialized city dwellers through various fields and forms: the social sciences (e.g. sociology, economics, political science, geography), the humanities (e.g. literature, history, anthropology) and media (e.g. music, photography, television, film, podcasts). Students will think critically about the uneven development of US cities through three different lenses: Exclusion, Confinement and Transformation. They represent three crucial and intersecting moments in the physical development of US cities, and the social, economic and political lives of their inhabitants. Students will cover topics such as: residential segregation, the development of the “ghetto” and ethnic enclaves, environmental racism, crime, justice, policing, urban protest, social movements and gentrification.



    This course explores contemporary Islam(s) and Muslim communities from a sociological perspective, providing a critical understanding and analysis of Muslim intellectual, religious, and cultural productions and traditions. The course looks at social, economic, and political realities and experiences related to Islam(s) and Muslims. It analyses the relationship between Islam and "Muslimness" with race, ethnicity, class, gender, etc.



    “Issues Before the United Nations” is designed to provide an orientation to the activities of the United Nations. This course will include exposure to current events, exploration of pressing international issues, the understanding of the basics of international law and mastery of the protocol and procedures of international diplomacy.


    21:920:375 AFRICA, ASIA, & LATIN AMERICA (3)

    Comparative study of the developed and the less-developed nations, and of what separates the two; the growth of nationalism; the emergence of new elites; the roles of higher education and the military in development; the sociological determinants of economic growth; modernity as an individual and societal characteristic.


    Analyzes conflict as a normal process in social life; the emergence and dynamics of conflict; the effects of conflict on individual values and social structures; the processes of conflict resolution; individual, group, and inter-social conflicts.

    21:070:381, 382 INTERNSHIP IN SOCIOLOGY (3)

    21:920:385, 386 SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE (3)

    Social organization of scientific knowledge; organization of scientific communities; inequalities among scientists; effects of scientific knowledge on modern ways of life.


    This course provides an introduction to peace and conflict from sociological as well as interdisciplinary perspectives. We will examine issues of peace and conflict, from interpersonal to international. We will think critically about violence, its causes and consequences, and alternatives, both at home and abroad. Violence is conceptualized as direct violence, such as domestic violence, gang violence, police brutality, human rights abuses, genocide, and war; structural violence, such as the violence of social inequalities that prevent people from meeting their basic needs; and cultural violence, which justifies direct and structural violence.  By the end of the course, students should understand: 1) the inherency of cooperation and conflict in society; 2) forms and manifestations of violence; 3) psychological, political, and structural bases of conflict; 4) methods of conflict resolution; and 5) nonviolent strategies for conflict transformation.


    Topics vary each term.  Consult department for current information.


    Topics vary each term. Consult department for current information.

    21:920:395 FIELD RESEARCH METHODS (3)

    Non-quantitative observational and participant-observational research techniques.


    Description Pending.


    Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor. Critical reading and discussion of monographs and journal literature dealing with selected issues in the field of sociology.


    Foundations of social theory; Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and other contributors to major orientations in the nature and historical development of modern society in the Western world. 


    Prerequisite: 21:920:409 or permission of instructor. Current modes of theoretical analysis, and contemporary perspectives on the nature and historical development of modern forms of social organization and social relationships.

    21:920:420 SOCIAL WORLDS OF THE FUTURE (3)

    Robots and the Future of Work.  Description pending.


    In-depth exploration of selected issues in criminal justice of general relevance and specific interest to course participants.

    21:920:491,492 RESEARCH IN SOCIOLOGY (3,3)

    Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, and permission of instructor.

    21:920:493 SEMINAR IN SOCIOLOGY (3)

    Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, and permission of instructor. Individualized study of a sociological topic.

    21:920:494 CONFERENCE IN SOCIOLOGY (3)

    Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, and permission of instructor. Intensive study of one topic of sociology.

    21:920:495,496 HONORS SEMINAR IN SOCIOLOGY (3,3)

    Prerequisites: Completion of 24 credits in sociology and selection by the department as an outstanding student. For seniors who intend to pursue graduate training in sociology. Intensive review of general sociology and a practicum in conceptualizing and teaching it.