The accelerated B.S. and M.S. program allows qualified students, with a major in sociology, to earn both degrees in a minimum of five years by completing approved graduate courses during the senior year of their undergraduate program. The program will provide students with the opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge of sociology, enhance their credentials for the job market and/or to prepare for further professional education. Students in the program may count up to 12 hours of graduate courses toward both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Thus, the two degrees may be earned with a minimum of 144 hours instead of the 156 required if the degrees are pursued separately.

The program is restricted to students who have demonstrated a clear interest in sociology. Minimum qualifications for admittance to the program include completion of 90 undergraduate credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0, and a minimum of nine credit hours in sociology with a GPA of 3.3. Prior to being formally considered for admittance and before enrolling in graduate courses, the student must complete the graduate school application, submit GRE general aptitude scores and supply supporting information required for admission. All persons admitted to the program must meet the graduate student standards of performance, e.g., maintain a 3.0 GPA, and satisfactorily complete all requirements for the degree.

The director of graduate studies will provide guidance of students in this program. Students who are interested in this program should consult with the director of graduate studies or the director of undergraduate studies before they have completed 90 credits. Both directors may be contacted for more information about admission procedures.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Sociology include the completion of a minimum of 120 credits. Students in the accelerated program may take up to six graduate sociology credits in each of the final two semesters of their undergraduate course work. These courses are shared credits with the graduate program, meaning that they will be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. A maximum of 12 graduate credits may be taken prior to completion of the baccalaureate degree.

The Bachelor of Science degree will be awarded when the student has completed all requirements for the undergraduate degree, which may include the 12 graduate sociology credits. The graduate sociology courses that may be taken, once a student is admitted to the program, are:

SOCY   502Contemporary Sociological Theory (may be used to meet the undergraduate major requirement for SOCY   402 and is a required course in the graduate program)3
SOCY/STAT 508Introduction to Social Statistics (recommended and may fulfill elective requirement in the undergraduate major)3
SOCY/STAT 608Statistics for Social Research (a required course in the graduate program and may fulfill elective requirement in the undergraduate major)3
SOCY   601Sociological Research Methods (a required course in the graduate program and may fulfill elective requirement in the undergraduate major)3
Other SOCY graduate courses, with the approval of the director of graduate studies, may serve as an elective requirement for the M.S. degree and an elective for the undergraduate major
Total Hours12

All accelerated program students must have their schedules approved by the director of graduate studies prior to registration.

SOCY   101. Introduction to Sociology. 3 Hours.Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to Sociology

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An introduction to the study of human society. The basic concepts of society and culture and their relationships to each other are studied and then used to analyze the major social institutions.

SOCY   104. Sociology of Racism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The course will explore the direct and indirect ways in which racial attitudes are acquired, their effect on the individuals and society, and the institutional and ideological manifestations of racism as a "faith system," as exploitation, and as a form of human conflict. The central focus of interest will be on black-white relationships. Crosslisted as: AFAM   104.

SOCY   202. Foundations of Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. An introduction to classical theoretical traditions that have guided sociological work. Classical theorists whose writings have shaped the discipline will be studied, including Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, W.E.B. Du Bois and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This course also traces the historical development of the discipline of sociology during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

SOCY   206. African American Family Relationships. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Focuses on the African-American family from the 1940s to the present. Examines the values and the interpersonal/role relationships that are involved in forming and maintaining African-American families in the contemporary United States. Topics include dating and sexual relationships, marital relationships, parent-child relationships and relationships with members of the extended family. Crosslisted as: AFAM   206/GSWS   206.

SOCY   302. Contemporary Social Problems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. The examination from a sociological perspective of contemporary social problems such as population growth, crime, racism, family problems, substance abuse and aging in terms of their impact on American social institutions and values.

SOCY   303. Sociology of Deviance. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. An analysis of the relationship between social structure, social control and patterns of social deviance; a survey and critique of present social theories in light of empirical research and application of the theories to selected problem areas.

SOCY   304. Sociology of Families. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101 or ANTH   103/INTL   103. The family in its social and cultural context. Analysis of child rearing, marriage, kinship, family crises and family change in various societies around the world. Crosslisted as: ANTH   304/GSWS   304.

SOCY   305. African American Family in Social Context. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. A socio-historical examination of the development of the family system of Americans from Africa. Focuses on large-scale (macro level) processes such as changes in the major mode of economic production and in political systems and the corresponding changes in black family structure and functioning. Presents the theoretical material on African-American families and social change that prepares students for further study of the family as a social institution and for the study of family policy. This course is designed to meet the needs of upper-division social science majors. Crosslisted as: AFAM   305/GSWS   305.

SOCY   307. Sociology of Food. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Examines the role food plays in shaping cultures, societies and social inequalities by examining the modern food system, social inequalities surrounding food access and alternatives to the current system.

SOCY   310. Social Movements and Social Conflict. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Theory and practice of social movements, community organizing and other forms of collective behavior.

SOCY   315. Sociology of Education. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Analysis of education as a social institution in the societal context. Cross-cultural comparative perspectives on education.

SOCY   320. Research Methods in the Social Sciences. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Current methods of research in the social sciences. Includes a brief introduction to the use of SPSS for storage, retrieval and exploration of social science data. Crosslisted as: POLI   320.

SOCY   321. Sociology of Economic Inequalities. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Analysis of social mobility, class, status and power.

SOCY   322. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. A study of the various racial, religious and ethnic minority groups. Issues of power, pluralism and assimilation are addressed as well as the relationship between subcultures and the dominant culture.

SOCY   325. Analysis of Sociological Data. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: POLI/SOCY   320 and STAT   210. Statistical techniques used in the analysis of data from sample surveys and censuses, including tabular, graphical and inferential procedures. SPSS software will be used in the laboratory.

SOCY   327. Urban Sociology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Origin, character and significance of urban communities. Ecological and social factors are analyzed as well as changes in urban social organization and their consequences.

SOCY   330. Global Societies: Trends and Issues. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INTL/POLI   105 or POLI 201 or SOCY   101. An analysis of factors that are promoting the globalization of social, economic and political relations, and an inquiry into implications of these developments for individuals, localities, nations and the world community. The course will highlight the impact of culture and ethnicity, historical and emerging patterns of international business activity and their societal significance, divergent strategies for economic and social development in the world's regions, and the effects of population growth and environmental problems on public life within and among nations. Crosslisted as: INTL   330.

SOCY   331. Juvenile Delinquency. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Analysis of the biological, cultural, psychological and social factors involved in juvenile delinquency and their relation to current techniques of treatment, prevention and control.

SOCY   333. Gender in Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101 or permission of instructor. Explores different theoretical approaches to gender and its intersections with other sources of inequality, including sexuality, race, class and age. Possible topics include masculinities, gender and the body, and how gender operates in various institutional settings, such as the economy and the family. Crosslisted as: GSWS   333.

SOCY   334. Sociology of Women. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101 or consent of instructor. This course will examine the position and status of women across societies and the social forces that maintain existing patterns and arrangements. The integration of family and work in women's lives will be emphasized. Crosslisted as: GSWS   334.

SOCY   336. Violence Against Women. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101 or GSWS   201. An examination of violence against women from a global and local perspective with a primary focus on violence perpetrated against women in the U.S. Requires a minimum of 20 hours of community service. Crosslisted as: GSWS   336.

SOCY   340. Self and Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Focused discussion of the regularities in human behavior that arise due to man's participation in social groups. Emphasis will be placed on such topics as communications, attitudes, language, interpersonal perception, personal identities and social interaction.

SOCY   341. Group Dynamics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: PSYC   101. Social and psychological principles and research related to the individual in groups. Specific topics include motivation for individuals forming and joining groups, performance and productivity of group members, group leadership and majority and minority influence. The group will be examined in relation to the larger society and as a subculture in itself. Crosslisted as: PSYC   341.

SOCY   360. Sociology of Religion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. A systematic review and assessment of major sociological theories of and empirical research on religious behavior and groups. Topics include the structure of religious organizations; social correlates and functions of religion; denominationalism; religion and social class, social change and population. Crosslisted as: RELS   360.

SOCY   370. Media and Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101, MASC   101 or POLI   103. A survey of the organization and social impact of the major types of mass media. Potential topics include the media as socializing agents; the effect of media messages on cultural patterns and social values; the impact of technology on social behavior; the role of "audiences" in interpreting media content; political and economic influences on the media industry; and the media as an instrument of social change. The structure and functions of the media in different societies will be compared.

SOCY   391. Topics in Sociology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Maximum 6 credits per semester; maximum total of 18 credits in all departmental topics courses that may be applied to the major. Check with department for specific prerequisites. A discussion of specialized areas of sociological interest. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

SOCY   401. Americans and the U.S. Health Care System. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: AFAM 103, AFAM/SOCY/WMNS/GSWS   305 or permission of the instructor. Explores issues surrounding the disparity in health status and health outcomes between African-Americans and other groups in the United States. Students are required to participate in an experiential exercise designed to enhance learning. Crosslisted as: AFAM   401.

SOCY   402. Contemporary Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 with a minimum grade of C; pre- or corequisite: SOCY   320. Restricted to sociology majors. A study of the works of the major sociological theorists of the 20th century.

SOCY   403. Criminology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the nature, extent and distribution of crime, emphasizing theories of and research on causation, prediction and prevention.

SOCY   406. Sociology Senior Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 21 credit hours in sociology. Course must be taken in the student's last 30 hours at VCU. Senior capstone class; provides students the opportunity to synthesize, integrate and apply their sociological knowledge and skills.

SOCY   410. Aging and the Life Course. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 or permission of instructor. An introduction to the study of aging and the life course. Focus will be on research specific to older adulthood in order to foster an understanding of aging and old age as a characteristic of both individuals and societies. Requires a minimum of 20 hours of community service if taken as a service-learning course.

SOCY   421. Advanced Research. 1-6 Hours.

Methods Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: POLI   320/SOCY   320 and SOCY   325. A laboratory course providing training in the application of social research methods under laboratory and field situations to problems of mutual interest to community policy makers and professionals in the disciplines of sociology, social psychology and anthropology. This course is designed to enhance the skills of students in applied social research. With direct supervision by the instructor, individuals or small groups of students will address themselves to the tasks of defining, designing and executing research projects.

SOCY   426. Population Dynamics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 or permission of instructor. The study of trends in fertility, mortality, population growth, distribution, migration and composition. The mutual influences of these factors and social organization.

SOCY   430. Politics, Power and Ideology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 or permission of instructor. Sociological analysis of political organization and behavior. Such subjects as distribution and uses of power, creation and management of group conflict, development and diffusion of political ideologies, and problems of bureaucracy and mass society will be considered.

SOCY   434. Sociology of Sport. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. Sport will be viewed as a major social institution within many societies. The class will study the relationship between sport and society both in terms of sport reflecting the ideology and culture of society as well as sport as an active agent of change in society. Race, gender and social class will be examined within the context of sport.

SOCY   436. Sociology of Work and Labor Markets. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202 or permission of instructor. The study of industrial plants and business organizations as social systems.

SOCY   440. Advanced Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisites: SOCY   202 and SOCY   340 or permission of instructor. The study of how human groups create the environment that, in turn, influences their individual behavior. The symbolic interactionist perspective will be thoroughly explored for its contribution to the study of persons, objects and meaning.

SOCY   445. Medical Sociology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202. A survey of the social, economic, cultural and social psychological factors in health and illness; the sociology of health and medical care organizations and settings; the sociology of health occupations; and the techniques of research in medical sociology.

SOCY   446. Sociology of Mental Disorder. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   101. A survey of selected social, economic, cultural and social psychological factors in mental health and illness. Such problems as defining mental illness; social factors in the distribution, diagnosis, etiology and treatment of mental disorders; mental illness as a social role; and research methods used in the sociology of mental illness will be considered.

SOCY   476. Economic Sociology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SOCY   202. An examination of labor force participation in terms of the individual worker's experience, the work setting, the nature of occupations and labor force composition.

SOCY   492. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 6 credits per semester; maximum total of 12 credits for all independent study courses. Open generally only to students of junior or senior standing who have acquired at least 12 credits in the departmental discipline. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of the instructor and department chair must be received prior to registration of the course. Cannot be used in place of existing courses.

SOCY   493. Field Research Internship. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: applications must be approved by a faculty adviser and the internship coordinator. For sociology majors of junior or senior standing. Students are placed in organizations that offer supervised work or research experience appropriate to their interests. Each student must work 150 clock hours in the organization and write a sociological analysis of experiences using appropriate fieldwork methodological techniques.

SOCY   498. Honors Research Course. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisites: student must be in the honors program of the department and have achieved senior status. This course will entail the planning and execution of a major research project demonstrating a thorough understanding and use of research techniques in sociological/anthropological analysis, knowledge of relevant literature, sophisticated writing and research ability under the direction of a faculty mentor.