A sociology degree gives students the research, communication and analytical skills needed to succeed in a wide variety of career fields. The Bachelor of Science in Sociology offers students transferable skills that lead to careers in research-oriented fields, business management, consumer relations, education, law, social work and more.
Similar to the B.A., students earning the B.S. degree learn to analyze and interpret data using statistical tools that will allow them to contribute to conversations surrounding gender and racial discrimination, class, poverty and other social inequalities. What differentiates the B.S. degree is that students will acquire additional mathematical skills that will further enhance their preparation for graduate school or research careers. They also learn to communicate effectively to challenge commonly held beliefs using data and empirical evidence, with an emphasis on analytical reasoning.
Our faculty guide students through courses that evidence the trends, characteristics and functions of the relationship between individuals and society. Graduates of our B.S. programs are prepared to enter the workforce or continue their graduate studies at UofSC and beyond.
Major students may pursue a Distinction in Sociology by achieving the requisite GPA and defending a research project. Sociology undergraduates planning to continue their graduate studies at UofSC can apply to the Accelerated Bachelors Program to begin earning credit towards a master’s degree while pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Sociology.
- Sociology majors completing the required SOCY 391 course will demonstrate they understand the general sociological perspective and the uses of sociological theory, can apply critical reasoning skills to evaluating theoretical explanations, and can identify uses and limitations of major sociological research methods in evaluating theories. Majors will evidence these ability to apply these skills to the study of social issues of broad impact and interest beyond the discipline.
- Sociology majors completing advanced substantive courses (500-level) will demonstrate they (1) understand the major sociological theories in a specific substantive area of specialization, (2) can critically evaluate competing theories in the field, and (3) can identify and critique major methodological approaches within the specialty area. Examples of substantive areas are Social Inequality, Social Psychology, Sociology of the Family, and Sociology of Medicine and Health.
- Sociology majors will demonstrate an understanding and ability to use the following statistical tools: 1. The distinction between descriptive and inferential statistics; 2. Levels of measurement, ratios and rates; 3. Various measures of central tendency and statistical variability used to describe distributions; 4. Hypothesis testing, sampling and inference from sample estimates for a population; 5. Simple bivariate modeling techniques such as correlation and regression.
New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another UofSC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
- Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a UofSC campus.
Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.
Degree Requirements (120 hours)
Program of Study
|1. Carolina Core||32-44|
|2. College Requirements||15-18|
|3. Program Requirements||28-43|
|4. Major Requirements||30|
Founding Documents Requirement
All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers. This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective. Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.
1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)
CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)
must be passed with a grade of C or higher
- any CC-CMW courses
ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours)
SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)
- Two 4-credit hour CC-SCI laboratory science courses
GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)
Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required for all baccalaureate degrees. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.
It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.
GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)
- any CC-GHS course
GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
- SOCY 101* — must be passed with a grade of C or higher
AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.
2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
Foreign Language (0-3 hours)
- only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency
Analytical Reasoning (6 hours)
History (3 hours)
The College of Arts and Sciences requires one additional GHS course beyond the Carolina Core GHS requirement.
- If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course.
- If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a U.S. history course.
Please select the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement from the approved list of U.S. and non-U.S. history courses.
Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (6 hours)
- Social Science (3 hours)
- The College of Arts and Science requires one 3- hour Social Science Course
- Fine Arts/Humanities (3 Hours)
- A Bachelor of Science from the College of Arts and Sciences requires one 3-hour Fine Arts/Humanities Course
3. Program Requirements (28-43 hours)
Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)
Students must complete a cognate (12 hours) or a minor as part of this program. In lieu of a cognate or minor, an additional major may be added to a student’s program of study. Additional majors must include all major courses as well as any prescribed courses noted (*) in the bulletin. Prescribed courses noted in the bulletin may be shared with Carolina Core, College requirements, and Program requirements in the primary program.
Cognate (12 hours)
The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs.
Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements. It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.
Unless otherwise noted, for Bachelor of Science degrees, cognate courses passed with a grade of D or higher are acceptable.
Minor (18 hours)
In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses.
The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must follow a structured sequence.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.
A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.
Electives (10-31 hours)
120 (or 128) degree applicable credits are required to complete any degree at UofSC. After the cognate, minor or second major is complete, any additional credits needed to reach 120 (or 128) total credits can be fulfilled by electives. No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.
4. Major Requirements (30 hours)
A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.
Major Courses (12 hours)
|SOCY 391||Sociological Research Methods||3|
|SOCY 392||Elementary Statistics for Sociologists||3|
|SOCY 393||Sociological Theory||3|
|SOCY 561||Real World Research Experience||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
Major Electives (18 hours)
- Select 4 additional SOCY courses from the 300-level or above
- Select 2 additional SOCY courses from the 500-level or above
B.A. with Distinction in Sociology
The Departmental Undergraduate Research Track (BS with Distinction in Sociology) is available to students majoring in Sociology who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major and 3.50 cumulative and who wish to plan and conduct an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty committee.
A student seeking to graduate with Distinction in Sociology must select a faculty member to chair the committee that guides and evaluates the research project. At least two other faculty members will be appointed by the committee chair to serve as members of the committee. A written sponsorship agreement signed by the committee chair must be filed with the departmental chair. The student must successfully defend a research proposal and final paper to the committee. Ideally, the project should be finished within two semesters.
Research projects must conform to the University’s policy on the treatment of human subjects. Proposals must additionally be subjected to the scrutiny of the Department of Sociology ethics committee.
- Cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and a GPA of 3.50 or higher in the major;
- Successful completion of requirements for the Sociology major;
- Research proposal approved by faculty committee;
- Successful completion of 3-6 hours SOCY 599 including written and oral presentation of research project.
A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.
Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.