Courses & Curriculum


Students must have a minimum grade of C in all required courses and maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in sociology. All students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences. Students should consult with Dr. Christian, Director of Sociology, for current advisement information. Students are advised to be familiar with their Griff Audit and should make arrangements each semester to receive their registration PIN.

Curricular Requirements for the Major

Core: All students complete Core Curriculum requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Courses




MAT 131

Statistics and Computers


SOC 110

Introduction to Sociology


SOC 111

Contemporary Social Problems


SOC 342

Research Methods


SOC 432

Theories in Sociology


SOC 461

Senior Major Capstone


Six 3 credit sociology electives (18 credit hours)



Major Electives:


SOC 234

Environment and Society


SOC 273

Social Movements and Social Change


SOC 291

Gender and Society


SOC 299

Immersion Reflection


SOC 300

Special Topics in Sociology


SOC 324

Visual Sociology


SOC 340

Sociology of the City


SOC 341

Race and Ethinic Relations


SOC 390

Marriage and Families


SOC 498



SOC 499

Individual Reading and Research Methods



The following courses in the other departments count as electives for the sociology major:

ANT 122

Sociocultural Anthropology


ANT 351

Qualitative Research Methods


ANT 355



ANT 360

Dialects of North America


ANT 365

Gender Issues in Language


CRJ 320



CRJ 354

Juvenile Delinquency


Additional Course Considerations

The department encourages sociology majors to study a foreign language of their choice and to participate in the college study abroad program. Students considering study abroad should consult with their advisor regarding course sequencing.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements


Fall Semester

Spring Semester


SOC 110 (3 credits)

SOC 111 (3 credits)




MAT 131 (3 credits)

SOC elective (3 credits)


SOC elective (3 credits)





SOC 342 (3 credits)

SOC elective (3 credits)


SOC elective (3 credits)





SOC 432 (3 credits)

SOC 461 (1 credit)


SOC elective (3 credits)

SOC elective (3 credits)

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.

Sociology Minor

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a minor in addition to their major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Minors generally range from six to eight required courses. A listing of the minors can be found under the Academic Curricula section of the catalog. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form. Specific information on the minor can be found.

Course Title Credits
SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology 3
SOC 111 Contemporary Social Problems 3

3 SOC electives (2 must be at the 300-400 level)

Social Sciences Minor in Child, Family and Community Studies

The social science interdisciplinary minor is co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology, Department of Communication, and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. It is intended for students seeking a deeper understanding of the dynamics of family relations and the interaction of the family with society. Its mission is to prepare undergraduate students for careers and future graduate studies in the fields of education, social work and social services. Embedded within the interdisciplinary focus of the minor is an emphasis on creating reflective and compassionate practitioners who are committed to the Jesuit ideal of men and women for others.

The department has an interdisciplinary minor in Peace and Justice studies for students who wish to pursue study in social justice issues.  Information on this program can be found here.


SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology         3 credits
Topics include theory, methods, culture, socialization, race and ethnicity, groups and organizations, and social inequality; analysis of everyday events, using sociological imagination. (Field 5) Fall

SOC 111 Contemporary Social Problems          3 credits
Exploration of selected social problems from various sociological points of view, emphasizing some of the sociological concepts and methods employed in analyzing these problems. (Field 5, Diversity Attribute) Spring

SOC 234 Environment and Society          3 credits
Explores connections between environmental issues and their social causes. Topics of analysis include environmental racism, environmental health, risk and uncertainty, political economy, globalization and sustainability. (Field 5)

SOC 273 Social Movements and Social Change          3 credits
Explores the development of social movements as a force of social change in society. Focus is on theoretical developments in movement theory, as well as explorations of social movements through history. (Field 5, Justice Attribute)

SOC 291 Gender and Society          3 credits
Exploration of origin of gender roles; socialization into masculine and feminine roles; intersection of gender and social institutions such as family, work and education. (Field 5)

SOC 299 Immersion Reflection                    1 credit
Critical reflection of immersion experience. Permission of instructor required. Spring and Fall

SOC 300 Special Topics in Sociology          3 credits
Critical examination of a selected topic in sociology. Subject matter determined by the instructor. Fall and Spring

SOC 324 Visual Sociology          3 credits
Emphasizes a visual approach to analyzing social concepts. Analysis of visual media forms to explore core ideas in sociology such as gender, race, environment, social class, family and global diversity.

SOC 340 Sociology of the City          3 credits
Exploration of how people experience and understand city life, how cities grow and develop, and various issues affecting cities today such as suburbanization and urban sprawl.

SOC 341 Race and Ethnic Relations          3 credits
Focus is on issues surrounding race and ethnicity in the United States, including the social construction of race and ethnicity, prejudice and discrimination, unequal opportunity structures, and the racial/ethnic makeup of the US population.

SOC 342 Research Methods          3 credits
Overview of the major steps in constructing social science research, from developing a research question, operationalization and measurement through data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: MAT 131 with minimum grade of C. Fall

SOC 390 Marriage and Families          3 credits
Covers family development from relationship formation through marriage, divorce and remarriage. Includes sexuality, sexual orientation, cohabitation, parenting and the intersection between the family and major social institutions.

SOC 432 Theories in Sociology          3 credits
Course emphasizes theory development as a tool to understand society. Focuses on major social theorists and their contributions as well as classical and modern theoretical schools in sociology. Prerequisite: Senior Status, majors or minors only. Fall

SOC 461 Senior Capstone       1 credit

SOC 498 Internship          3 credits
Opportunity for students to participate in the daily work of an agency or organization. Prerequisite: Instructor’s signature, G.P.A. of at least 2.75. Fall and Spring

SOC 499 Individual Reading and Research          3 credits
Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, department chair and associate dean. Fall and Spring

The following courses offered by other departments or programs count as satisfying the requirements for the sociology major or minor:
• ANT 122 Sociocultural Anthropology (3 credits)
• ANT 351 Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
• ANT 355 Sociolinguistics (3 credits)
• ANT 360 Dialects of North America (3 credits)
• ANT 365 Gender Issues in Language (3 credits)
• CRJ 320 Criminology (3 credits)
• CRJ 354 Juvenile Delinquency (3 credits)