Requirements for Degree in Sociology
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SOCIOLOGY MAJOR
There are no special admissions requirements or procedures for students interested in majoring in sociology. Upon declaring the major, students are assigned a major advisor. Prior to the declaration, students are encouraged to consult with any member of the department regarding their choice and sequence of courses.
The Sociology major is comprised of 10 courses, including:
Foundations (3 courses):
SOCI UN1000 The Social World (recommended no later than the sophomore year)
SOCI UN3000 Social Theory
SOCI UN3010 Methods for Social Research (no later than the junior year)
Electives (5 courses in sociology):
Of the five electives required for the major, no more than one can be at the 2000 level and at least one must be a seminar at the 3900 (or 4000) level.
With the exception of the senior thesis or designated research seminar (see below), the Foundations and Electives courses may be taken at either Barnard or Columbia.
Senior Requirement (2 courses):
There are two ways to satisfy the senior requirement.
Research Paper Option: Complete two upper-level seminars (SOCI BC or UN3900 or above), in addition to the 3900+ level seminar that is part of the electives requirement. For the research paper requirement, one of the seminars must be a Designated Research Seminar taught by a Barnard faculty member that requires a 25-30 page research paper based on some type of primary research. The other course should be an upper-level seminar offered by the Barnard or Columbia sociology department.
Thesis Option: Complete a two-semester senior thesis based on original sociological research and analysis on a topic of the student’s choice. The thesis is designed in consultation with an advisor and requires enrollment in SOCI BC3087-3088.
Additional Information about the Senior Requirement
Research Paper Option: This option is intended for majors who are interested in graduating with a broader exposure to the discipline of sociology, with more limited experience in conducting original research.
Each semester the department offers several Designated Research Seminars, which are listed on the department’s website prior to the Spring program planning period. These seminars vary in content and format and are open to all students, with priority given to senior sociology majors taking the course to meet their senior requirement.
Prerequisites for students taking the Designated Research Seminar to meet the senior requirement include successful completion of: (1) SOCI UN1000 (The Social World); (2) SOCI UN3000 (Social Theory) or SOCI UN3010 (Methods for Social Research); and (3) at least one elective course related to the focus of the seminar. Instructors may waive some aspect of the prerequisites.
Students may also enroll in these seminars prior to their senior year for elective credit.
Note: Majors only need to take one Designated Research Seminar to meet the senior requirement; the second seminar can be any upper-level seminar (BC or UN3900 or above).
Thesis Option: The two-semester senior thesis involves original sociological research and analysis on a topic of the student’s choice, in consultation with an advisor. This option is intended for majors who want the opportunity to explore a sociological subfield in depth and conduct independent primary research as their senior capstone experience.
Students interested in writing a senior thesis must submit to the Department Chair a short (2-3 paragraph) proposal, along with a brief letter of endorsement from a faculty member in the department who has agreed to serve as their thesis advisor, no later than the advanced registration deadline for the student’s first semester of their senior year. Decisions will be made in consultation with the student’s program and thesis advisors prior to the final program planning deadline for that semester. In exceptional cases, students may apply for and receive permission to enroll in the two-semester option before the deadline for final registration in the first semester of their senior year.
Prerequisites: (1) SOCI UN1000 (The Social World); (2) SOCI UN3010 (Methods for Social Research); and (3) at least one elective course related to the proposed thesis topic must be completed before the first semester of the senior year to be eligible for the two-semester thesis.
Students approved for the senior thesis will enroll in SOCI BC3087 (Individual Projects for Seniors) and BC3088 (Individual Projects for Seniors) with their selected advisor.
In order to receive credit (Pass or Pass with Distinction) for the senior requirement, all seniors must submit a final, bound copy of the research paper or senior thesis to the Department no later than the last day of classes of the second semester of their senior year.
Barnard Institutional Review Board. Students wishing to publish research that includes human subjects must complete the Student as PI Worksheet with her research mentor. A copy of this completed form should be retained by the student and the mentor until the research project is complete. Questions should be directed to the Barnard Institutional Review Board.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIAL COMBINED MAJORS
Students may pursue a special combined major in Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Students may also elect to pursue a double major in Sociology and another department or program. These special combined and double majors should be designed in consultation with the Chairs and/or faculty advisors in both departments.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SOCIOLOGY MINOR
Five courses are required for the minor in Sociology, including SOCI UN1000 (The Social World), SOCI UN3000 (Social Theory) and three elective courses (no more than one at the 2000-level), to be selected in consultation with the Department Chair.
Use the Requirements Worksheet to track the required courses you completed.