Major/Minor Requirements

Wellesley College’s sociology major provides a strong foundation in both theory and research methods (through the core courses), while allowing students to tailor their major to their specific subject interests. A sociology major also offers students several opportunities for both individual and group projects.

Like the major, the sociology minor is offered for students who wish to develop analytical skills in preparation for work or study in a wide array of fields. A minor in sociology is appropriate for students who seek to acquire a supplementary perspective that is informed by the sociological frame of reference.

Although the department provides the opportunity to create subdisciplinary specializations, our first and primary goal is to help students explore the range of phenomenon that can be understood through sociological perspectives and methods. Therefore, the department encourages students to explore both the breadth of the sociology curriculum, and the larger Wellesley College curriculum.

A student wishing to major or minor in sociology should consult a faculty advisor in the sociology department in order to devise a cohesive plan of study.

Majoring in Sociology

Requirements (9 units):

  1. Four “core” units:
    • Introduction to Probability and Statistical Methods (SOC 190)
    • Classical Sociological Theory (SOC 200)
    • Contemporary Social Theory (SOC 201)
    • Methods of Social Research (SOC 290)
  1. Two 300-level Sociology units (excluding SOC 360 and SOC 370; one of the 300-level units may be SOC 350).  
  1. At least three other Sociology units (100-, 200-, or 300-level)

All four core units and the two 300-level units should be taken at Wellesley. Students wanting to count towards the major core or elective units taken at other institutions should obtain permission from the department chair in advance of taking these courses. 

It is recommended that students complete the sequence of theory and methods courses by the end of their junior year if they hope to conduct independent research or honors projects during their senior year. If a major anticipates being away during all or part of the junior year, the theory (SOC 200 and SOC 201) and research methods course (SOC 290) should be taken during the sophomore year, or an alternative plan should be arranged with her advisor.

Non-sociology introductory statistics courses offered here at the college (e.g., Psych 205, Stat 218, QR 180, Math 220) or at some other institution may be used to "place out" of SOC 190 but will not count as a unit toward the Sociology major. In other words, students who place out of the SOC 190 requirement in this way must take an additional elective course in Sociology to reach the minimum of nine units for a major.


Minoring in Sociology

Requirements (6 units):

  1. Classical Sociological Theory (SOC 200)                                               
  1. One 300-level Sociology unit (excluding SOC 350)
  1. Four other Sociology units (100-, 200-, or 300-level)