Sociology Major Requirements

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

A major in sociology offers undergraduates a variety of post-graduation opportunities. Graduates from the department have found positions in financial institutions, education, non-governmental organizations focusing on international development, research departments of major corporations, and local government social service agencies. Others continue to graduate school in sociology, public health, law, urban planning, and education. A major in sociology can also be combined with the pre-medical course sequence, resulting in a medical school candidate who is well versed in the hard science of the human body and the social science of the human experience. For more details, please visit

The required courses for a major in sociology provide students with a fundamental understanding of sociological theory, methods, and social statistics. Beyond these core requirements, elective courses are offered on a range of important sociological themes, including gender and family, social structure and personality, education, race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, international development, and the evolution of a world social system. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and a  grade of C or better is required. Nine of the eleven required Sociology classes must be taken at JHU. In some cases, students may request for eight of the eleven required Sociology courses to be taken at JHU.  Foreign language study is not required, but it is strongly encouraged, especially for students considering graduate or professional study.

Core Courses
AS.230.101Introduction to Sociology3
AS.230.202Research Methods for the Social Sciences3
AS.230.205Introduction to Social Statistics4
AS.230.213Social Theory3
AS.230.322Quantitative Research Practicum3
or AS.230.323 Qualitative Research Practicum
or AS.230.325 Global Social Change and Development Practicum
Sociology Electives 1
Six elective courses in sociology, at least four must be non-introductory courses (at the 200-level or above)18
Additional Social Science Electives
Three non-sociology courses at any level carrying an "S" area designator in at least two other departments or programs9
Total Credits43

Sample Program of Study

A typical program might include the following sequence of courses:

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.230.1013Lower-level sociology elective3
 Lower-level sociology elective3
 3 6
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Upper-level sociology elective3"S" credit from non-sociology elective3
 7 6
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Upper-level sociology elective3"S" credit from non-sociology elective3
 6 6
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Upper-level sociology elective3Upper-level sociology elective3
"S" credit from non-sociology elective3Upper-level sociology elective3
 6 6
Total Credits 46

Senior Honors Program

The senior year Honors Program affords highly motivated and qualified students the opportunity to pursue, with faculty guidance, a research project of their own design. The Honors Program culminates in an honors thesis; a substantial work of original scholarship. Prerequisites and requirements for the program are as follows:

  • All the requirements of a traditional major in sociology.
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA in all sociology courses.
  • Declaration of intention to enroll in Senior Honors Program to faculty advisor and all prerequisites for this program must be fulfilled by the end of the junior year.
  • At least two 300-level courses in sociology by the end of the junior year.
  • Enrollment in the year-long AS.230.502 Senior Thesis Program.
  • Completion and faculty approval of honors thesis.

 For more information on the Senior Honors Program, contact your faculty advisor.

Global Social Change and Development Track

The Global Social Change and Development (GSCD) Track is geared towards students interested in understanding critical issues surrounding contemporary processes of globalization and international development. The track provides students with a sophisticated set of research and critical-thinking skills, prepares students for twenty-first century professions and helps them to become thoughtful global citizens. Ultimately, students pursuing the Global Social Change and Development track will receive a double major in both International Studies and Sociology.