Other Academic Opportunities
The Department of Sociology is at the nexus of several interdisciplinary programs:
- Health: Science, Society and Policy
- International and Global Studies
- Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies
- Social Justice and Social Policy
- Women's and Gender Studies
Students have the opportunity to become peer teaching assistants, work on faculty research projects, and present senior thesis research at an annual miniconference.
About the Major
The undergraduate program has five core areas. See the Major Requirements.
Gender and Family
Includes courses on gender, families, sexuality, women’s biography, gender and race, women’s leadership, women’s intellectual work, women and development
Politics and Social Change
Includes courses on political sociology, welfare state, social movements, community power, globalization, war and peace, and social policy
Health, Illness, and the Life Course
Includes courses on body and health, health care systems, medicalization of social problems, aging, disability, genetics, and policy
Theory and Methods
Includes courses on classical, critical, psychoanalytic, existential, and cultural theory, as well as qualitative, quantitative, comparative, and historical methods
Institutions, Communities, and Culture
Includes courses on law, mass communications, consumption, culture, religion, human services, youth, popular music, work, science and technology, education, environment, and professions
Hands-On Learning Experience
Through various internships, service learning, and experiential courses, students can combine classroom learning with active engagement or action research in community organizations; social movements; human service and healthy community coalitions; peace, environmental, and social justice groups; and policy organizations. Some examples of recent internships include:
Convening a “Wingspread” youth summit among major national student organizations and Campus Compact, as well as four national leadership conferences on civic engagement
- Conducting Peace Games for schools, families, and young adult volunteers in Roxbury
- Developing a hunger relief curriculum for Waltham Community Farms
- Providing case worker services to seniors at the Springwell Senior Citizen Center
- Developing young women’s leadership with the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance
Exciting New Research Track
Students may also elect to participate in the Sociology Research Track, which provides concentrated training focused on professional sociological research. To enroll in the Research Track, students can meet with the department’s Undergraduate Advising Head at any point, though it is strongly encouraged that interested students declare prior to their final year at Brandeis. Students in the Research Track must complete the following requirements:
1. Earn a grade of B- or better in a Sociology research methods course (either SOC 118a, 136b, 181a, 182a, 182aj, or 183a). Students should complete this methods requirement by the end of their junior year, or successfully petition to fulfill the requirement during their seventh semester.
2. Successfully complete either a Senior Honors Thesis (SOC 99a and b) or a Senior Research Paper (SOC 98a or 98b).
3. Earn a grade of B- or better in the Sociology Capstone Seminar. Research Track participants will receive major credit for the capstone course, as well as for SOC 98a or b or SOC 99b.
Additionally, Research Track participants will have opportunities to attend specialized meetings with visiting colloquium speakers and to give a guest lecture or presentation in an undergraduate Sociology course, the Approaches to Sociological Research graduate proseminar, and/or the New England Undergraduate Sociology Research Conference.