Course Descriptions and Requirements
Full course descriptions and details on requirements for the Sociology major and minor are available in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Major in Sociology
31 credit hours that include:
Required: Contemporary Society; Social Inequality; Social Science Research Methods; Social Theory; Statistics* (Bio, Psych, or Econ, Statistics are accepted); and 4 sociology electives of the student’s choice.
Students have the option to focus their electives in one of three emphasis areas that would be noted on the student’s transcript.
Minor in Sociology
17 credit hours that include:
Required: Contemporary Society; Social Inequality; Social Theory; and 2 sociology electives of the student’s choice.
Students have the option to focus their electives in one of the three emphasis areas that would be noted on the student’s transcript.
Optional Emphasis Areas
An emphasis in criminology and deviance in sociology at Augustana equips students interested in pursing careers in law enforcement, the judicial sector, municipal management, and nonprofits organizations. The experience of deviance, social control, and the criminal justice system varies for individuals of differing, gender, race, class/socioeconomic status, sexuality, and age categories. Studying sociology with an emphasis in criminology and deviance enables students to examine and analytically understand the social processes that influence the labeling of individuals as deviant, along with the variable interactions (and outcomes) with courts, juvenile delinquency structures, prisons, the labor market, and communities. Our emphasis area also allows students to explore dynamics of power, along with the roles of government and family institutions, through examination of contemporary research pertinent to criminology and deviance in sociology and related fields.
Sociological study with an emphasis in family and community service at Augustana allows students to engage with questions, concerns, and issues that address families of all forms, and communities broadly defined. Beyond the traditional ideas of community that emphasize the social forces that shape and influence small to large, rural to urban communities, or the issues tied to collective experiences of race, gender, class/socioeconomic status, age, or sexuality, we also intend the term community to encompass local and regional aspects of everyday life that are particular to the immediate place and space of our locale here in Sioux Falls. Our department's recent graduates are among the many members participating in such communities and we value the continued partnership and collaboration available to explore, examine, and serve the needs of contemporary issues tied to broadly defined communities, including local and regionally specific community interests.
Upon completion of the emphasis area in medicine and health in sociology at Augustana, students are analytically equipped to engage successfully with a myriad of questions, challenges, and complexities that are emblematic of the rapidly changing health care field. A sociological approach to understanding the social patterning of health, the experience of illness, and the production of medical and health-related knowledge are topics that are explored in the various courses, along with understanding and analysis of other social institutions such as government, law, and religion within the experience of medicine and health care. For example, what exactly does it mean to be "healthy" and have a "good quality of life?” How and why do particular illness or disabilities obtain more or less resources? What role do health care administrators occupy in the delivery of care when health care organizations are becoming increasingly complex? The medicine and health emphasis from the sociology department will provide a foundational understanding of these issues. In addition to established courses, students also have opportunities for independent study or collaborative research with faculty members. Learn more about research opportunities including a recent faculty/student project here.
Reed Ritterbusch, a recent graduate ('18, Sociology & Biochemistry with Sociology Honors and emphasis in medicine and health) and current medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine highlights the contributions of sociological thought and inquiry:
“I believe my sociology background has prepared me to be a mindful and critically aware medical student. My research project at Augustana on the formation of the South Dakota State Medical Association contributed to an understanding of the impact of policy decisions and how health disparities arise. Further, I feel comfortable recognizing how social determinants can effect patient health outcomes and the importance of taking a holistic approach to treating patients.”
Sample of Special Topics Elective Courses
- Beer, Wine, and "Spirits:" Alcohol in American History and Culture
- Brexit, the Great Divorce: Britain and the European Union
- Dying to Know: Dying as Personal Journey in a Social Context
- Food Culture Sociopolitics
- Gender and Mass Media
- Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
- Nonprofit Organizations in Theory and Practice
- Social Conflict and Reconciliation in Ireland and Northern Ireland
- The Injustice of Social Justice
- The Citizen and the State in the Age of Genocide
- Delinquency and Crime
- Deviance and Social Control
- Medical Sociology
- Race, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism
- Race and Gender in Medicine and Health
- Sociology of Families