Sociologists observe, describe, explain and predict human social behavior. The Sociology (BS) - Criminology degree at Appalachian focuses on the causes of crime and society’s responses to criminal behavior and the criminal justice system, as well as what causes behavior to be defined as criminal and the various types of criminal behavior.
Most students pursue this concentration to enter law school, work in law enforcement or in the criminal justice system, or to become service providers in criminal/legal-focused programs. Students who choose this concentration will need strong communication skills, as their careers will demand face-to-face interaction, as well as the ability to write reports. Students in this concentration will develop the ability to write and speak well, analyze social situations and develop various solutions, and work with diverse groups effectively.
Employment: Graduates have the skills necessary to pursue entry-level career opportunities in the criminal legal system, in law, policy and strategy centers, and community-based restorative justice and mediation programs. Recent employers include several North Carolina law enforcement agencies, mediation centers, sexual assault and domestic violence shelters and other nonprofit organizations.
Graduate School: Many students use this degree to enter master’s and doctoral programs focusing on sociology, criminology, political science, public administration, criminal justice, law, psychology and social work.
A minor is optional. Suggested minors include:
- Community and Regional Planning
- Criminal Justice
- Global Studies
- Media Studies
- Political Science
- Public Health
- Social Work
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Sociology Club - a student-led organization devoted to service learning, fundraising and hosting events for the betterment of students inspired by the discipline of sociology.
Alpha Kappa Delta - an international sociology honors society, formed with the intent to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.
The North Carolina Sociological Association - open to all practicing sociologists (whether in academic, government or applied settings) as well as to sociology students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Southern Sociological Society - open to all sociology students and professionals across the southern United States.
American Sociological Association - a national organization dedicated to sociology and its pursuit of investigating human behavior, social interaction and social structures.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Department of Sociology faculty lead summer study abroad opportunities. Past program titles have included Studying War in Europe, and Religious and Ethnic Conflict in Ireland and Spain.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University. In order to maintain progress in this degree, students must receive a grade of C (2.0) or higher in the following required classes:
- SOC 1000 - The Sociological Perspective (3) [GenEd: SS] *
- SOC 3885 - Research Methods (3) [WID] *
- SOC 3895 - Social Statistics and Data Analysis (3) *
- SOC 3950 - Classical Sociological Theory (3) *
- SOC 3960 - Contemporary Sociological Theory (3) [WID]
- SOC 4390 - Applied Sociology Seminar (3) *
- SOC 4450 - Senior Capstone (3) [CAP]
- SOC 4900 - Internship (3-6)
- Students graduate ready for either their career or graduate school.
- This degree is designed to allow students to double-major in a number of other social science fields including Criminal Justice and Psychology.
- Students are required to complete an internship in order to gain practical experience before graduation.
- Sociology majors have the option to work with a faculty mentor who can provide professional advice, intellectual development in terms of a specific substantive area in sociology, and involvement in research projects. Learn about faculty research specialties here.
- Students are encouraged to assist with faculty research projects and can stay up-to-date on current research projects via the department’s web page for research opportunities.
- The Department of Sociology offers scholarships.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
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Dr. Cameron Lippard