Appalachian State University’s Sociology (BS) - Individually Designed degree provides an opportunity to develop a program of study utilizing sociology and its understanding of various human behaviors, social institutions and social problems. The Department of Sociology will work closely with you to develop a curriculum that applies sociological theory and helps develop critical thinking, research and communication skills.
Sociologists observe, describe, explain and predict human social behavior. With this degree’s focus on a specific topic identified and approved in collaboration with sociology faculty, you will be prepared for a range of occupations working within a variety of private and public settings. This includes but is not limited to the criminal justice system, public research, public healthcare systems and entrepreneurial endeavors. This is beneficial in a field where sociologists often create written and oral reports for clients, negotiate contracts and work with a variety of people.
This concentration is also a strong preparation for graduate school where social science research skills are highly emphasized.
Employment: Students have found employment in non-profit organizations working with diverse populations, public health, AmeriCorps and social work. Students have also started businesses with this degree in which they provide services and products to underserved populations and venues.
Graduate School: Those students pursuing graduate school have pursued degrees across a spectrum of disciplines including anthropology, business, education, political science, psychology, public health or social work.
Students may wish to pursue a dual major or add a minor depending on relevant coursework. This can be determined by the faculty advisor or the undergraduate programs director when they work with the student to design their specific program of study.
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.
The Department of Sociology has specific guidelines for proposing this concentration.
1. A student may come from the general college or be a current or transfer student. General College or transfer students will work with the Undergraduate Program Director or their department advisor to develop a proposed program of study.
2. The student must develop the proposal with the following components:
- A title for the concentration
- A rationale for the concentration – why this should be a sociology degree, the student’s career goals and why his/her goal can only be met through this concentration.
- A list of 10 courses which would make up the concentration including a sentence for the rationale for each course. These courses must come from a variety of departments in order to be interdisciplinary.
3. Student proposals in this concentration must include the following courses and receive a grade of C or higher for each listed:
- SOC 1000 - The Sociological Perspective (3) *
- 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)
4. The undergraduate program director will review the proposal and will refer it to the department curriculum committee for review.
5. The undergraduate Program Director will confer with the student based on curriculum committee recommendations, if necessary. The Undergraduate Program Director or department advisor will complete the necessary paperwork and submit it to the College of Arts and Sciences.
- 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.
- The department encourages students to participate in internships and maintains relationships with community organizations in order to help students find appropriate host sites.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
Students who complete this degree enter career fields specific to their individually designed curriculum, which is developed by the student in consultation with their advisor and undergraduate programs director and is approved the department faculty.
Dr. Cameron Lippard