Department Website:


  • Professor Susan Radis (Chair) - ext. 3674
  • Associate Professor Cynthia Merriwether-de Vries - ext. 3678
  • Assistant Professor Beth Williams- ext. 3697
  • Assistant Professor Paula Wagoner Emerita - ext. 3653
  • Professor Daniel Welliver - ext. 6605
  • Assistant Professor Jacoba Rock

Background Information:

Sociology is the systematic study of human interaction. The discipline uses both descriptive and analytical methods and it differs from other social sciences by its focus on society.  Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Dorothy Baker Johnson and Raymond R. Day Social Work Program is designed primarily to prepare students for entry-level generalist social work practice. The department's offerings may be combined to meet three kinds of academic needs: the broad study of societies and their contemporary problems for the liberally-educated; a theoretical and conceptual orientation for pre-professional sociologists; and rigorous training and field experience in social work for those interested in this career or in the pursuit of graduate education in social work.

Programs of Emphasis:

  • Social Work
  • Sociology

Individualized Programs of Emphasis:

  • Peace and Conflict Studies/Sociology
  • Social Work/Spanish
  • Social Work/Communication

Secondary Emphasis:

  • Sociology Requirements: 23 credits of designated Sociology courses.
  • Generalist Option: 23 credits of designated Sociology courses.
  • Social Issues Option: 14 credits of designated Sociology courses and choice of 6 additional upper-level Sociology courses.

Sample Internship/Research Experiences:

  • Center for Community Action
  • JC Blair Medical and Behavioral Health Units
  • Mainstream Counseling
  • SCI: Smithfield
  • Westminster Woods Skilled Nursing Facility



SO-101   Introduction to Sociology (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,SW-US) The study of human social groups and the social processes that lead to both structural and cultural integration and differentiation primarily within contemporary American society. Pre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

SO-199   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Offered at the discretion of the department to qualified students Topic titles may vary from semester to semester and more than one may be offered per semester. Note: Students may take each ST: course for credit.

SO-203   Minority Experiences (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) An exploration of the factors that shape the experiences of minority group members in both domestic and global contexts. The social processes that functions to construct minority identity among racial, ethnic, gender, and ability groups are studied. Prerequisites: SO101 or AN151.

SO-204   American Families (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Examines the structure and functions of the family as a vital social institution. Particular emphasis is placed on emerging trends within the family including dual careers, non-traditional families, divorce, and conflict management. Prerequisite: SO101 or AN151.

SO-243   Death & Dying (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,SW-ER) This course introduces and explores cross-cultural attitudes, ethical dilemmas and the existential challenges of death and dying. Topics of the course include: self-examination of death attitudes, exploration of death customs and rituals, an overview of the dying process, exploration of difficult topics surrounding death and grief and bereavement. Pre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

SO-244   Drugs and Society (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) This course explores the history of substance abuse, models ofaddiction, physiological effects of commonly abused substances and treatment effectiveness. Some of the programs that will be examined include the 12-step program. Prerequisites: SO-101.

SO-245   Cross-Cultural Perspectives Family Dev (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,WK-SI) Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Family Development: This course provides a theoretical, functional, and research-informed approach to studying family life from a cross-cultural perspective. Issues related to marital relationships, parenting styles, work-family life balance, family communication, sexuality and gender, domestic violence, family stress and coping, and aging are addressed using cross-cultural comparison, including comparisons between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures. Pre- or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

SO-260   Introduction to Criminal Justice (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Explores the nature of crime, the history of criminal justice, and the process of the modern justice system.

SO-299   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Offered at the discretion of the department to qualified students Topic titles may vary from semester to semester and more than one may be offered per semester. Note: Students may take each ST: course for credit.

SO-302   Social Deviance and Criminology (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Examines contemporary psychological and sociological theories of behavior deviation, including crime, delinquency, substance abuse and selected other categories. Typologies for classifying and studying crime are developed and evaluated. Trends in behavior deviation, including the characteristics of offenders and victims, are critically explored. Informal and formal, as well as proactive and reactive, social control systems aimed at managing behavior deviation are described and analyzed. Prerequisites: SO101 or AN151.

SO-305   Gender and Society (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) This course is designed to explore the history and discourse related to the experiences and sociological definitions of gender roles across global and domestic contexts. Students will participate in critical analysis of the scholarship of gender roles using classical and contemporary works. The course will explore domestic and international experiences of men and women in biological, cultural, economic, environmental and political contexts. Prerequisites: SO101 or PY101.

SO-362   Juvenile Justice (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; CW,S,SW-ER) The issues, trends, and challenges facing juvenile justice professionals are explored in this course. The history and philosophy of juvenile justice, processing, detention, and diversion of juvenile offenders are topics of the course. Pre-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

SO-399   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

SO-401   Sociology Senior Seminar (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Sociology Senior Seminar is the capstone course for students who have focused their academic work in the sociological discipline. The course provides an opportunity for students to apply key curricular components previously explored during their undergraduate sociology coursework. The course is a designated service learning and experiential learning course. Students will assume substantial responsibility for the exploration of materials and presentation of those materials to their student colleagues. Students will also interact with campus and community partners during the semester. The course uses a student-led seminar format, coupled with community engagement and service learning components. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

SO-492   Sociology Internship (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; S) Minimum GPA of 2.50 and good academic standing required for internship eligibility. Development of internship proposal must occur a minimum of six weeks prior to start of internship. Corequisite: SO495. Prerequisite: 2.50 GPA, Permission and Junior or Senior standing.

SO-495   Sociology Research/Seminar (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; S) Requires students to reflect on the internship experience and pursue research related to the placement. Corequisite: SO492. Prerequisite: by permission.

SO-499   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer subjects not on the normal schedule. Prerequisites vary by title.

SO-TUT   Sociology Teaching Assistant (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits) Individualized study wherein the instructor designs the course in consultation with the student and is responsible for its administration. In the Tutorial, the instructor and student work closely on a regularly scheduled basis involving discussions, demonstrations, explanations and evaluations.


AN-151   Introduction to Anthropology (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Dedicated to the proposition that there are many ways of being human, all of which are adaptations to particular sets of environmental and historical conditions. Trends and highlights of the human experience, both physical and cultural, are studied from a sociocultural perspective.

AN-254   Archaeology & Human Prehistory (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Through readings, lectures, films, and discussions about a variety of archaeological sites, from Alaska to Zimbabawe, students are introduced to our earliest ancestors, to the diversity of prehistoric cultures, and to the origins of Western civilization.

AN-255   Applied Archaeology (Either Semester; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; SW-LE,CTDH,H) Applied Archaeology follows a seminar format combined with active learning involving collaboration with community partners on historic preservation projects. This course introduces students to the study of the physical traces left by people in the past, emphasizing methods of identifying, documenting, curating, and analyzing historical sites and artifacts. Students study archaeological collections through an anthropological lens via laboratory and historical research techniques, including new technologies of the digital humanities. Pre- or Co-req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

AN-299   Anthropology Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Special topics course

AN-300   Anthropology of War & Peace (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) A study of the incidence and nature of cooperation, competition, and conflict in human cultures. Evidence will be drawn from archaeological, ethnological and ethological data. Prerequisite: AN151 or PACS110.

AN-310   American Indians (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) An examination of the social, economic and political lives of reservation and non-reservation American Indians set in the historical context of their minority treatment. Prerequisites; SO101 or AN151 or AN254.

AN-311   Topics in Anthropology (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Occasional offerings in which students and a professor explore an area of specialized interest. Some themes include religion, gender, culture change, cultural ecology, frontiers and insider/outsider. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN254.

AN-316   North American Prehistory (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) A survey of the archaeological evidence in North America before 1492. Students learn about the diversity of groups, ranging in size from small bands of hunter-gatherers to highly complex societies, and how they exploited various ecological niches.

AN-351   Cultures of the World (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) An introduction to the variation in human cultural systems. A cultural perspective is used to examine diversity in band, tribal, chiefdom, and state level societies. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN254 or permission.

AN-353   Archaeological Fieldwork (Summer; Irregular/On Demand; 2.00-4.00 Credits; S) An introduction to the ethics, principles and techniques of archaeological field research that includes a practicum with actual excavations on both prehistoric and historic sites.

AN-355   Evolution, Medicine and Health (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,N) This course focuses on the relationships among human ecology, population change, health and disease, social inequity, and adaptation in modern and prehistoric societies. Explores the origins of and pathways toward risk for infectious and chronic diseases, emphasizing the principles of epidemiology and the evolutionary history of both humans and pathogens. Prerequisites: AN151, and BI105 or BI190

AN-399   Special Topics (Spring; Yearly; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

AN-411   History of Anthropological Thought (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,CW) Explores the major theoretical orientations of American and European Anthropology, including: functionalism, structuralism, social evolutionism, symbolic anthropology, as well as a consideration of Marxist, feminist and indigenous critiques. A capstone integrative experience for all upper level anthropology POEs. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN234.

AN-451   Cultural Ecology (Spring; Even Years; 3.00 Credits; S) An examination of the relationships between man and his environment, particularly noting how ecological variables influence such cultural patterns as subsistence, settlement, social relationships and stress behaviors. Some consideration is given to problems of the future. Prerequisite: AN151 or AN254.

AN-452   Archaeology Lab (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Provides instruction in all of the processes involved in preservation, conservation, cataloging, illustrating and analyzing artifacts and other materials from archaeological excavation. In addition to general experience, students specialize in an analytical technique of their choice. Prerequisites: AN151 and SO353.

AN-453   Archaeology (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) An advanced introduction to archaeological method and theory. Students use a computer-simulated excavation to develop research problems, design research strategies, and collect, analyze, and interpret data. Prerequisite: AN254 and ND.SS214.

AN-454   Ethnology (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) An introduction to cross-cultural research. Using statistical methods and data from ethnographic sources, students examine patterns of cultural continuity and discontinuity, and test hypotheses about human cultural systems. Prerequisites: AN151 & ND.SS214.

AN-490   Internship/Need Paperwork (Variable; Variable; 2.00-9.00 Credits) See catalog.

AN-495   Internship Seminar (Variable; Variable; 2.00-6.00 Credits) See catalog.

AN-499   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows department to offer topics not normally offered. Prerequisites vary by topic.

Social Work

SW-214   Integrated Research Methods & Stats I (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) An integrated course sequence applying processes of social inquiry to the assessment of historically oppressed and vulnerable populations, and of the interventions used to help those populations. This course integrates key research concepts and commonly used quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences, with the ability to communicate effectively about research with written and verbal skills. The course teaches students not only to conduct social science research but also to consume and utilize social science research in a critical way, including in practice as a helping professional.

SW-215   Integrtd Research Methods & Stats II (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) The second part of an integrated course sequence applying the scientific process to the fields of Social Work and Sociology, emphasizing key research concepts, commonly used quantitative and qualitative methods, and the ability to communicate effectively about research with written and verbal skills. The course teaches students not only to conduct research but also to consume and utilize research.

SW-221   The Life Cycle (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,WK-SI) This course provides an introduction to lifespan development from conception, through birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and various stages of adulthood. Explores perspectives on the biological, psychological, and socio-cultural aspects of development over time. Examines human diversity as well as similarities in growth and development, utilizing theory and research. Discusses implications for prevention and intervention related to common developmental challenges and adversities. Pre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109

SW-230   Introduction to Social Work Practice (Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S) Examines the generalist knowledge, values and skills of the social work profession. Emphasizes interviewing and communication skills, the development of a helping relationship, the strengths perspective and problem solving strategies. Prerequisites: SO101 or permission of instructor.

SW-231   Social Problems & Social Welfare (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,WK-SI) This course explores persistent social problems including poverty, inequality, unemployment, homelessness, family violence, substance abuse, and lack of healthcare access, using historical, philosophical, and social science perspectives. The development of social policies and services as institutional responses to these problems are described and analyzed. Over the course of the term, students will review a significant body of literature related to a social problem/policy of choice, and conduct a case study with a community member who has experienced consequences of that same problem/policy. Prerequisites: FYC-101, EN-110, or EN-109.

SW-241   Children, Youth, and Family Services (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; CW,S,WK-SI) This course involves a critical analysis of child and family services, practices, and policies, while exposing students to the challenging risks and needs, traumatic and institutional experiences of high-risk youth and families, as well as sources of strength, protection, and resilience. Students will participate in analyzing and interpreting research using needs assessment data provided by the instructor, and complete a scaffolded research paper assignment to analyze a specific issue of interest.

SW-330   Social Work Practice: Individual, Family & Small Groups Laboratory (Fall; Yearly; 2.00 Credits; S,SW-LE) This concurrent laboratory for SW-331 allows students to gain further experience working in a social service agency through participation in volunteer work, which is supervised and evaluated by a human service professional within the agency. Through this work, students have an opportunity to apply the skills needed to work with vulnerable client populations, including engaging, assessing, and intervening. Co-Req: SW-331. Pre-Req: SW-230.

SW-331   Social Work Practice: Individual, Family & Small Groups (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S) Explores the problem solving process used in social work practice with individuals, families and small groups. Interviewing and problem solving skills, family systems analysis and group process are refined in preparation for beginning practice with individuals, families, and small groups. Corequisite: SW330. Prerequisite: SW230.

SW-332   Social Work Practice: Large Groups, Organizations and Communities (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S,CW) Focuses on the problem solving processes employed in the delivery of social work services at the agency, institutional and community level. Primary consideration is given to the systems approach to communities and the techniques, strategies, and roles utilized by the worker in assisting communities and groups to attain satisfying and developmental levels of social functioning. Prerequisite: SW230.

SW-333   Social Welfare Policies and Services (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,CW) A conceptual study of the meanings, nature, scope, implementation and evaluation of social policy as it relates to issues of social welfare. Prerequisites: 1) SW-231; 2) SW-215 or PY-361 or ND.SS-215.

SW-399   Special Topics (Either Semester; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer topics not on the regular course offerings. Prerequisites and corequisites may vary by title.

SW-490   Social Work: Professional Semester (Spring; Yearly; 12.00 Credits; S) Full time supervised senior capstone field experience in an approved social work agency. Students integrate the knowledge, values and skills of the social work profession with experiential learning in preparation for assuming the responsibilities of an entry-level social work professional upon graduation. Corequisite: SW495 Prerequisite: Permission.

SW-495   Professional Semester: Research Seminar (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Involves research and discussion of practice issues of importance to the generalist social worker focusing on the impact these issues have on student's own practice experience. Corequisite: SW490. Prerequisite: Permission.

SW-TUT   Social Work Teaching Assistant/Tutorial (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits)