Mission Statement

The goal of the Sociology major is to provide students with the intellectual tools needed to analyze social phenomena theoretically and empirically. To that end, the curriculum provides a wide range of courses. During the first and second years of study students are trained in the basics of sociology and later students choose a specific area of sociology. Possible areas of specialization include gender, international migration, science/technology, globalization, nationalism, social movements, political sociology, environmental sociology, sociology of development, or other specific areas. Students are also encouraged to learn qualitative and/or quantitative research methods and conduct their own independent research projects in association with methodology courses and/or with their senior theses. The major's overarching goal is to help students realize that they can analyze social phenomena theoretically and empirically, and that sociological perspectives and analyses contribute ultimately to the betterment of societies.

Learning Goals

Students are expected to develop competence in the following areas:

  1. Sociological Theories: students will have an understanding of classical and contemporary social theory and the main debates and foci of research in sociology.
  2. Critical Thinking: through critical reading, writing, and debate, students will develop the ability to ask compelling questions, evaluate arguments, and draw sound conclusions.
  3. Methodologies: students will understand a broad range of methodologies through which sociology generates data and acquire the ability to use qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.
  4. Research Design and Its Implementation: students will develop the ability to design and implement a sociological research project. This involves working with the relevant scholarly literature, formulating research questions, and employing appropriate methods to generate relevant data.
  5. Analysis: students will develop the ability to analyze data and draw sound conclusions from data analysis.
  6. Communication: students will develop the ability to present their ideas both verbally and in writing.
  7. Ethics: students will develop an awareness of the ethics of social science research so as to fulfill ICU's mission of creating responsible global citizens.