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2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

Undergraduate Department of


College of Social Sciences and Public Policy


Chair: Kathryn Tillman; Professors: Barrett, Brewster, Burdette, Carlson, Padavic, Reynolds, Rohlinger, Schrock, J. Taylor, M. Taylor, Tillman, Ueno; Associate Professors: Carr, Davis, Sanyal; Assistant Professors: Buggs, Hauer, Homan, McFarland, Singh, Waggoner; Teaching Faculty III: Lessan, Munson; Teaching Faculty I: Roach; Professors Emeriti: Eberstein, Fendrich, Ford, Hardy, Hazelrigg, Isaac, Kinloch, Martin, Nam, Orcutt, Quadagno; Affiliate Faculty: Chiricos, Gundogan, Miles, Milton, Perez-Felkner, Schwabe

Few fields have as broad a scope as sociology, the study of human groups and social life. The sociology major's interests range from the nuclear family to the many types of societies, from crime to religion, from the divisions of race and class to the integrating symbols of culture, from the sociology of occupations to politics. At Florida State University, the Department of Sociology examines all of these matters and others. Current research is ongoing in such diverse areas as gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, social movements, health and aging, and population.

There are several reasons for pursuing a sociology degree. First, sociology addresses circumstances and events that affect students' lives today and in the future. Second, a sociology major provides a broad-based, liberal arts education that promotes understanding and sharpens analytical skills. Third, a sociology major is excellent preparation for a career in professions that require an ability to think and write analytically. Sociology graduates have found employment in academia, business, law, medicine, politics, and government. Fourth, sociology prepares students for advanced graduate work in anticipation of careers in research and teaching.

Sociology majors learn how to analyze the hiring, termination, and promotional practices of organizations; anticipate the changes humans will undergo in their life; practice market research; detect social trends; analyze statistical data; evaluate public policies; assess the impact of technological innovations; interpret political and social change in the world system; conduct surveys and interpret their results; project fertility and mortality patterns; and appreciate classic theories of social order and change.

The facilities and resources available to sociology majors include access to the microcomputer lab in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy and opportunities to work closely with faculty on research projects. The department provides a wide range of courses on important aspects of social life, leading to greater understanding of human society and a variety of skills that are increasingly essential for citizens in a postindustrial, information-based, and rapidly changing global society.

Computer Skills Competency

All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. Undergraduate majors in sociology satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C–" or higher in CGS 2060 or CGS 2100.

State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites

The state of Florida has identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program. Specific prerequisites are required for admission into the upper-division program and must be completed by the student at either a community college or a state university prior to being admitted to this program. Students may be admitted into the University without completing the prerequisites, but may not be admitted into the program.

At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were being reviewed by the state of Florida and may have been revised. Please visit for a current list of state-approved prerequisites.

The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions necessary for admission into this upper-division degree program:



Core Program

For acceptance as a sociology major, students must have successfully completed Florida State University's math and English requirements for liberal studies with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better and meet "mapping" requirements. Sociology majors are encouraged to complete all liberal studies requirements before admission to the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. To fulfill the computer literacy requirement, students should complete CGS 2060, CGS 2064, or CGS 2100, with a grade of "C–" or better.


Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in sociology.


Students must complete thirty semester hours in sociology, with a grade of "C–" or better in each course, including: SYA 4010 Sociological Theory, SYA 4300 Methods of Social Research, and SYA 4400 Social Statistics.

Transfer students must earn a minimum of fifteen semester hours in sociology at Florida State University. Transfer of the required upper-division courses (SYA 4010, 4300, and 4400) is subject to the approval of the department chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Sociology majors must also complete a minor in another discipline. The number of hours for this minor is determined by the department in which the student minors.


General Minor in Sociology

A minor in Sociology may be earned by completing any fifteen semester hours in sociology with a grade of "C–" or better in each course. At least nine of the fifteen semester hours must be completed at Florida State University.

Minor in the Sociology of Health and Aging

The minor in the Sociology of Health and Aging consists of fifteen semester hours of coursework in Sociology. All courses must be completed with a grade of "C–" or better. At least nine of the fifteen semester hours must be completed at Florida State University.

The fifteen credits for this minor must be comprised of any of the following courses, which are offered at least once per year:

SYA 4930r Selected Topics in Sociology (3) (maximum of six hours of SYA 4930)

SYD 3020 Population and Society (3)

SYO 4402 Medical Sociology (3)

SYP 3730 Aging and the Life Course (3)

SYP 4550 Alcohol and Drug Problems (3)

Honors in the Major

The Department of Sociology offers a program of honors in the major to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as part of their undergraduate experience. For requirements and other information, see the "University Honors Office and Honor Societies" chapter of this General Bulletin.

Definition of Prefixes


IDH—Interdisciplinary Honors

IDS—Interdisciplinary Studies

SYA—Sociological Analysis

SYD—Sociology of Demography/Area Studies/Sociological Minorities

SYG—Sociology: General

SYO—Social Organization

SYP—Social Processes

Undergraduate Courses

Introductory Course

SYG 1000. Introductory Sociology (3). This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of sociology. In the course, emphasis is placed on exposure to the basic findings of empirical research studies in a wide range of areas traditionally examined by sociologists.

Sociological Theory and Methods of Research

SYA 3741. Sociology of Death and Dying (3). This course explores the structure of human response to death, dying, and bereavement with a focus on sociocultural and interpersonal context. The course explores how cultural and medical factors shape experience of a "good death," grief over the life course, functions of funeral practices, and death-related ethical debates such as physician assisted suicide.

SYA 4010. Sociological Theory (3). This course introduces the student to the kind of theory that has developed in the field of sociology since its foundation, moving through to the contemporary scene. Major theoretical fields, major theorists, and dominant theoretical issues that continue to be part of the sociological approach to explanation are covered. This is a required course for sociology majors.

SYA 4300. Methods of Social Research (3). This course is a broad coverage of research design, data collection, and data analysis. This is a required course for sociology majors.

SYA 4400. Social Statistics (3). This course involves the application of statistical techniques to sociological data as illustrated in the research and writing of social scientists. As a course for majors, it represents an important part of the student's methodological training with respect to the statistical analysis of data typically used by sociologists. The student is expected to carry out a number of exercises involving the statistical analysis of sociological data and to interpret the results. This is a required course for sociology majors.

SYA 4936. Sociology Skills Seminar (1). (S/U grade only.) This seminar course helps students answer the question "What can I do with a degree in sociology?" Students learn to apply their sociological imagination and sociological perspective to help them determine what they want to do after graduation.

The Family

SYG 2430. Sociology of Marriage and the Family (3). This course focuses on marriage and family relationships over the life course. Topics covered include dating, love, sexuality, cohabitation, marriage, divorce, reconstituted families, parenting, and marital and family relationships in later life. The major course objective is to critically analyze some of our most private social relationships from a sociological perspective.

SYO 3100. Families and Social Change (3). This course is a basic sociological approach to conditions, issues, and problems of familial organization within the context of changing institutional structures of modern society. Attention is given to such questions as: How have spouse roles changed, and why? How do changes in the organization of work affect family experience? How are family and kinship patterns affected by an aging population? etc.

Personality and Society (Social Psychology)

SYP 3000. Social Psychology of Groups (3). This course represents the study of social psychology from a sociological perspective. Specifically, it is an analysis of the influence of groups and the individual on each other, including the study of norms, group pressure, leadership, motivation, and social personality.

SYP 3350. Collective Action and Social Movements (3). This course explores the origins and organization of social movements, the dilemmas and challenges facing social movements, the relationship between social movements and political institutions, and the role of social movements in causing social change.

SYP 4062. Sexual and Reproductive Health (3). This course examines a number of sexual and reproductive health issues and may include topics such as demographic trends in fertility; the social construction of sexual and reproductive health; reproductive rights; the medicalization of sexual functioning; and the effects of racism, poverty, and sexism on sexual health and reproduction.

SYP 4650. Sports and Society (3). This course explores the topic of sport from a critical perspective focusing especially on inequalities in gender, race, class, and power. This class jointly examines sports as a social mirror that reflects status inequalities as well as the role of sports in perpetuating social inequalities.

Population and Human Ecology

SYD 3020. Population and Society (3). This course examines the causes and consequences of population change in the United States and the world with an assessment of the impact of demographic change on various social institutions.

SYD 3600. Cities in Society (3). This course takes a global perspective on the transformation of prehistoric, non-urban groups to contemporary urban societies. Students obtain background knowledge about our "global village" and how we arrived in it, along with analytical skills that allow them to evaluate and address fundamentally new cultural, political, and economic challenges posed by our increasingly urbanized and interconnected world.

Social Issues and Change

SYD 2740. Sociology of Law and Hispanics (3). This course examines the minority group status of Hispanics and Hispanic subgroups using a sociology of law lens. The course is a hands-on gathering of research-based studies and social-demographics on past and current political representation, effects of legislative and judicial decisions, and legal training on the American experience of Hispanics. The course also traces the processes of minority creation for four categories of Hispanics: Mexicans, Puerto-Ricans, Cubans, and Central/South Americans, as well as their process of subordination since their entry to USA.

SYD 3734. Culture and Society (3). This course explores the meanings of culture in contemporary U.S. society, with a focus on cultural representation, cultural products, and cultural (re)production. Students are introduced to sociological, feminist, critical race, and queer theoretical perspectives on "taste" (also known as cultural capital), power, and cultural representation, emphasizing how culture shapes our experiences and understandings of socially constructed phenomena such as class, race, sexuality, and gender.

SYD 3800. Sociology of Sex and Gender (3). This course examines how gender, as an identity, interaction, institution, and inequality, influences individuals' lives and organizes society.

SYD 4510. Environmental Sociology (3). This course examines the larger social forces that shape our natural environment; the social foundations of environmental problems; and the social responses to environmental issues, conflicts, and movements.

SYD 4700. Race and Minority Group Relations (3). This course explores historical and contemporary race relations in the United States from a sociological perspective. Specifically, students study the underlying issues that characterize the relations between and among different ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

SYD 4730. African-Americans in Modern Society (3). This course examines the African-American experience in the U.S. with the goal of understanding how historical conditions and events shaped current circumstances. Focus is on African-Americans as situated in all major institutions (economy, polity, family, education, religion, welfare, military, criminal justice) and the consequences of their placement. The course applies sociological theories of race/ethnicity to past and current developments.

SYG 2010. Social Problems (3). This course represents a study of various contemporary social problems in an urbanized society, which may include such topics as education, the family, politics, the economy, race relations, drug use and alcoholism, over-population, and other issues.

SYO 4374. Gender, Work, and Family (3). This course examines the forces that create, reproduce, and erode inequalities centering on gender, work, and family. The course requires a critical perspective analyzing the cultural and structural forces that generate and sustain the gender gap in the professional and domestic domains.

SYO 4402. Medical Sociology (3). This course explains why and how social structure influences the distribution of health and illness and illustrates how the medical care system is organized and responds.

SYP 3454. The Global Justice Movement (3). This course critically examines the history, organization, strategies, ideology, opponents, culture, and future prospects of the global justice movement.

SYP 3730. Aging and the Life Course (3). This course explores how changing life course patterns have influenced retirement, health care, politics, and family structure. It also considers the policy choices that have to be made in the twenty-first century as the baby boom generation reaches retirement age.

SYP 4550. Alcohol and Drug Problems (3). This course presents a review and analysis of sociological approaches to the study of alcohol and drug problems. It addresses theoretical perspectives on recreational and deviant drinking and drug use and introduces important empirical methods in the study of alcohol and drug problems and current debates over alcohol and drug policy.

SYP 4570. Deviance and Social Control (3). This course focuses on major theories and research traditions, including structural and social psychological causes of deviant behavior, processes of labeling deviants, and social conflict over definition and treatment of deviance.

Social Organization

SYO 3200. Sociology of Religion (3). This course focuses on the basic sociological perspective of the social organization and forms of religious life in modern society. In the course, religious groups are studied as organizations that contribute to social stability, social conflict, and social change.

SYO 3460. Sociology of Mass Media (3). This course provides a sociological view of mass communications by critically examining the origin, history, and functions of the American mass media and its effect on social life.

SYO 3530. Social Classes and Inequality (3). This course explores the origins and organization of social movements, the dilemmas and challenges facing social movements, the relationship between social movements and political institutions, and the role of social movements in causing social change.

SYO 4250. Sociology of Education (3). This course presents a sociological approach to the study of education as a social institution, its structure, functions, and role in contemporary life.

SYO 4300. Sociology of Politics (3). This course deals with American political institutions, political organizations, pressure groups, and the public's participation in political processes. Discussion focuses on current political issues from a sociological perspective.

SYO 4461. New Media and Social Change (3). This course surveys some of the research outlining the influence of mass media on individuals, institutions, and culture. The course pays attention to both "old" media (e.g., television and newspapers) and "new" media (e.g., websites, and social media) and broadly explores how technological changes effect social institutions and society.

SYP 3540. Sociology of Law (3). This course examines the interrelationship between the legal order and the social order. Limitations of civil and criminal law for conflict management and for implementation of social policy are considered.


IDH 2117. Social (In)Equalities: Social Construction of Difference and Inequalities (3). This course explores the structures and institutions of social inequality along the intersectional axes of class, race, and gender/sexuality by focusing on how these categories are socially constructed, maintained, and experienced.

IDH 2118. Utopias/Dystopias: A Homage to "Social Dreaming" (3). This course examines utopian thinking and differing perspectives on state-society relations and the question of individual freedom within society through various materials such as political manifestos, movies, novels, or poems.

IDS 2322r. Sexual Health in the Modern World (3). This course analyzes and synthesizes information centering on a number of current sexual and reproductive health issues. Course materials include the interdisciplinary theorizing of feminists, medical social scientists, anthropologists, demographers, and public health scholars. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

IDS 2323. Gendered Bodies over the Life Course (3). Prerequisite: Honors student or 3.5 GPA or higher. This course examines how gender – as it is embedded in individual, interactional, and institutional dimensions of society – gets woven into experiences of our bodies over the entire life course.

IDS 2339. The Boundaries Between Us: Exploring Racial Inequality in the U.S. (3). This course explores the issue of contemporary racial inequality in the United States. More specifically, the course has been designed to provide students with information about trends and patterns of racial inequality in the U.S. today, allowing them to explore competing explanations for continuing racial inequality, and challenging them to propose and critically assess ideas about potential mechanisms for change.

IDS 2393. The Hunger Games Trilogy: Collective Action and Social Movements (3). This course is an introduction to the sociological study of collective behavior and social movements. This course is organized to highlight themes in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, which students analyze during the semester. Students have an opportunity to research a movement of their choosing during the semester.

IDS 3137. Politics of Reproduction (3). This course is an introduction to studying the social and political dimensions of human reproduction. In each class, students address historical context, sociopolitical trends, and contemporary debates regarding specific themes and topics related to reproductive politics. Course material and discussions draw from varied perspectives and interdisciplinary resources, including sociology, demography, anthropology, history, medicine, and public health.

IDS 3342. Boomers and Millennials: Changing Generations (3). In this course, students are guided through original empirical research to appreciate the sources of changes across contrasting generations, and to follow up the impact of generational change for a wide range of social, economic and political dimensions of everyday life. Research projects compare different generations at equivalent points in the life cycle.

IDS 3430. Sociology of Hip Hop Culture (3). This course challenges students to examine themes and messages expressed within the subculture of Hip Hop through the application of major sociological perspectives and theories. The course also examines the reciprocal relationship between Hip Hop culture and the broader American society, through engagement with scholarly literature, examination of empirical evidence and execution of student research projects.

IDS 3433. Modern Death (3). Death and dying are fundamental to discussions about social positions and processes, and they reflect who we are and inform how we function as a society. This course is an introduction to studying the social and ethical dimensions of death in the modern world. In each class, we will address historical context, medical and technological trends, and contemporary debates regarding specific themes and topics related to death.

IDS 3512. Examining the Educational Achievement Gap (3). This course empowers students to critically examine the Achievement Gap in education by exploring how personal, political, cultural, economic and social experiences and structures shape the educational landscape. Students gather and analyze research and empirical evidence in order to explicate the arguments, assertions and assumptions about the achievement gap through a range of assessments.

SYA 4905r. Directed Individual Study (3). Consent of instructor and departmental chair required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

SYA 4930r. Selected Topics in Sociology (3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

SYA 4931r. Honors Work (3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

SYA 4932r. Tutorial in Sociology (1). Prerequisite: Upper-division sociology major or minor status. This course is a reading and analysis of primary literature on selected topics in contemporary sociology. May be repeated to a maximum of three semester hours.

SYA 4935r. Capstone for Outstanding Majors (3). In this course, through course readings, discussion, and projects, students learn more about how to apply social theory and methods to conduct research and design programs to address social inequality. The course focus varies from offering to offering, depending on the instructor's area of expertise. Students are invited to enroll in this course based on GPA. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours when content changes.

Graduate Courses


SYA 5018. Classical Social Theory (3).

SYA 5305. Introduction to Research Methods (3).

SYA 5315. Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology (3).

SYA 5406. Multivariate Analysis (3).

SYA 5407. Advanced Quantitative Methods (3).

SYA 5458. Social Statistics and Data Analysis for Public Health (3).

SYA 5515. Sociological Research Practicum (0–3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5516. Reporting Sociological Research (1–3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 6936r. Selected Topics in Research Methods (3).


DEM 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only.)

DEM 5930r. Special Topics in Demography (3).

DEM 5972r. Master's Research Paper in Demography (3–6). (S/U grade only.)

SYD 5045. Introduction to Demography (3).

SYD 5046. International Population Dynamics (3).

SYD 5105. Population Theory (3).

SYD 5133. Population Data (3)

SYD 5135. Techniques of Population Analysis (3).

SYD 5215. Health and Survival (3).

SYD 5235. Population Mobility (3).

SYD 5225. Fertility (3).

SYO 5177. Family Demography (3).

Health and Aging

SYD 5136. Life Course Epidemiology (3).

SYO 5416. Stress and Mental Health (3).

SYO 6407. Race, Ethnicity and Health (3)

SYP 5738. Aging Policies and Services (3).

Inequalities and Social Justice

SYD 5705. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (3).

SYD 5817. Contemporary Theories of Gender (3).

SYO 5306. Political Sociology (3).

SYO 5335. Sociology of Political Economy (3).

SYO 5376. Sociology of Gender and Work (3).

SYO 5535. Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender (3).

SYO 5547. Race and Gender in Organizations (3).

SYO 6255. Sociology of Education (3).

SYO 6538r. Advanced Research Seminar In Stratification and Inequality (3–9).

SYP 5005. Social Interaction (3).

SYP 5065. Sexuality Over the Life Course (3).

SYP 5305. Collective Behavior and Social Movements (3).

SYP 6356. Sociology of the Contemporary Women's Movement (3).


SYA 5357. Developing Sociological Research (3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5625r. Proseminar in Sociology (0–3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5907r. Directed Individual Study (3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5909r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5912r. Supervised Research (1–5). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5946r. Supervised Teaching (1–5). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 5971r. Master's Paper Research (0–6). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 6660. Teaching at the College Level in Sociology (3).

SYA 6933r. Selected Topics in Sociology (3).

SYA 8967r. Preparation for Major Area Preliminary Exam (1–12). (S/U grade only.)

SYA 8976. Master's Paper Completion (0). (S/U grade only.)

SYP 5105. Theories of Social Psychology (3).

For listings relating to graduate course work for thesis, dissertation, and master's and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.


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