Information for Enrolled Students

Thinking about applying to the major?

Need help deciding whether to apply to the Sociology Department for your major? You're invited to meet with the Sociology Advisor to ask questions and explore various options.



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Program Options : Majors and Minors

See Program Options for Majors and Minors.


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Applying to the Major

Students wishing to major in Sociology must submit Admission Paperwork to our Sociology Advisor. The number of students admitted to the major is limited as a result of the structure of the sociology curriculum and departmental staffing capabilities.

For information about the available plans of study please see Program Options: Majors.

For more information about applying to the major and Major Evaluations for graduation, click here.

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Information for Minors

For Plan of Study information, please see Program Options: Minors.

For information about declaring the minor and Minor Evaluations for graduation, click here.

For information about registration, please see our registration policy.



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Information for Declared Majors

Special Courses and Opportunities

The Department offers a variety of opportunities for Sociology majors beyond the coverage of class instruction:


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SOC 371 (formerly 471) -Directed Internship (5 credits)

SOC 371 (471)- Prereq: SOC 302, SOC 306 (210) and permission from Internship Coordinator, Dr. Karen Bradley. All interns work at least 12 hours per week at the work site, in the type of work specified in the contract. In addition, students complete three written assignments, including a research paper. This is a 5-credit course, repeatable to a maximum of 10 credits. Both the on-site supervisor and the Internship Coordinator are responsible for the evaluation of interns at the end of the quarter.

Program objectives: Students apply sociological concepts and methods to better understand social issues and problems while engaged in on-site work experiences in various settings. Internship experiences provide valuable knowledge about the complexities of professional work, the process by which individuals find jobs, and the interconnection of agencies, organizations, and public policy, among other issues. In addition, internship experiences provide students with valuable information about their own occupational preferences.

See Internship Guide for more information on program objectives and requirements.

How to obtain an internship: Students are responsible for finding their own internship placement. The internship setting should offer the student professional-level work that is related to one of the sub-areas of sociology (for example, criminal justice, social inequality, sociology of family, youth, aging, urban studies, education, etc.). The work should be varied, non-clerical, involve instruction and learning opportunities, and be relevant to the mission of the agency or organization.

See Consider Doing An Internship for more information on how to find an internship.

To register for Soc 371 (471), you will need override permission from our Internship Coordinator, Dr. Karen Bradley, AH 532, (360) 650-3001.

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SOC 400 -Independent Study (1-15 credits)

SOC 400 - Prereq: SOC 302, 304 (215), 306 (210); and a minimum 3.0 gpa for the preceding three quarters; agreement with a faculty member to work with you individually.

About Independent Study: Soc 400 allows students the opportunity to pursue topics not covered in ordinary courses. Students often use this opportunity to do further research in an area introduced by a course. SOC 400, however, may not be used to cover the ground covered in an existing course; it does not provide a way to get around scheduling difficulties. Faculty work loads are too pressed to allow time to repeat courses individually. Students may earn 1-15 credits, graded A/F or S/U. A maximum of 10 credits may apply toward the major, and the grading must be A/F. Additional credits will be applied as upper division elective credits only.

To register for Soc 400, you must get written permission from faculty. Ask the faculty to sign an Independent Study Registration Permit Card. Cards are available from the Sociology Department Office (AH 510), or from the Sociology Advisor (AH 513). Once this card is completed, submit it to the Registrar's Office to finalize registration (registration is not completed online).


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Soc 480 -(T.A.) Teaching & Learning Sociology (2-5 credits)

SOC 480 - Prereq: Permission of instructor. Soc 480 is a variable credit course (2-5 credits), and is repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits. S/U grading. SOC 480 may not be applied toward the major, however SOC 480 applies as a university elective toward the total 180 credits required for graduation.

T.A. Duties: The teaching assistantship is intended to provide students with practical experience in the teaching of sociology at the undergraduate level. To that end, students will get hands-on experience in the various activities associated with teaching a particular course in the department. TA duties may include leading discussion groups, assisting the instructor in preparing lecture material, and assisting students in the class with understanding the course material. The actual duties will vary by course and instructor. Credit is determined by the instructor depending on the actual duties of the teaching assistant based on this formula: one credit per 2.5 hours a week of work.

T.A. Vacancy Pool: Faculty often invite especially strong students to be T.A.'s. Students may also approach instructors with an interest in a certain class. The Sociology Advisor also maintains a "Vacancy Pool"- a list of students who indicate an interest, so that as positions become available we can easily match students with faculty who need assistance in various courses. To find out more about this opportunity, contact Andrea Osborn before registration starts for the next quarter.

To register: Once you have established a T.A. position with faculty, contact Andrea Osborn for an override.


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Soc 481-(R.A.) Research Assistantship (2-5 credits)

SOC 481 - Prereq: Permission of instructor. Variable credit to a maximum of 5 credits in any one quarter, repeatable to a maximum of 10 credits. Graded A/F.

This course is structured on an apprenticeship model. Students will be working closely with one faculty member, assisting her/him with sociological research. The actual activities will vary, depending on the nature and stage of the research project. Responsibilities may include data set construction and/or analysis, interviewing and interview transcription, and library searches. Students will be required to submit a report or project journal to the supervising instructor in a format that will be mutually agreed upon at the start of the assistantship.

To register: Once you have established a T.A. position with faculty, contact Andrea Osborn for an override.


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Soc 492 -Senior Thesis (5 credits)

SOC 492 - Prereq: SOC 302, 304 (210), 306 (215), and 5 credits of SOC 400 (Directed Independent Study) undertaken with the student's senior thesis faculty advisor prior to and in preparation for the senior thesis. Graded A/F

See Senior Thesis Guide and Contract . The student is required to complete a Senior Thesis Contract in consultation with her/his senior thesis faculty advisor prior to taking the SOC 400-492 sequence.

To register, permission is required from faculty. Once you have arranged permission with faculty, contact Andrea Osborn for an override.


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Work-Study Positions

NatashaThe Sociology Department has 4-5 positions available each year for students who have been awarded Work-Study funds through the Student Employment Center. Majors, as well as non-majors, may work in the Sociology Department Office and assist faculty in the preparation of teaching materials, or perform as research assistants for various projects. Work-Study offers the opportunity to 1) gain work experience and improve marketable skills, and 2) meet a new set of contacts who may eventually become valuable references for future employment.

For more information about eligibility for work-study funds, contact the Student Employment Center. To find out about positions available in the Sociology Department, contact Barbara Broughton, Administrative Services Manager; AH 512; (360) 650-3610.


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Applying for Graduation

When to apply for graduation

Plan to apply for graduation two quarters prior to your final quarter. For example, if you're graduating at the end of Spring Quarter, you'll need to apply for graduation during Fall Quarter.

If your deadline falls within Summer Quarter, please schedule your appointment with the Sociology Advisor the prior Spring Quarter.

How to apply for graduation

Make an appointment with the Sociology Advisor to complete your Major Evaluation. An appointment schedule is posted outside the door, Arntzen Hall 513. The final step will be to submit your Major Evaluation, along with a Degree Application, to the Registrar's Office.

Please click here for more detailed directions regarding Major Evaluations and Minor Evaluations.


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Graduation Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

Sociology students must meet the graduation requirements of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Here are the requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree:

  • Complete all requirements for the major in Sociology (or combined major) according to
    your Plan of Study. All courses must be completed with a C- or better.

  • Complete a minimum of 180 total credits. This includes all GURs (or a direct
    transfer A.A. degree from a community college). Note: English 101 must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

  • Complete a minimum of 60 upper division credits (300/400 level). (That is, 60 credits of the 180 total required must be upper division).

  • Complete a minimum of 45 credits in residence at WWU (correspondence coursework does not apply).

  • Your final quarter must be in residence; i.e. you must be registered for at least one Western course in the quarter in which degree is to be awarded. Correspondence courses are allowed only by exception.

  • Your cumulative GPA at Western must be at least 2.00.

  • For the B.A. Education degree, complete the professional education sequence.

  • Submit an application for the degree no later than the last day of classes two quarters prior to quarter of intended graduation.

Scholarships in Sociology & Demography


Up to four awards will be granted by the Sociology Department in Spring 2016 for the next academic year (2016-2017). Please see the scholarship application for more details.


International Sociology Honor Society


The sociology department at Western houses a chapter of the International Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta (  We initiate applicants who meet the following qualifications at the end of every spring quarter:

  • Are an officially declared sociology major (or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology within an official program) at Western.
  • Are at least a junior (third year) by Western’s standards.
  • Have accumulated the equivalent of an overall grade point average of 3.3.
  • Have maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average in sociology courses taken at Western prior to initiation.
  • Have completed at least four regular courses in sociology at Western.
  • Have submitted an unofficial copy of their transcript to in the Sociology Department for verification of the above criteria.
  • Have filled out the department’s online application (see below)


Members of this society will receive a lifetime membership in AKD, a membership certificate, and a one-year subscription to the sociology journal, Sociological Inquiry.  Members are also be eligible to wear an honor cord at graduation to mark their membership in the AKD.  Finally, members of AKD are eligible to enter the annual undergraduate student paper competition.  Awards for this competition include cash, scholarship money for graduate school, travel expenses to professional meetings, and consideration of the paper for publication in a professional journal.  The cost for this lifetime membership is a one-time fee of $40. (There are a limited number of scholarships available through the sociology department. If you would like to request assistance, please fill out the “request for membership assistance” section on the application.) 

Applications are now being accepted; the deadline for applying is the first Friday of Spring Quarter. To apply, complete the application at: and send an unofficial copy of your transcript (after winter grades are in) to

Considering Graduate School?

See Graduate School Information.



Need Help?

If you have any questions, contact the Sociology Advisor.


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Page Updated 03.03.2016