2013-2014 Course Catalog

The University Of Montana

Department of Sociology

Kathy Kuipers, Chairs

"Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since human behavior is shaped by social factors, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture (American Sociological Association 2002:1). The Sociology faculty at UM bring diverse theoretical perspectives to their courses and use a wide array of methodological strategies in their research and teaching. Their interests range from social issues facing our local community and the Northern Rocky Mountain region, to national and global concerns. Faculty research addresses both theoretical issues, such as the causes of criminal behavior, and practical matters, such as the effectiveness of prison rehabilitation programs or the impact of legislation on family policy and poverty programs.

In addition to a general sociology major, students may choose one of three options for structuring their course work. The general Sociology major provides a broad foundation in sociological theory and research, together with exposure to a variety of courses in the main substantive areas of the discipline. Students interested in crime and criminal justice can choose an option in Criminology, while students concerned with the causes and consequences of social inequality can select an option Inequality and Social Justice. Students interested in rural and environmental issues can pursue an option in Rural and Environmental Change.  These options allow students to concentrate their studies in a particular area of interest while still acquiring a solid foundation in the discipline of Sociology.

Special Degree Requirements

The general sociology major requires a minimum of 33 sociology credits. Students may choose an option in criminology, inequality and social justice, or in rural and environmental change.  These options require 39 sociology credits. All sociology majors must complete a required core and four courses from the major content list, in order to insure broad exposure to the field of sociology. No more than 60 sociology credits may count for graduation. In addition to meeting these departmental requirements, students must meet all University wide requirements, as specified in the catalog. These include: completing 120 credits, meeting the General Education requirements including the Upper-division Writing Proficiency Assessment, and taking 39 credits of upper-division course work. See the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog for other requirements.

Upper-Division Writing Expectation: To meet the Upper- Division Writing Expectation of the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology, students must successfully complete one course selected from SOCI 438, 441, 460 or 488 (SOC 438, 441, 460 or 488); or any other upper-division writing course approved for general education (see Academic Policies and Procedures section of the catalog).

Required Course Work:

  1. Core Courses (12 credits):
    • SOCI 101S (SOC 110S) Introduction to Sociology
    • SOCI 202 (SOC 202) Social Statistics
    • SOCI 318 (SOC 201) Sociological Research Methods
    • SOCI 455 (SOC 455) Classical Sociological Theory
  2. Major Content: four courses, two of which must be numbered 300 or above, (12 credits):
    • SOCI 211S (SOC 230S) Introduction to Criminology OR 330 Juvenile Delinquency
    • SOCI 220S (SOC 220S) Race, Gender and Class
    • SOCI 270 (SOC 270) Introduction to Development Sociology
    • SOCI 275S (SOC 275S) Gender and Society
    • SOCI 306 (SOC 306) Sociology of Work
    • SOCI 308 (SOC 308) Sociology of Education
    • SOCI 325 (SOC 325) Social Stratification
    • SOCI 332 (SOC 300) Sociology of the Family
    • SOCI 342 (SOC 342) Urban/Metropolitan Sociology
    • SOCI 345 (SOC 320) Sociology of Organizations
    • SOCI 346 (SOC 346) Rural Sociology
    • SOCI 350 (SOC 340) The Community
    • SOCI 355 (SOC 355) Population & Society
    • SOCI 382 (SOC 350S) Social Psychology & Social Structure
    • SOCI 470 (SOC 470) Environmental Sociology
    • SOCI 485 (SOC 485) Political Sociology

NOTE: Students in the criminology, inequality and social justice, and reach option may count only one course from their respective option as a major content course.
Sociology 101S (SOC 110S) is a prerequisite for most courses numbered 200 and above. Additional prerequisites are listed in course descriptions.

Students who have not completed specified prerequisites may enroll only with the instructor's consent. All courses to be applied toward the major must be taken for a traditional letter grade.  Majors are expected to earn a "C-" or better in all sociology courses.

To earn 120 credits in four years, students must average 30 credits per year, or 15 credits per semester. Requirements for general sociology majors allow considerable flexibility in choosing courses. However, requirements for the criminology, inequality and social justice, and rural and environmental change options are more stringent.

General Sociology Major:

Students whose primary interest is in a general sociology major are urged to develop a plan of study with their advisor; they must take three electives in addition to the core courses and major content requirements listed above.  Any sociology course, including courses from any of the three options, may be included in your study plan. The general sociology major prepares students for positions which require a bachelor's degree in one of the social science disciplines, including employment in a variety of government and private-sector agencies, or for a graduate program in sociology. It also provides valuable preparation for related fields such as law, social work, education, counseling, politics, and public administration.

Criminology Option:

Criminology has been an area of study within sociology since the inception of the discipline at the turn of the twentieth century. Contemporary criminology examines the making of laws, the nature and extent of crime, the causes of crime, and society's efforts to control crime through the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The option builds upon the required course work in sociology and allows students to pursue extended study of crime and the criminal justice system. In addition, the option provides opportunity for practical experience in juvenile and criminal justice systems through internship placement. The criminology option prepares students for employment in public and private criminal justice agencies, as well as graduate study in sociology, criminal justice, and law.

In addition to courses required of all sociology majors in the core and content areas, students concentrating in criminology must complete the following:

Inequality and Social Justice Option:

Inequality is at the core of most sociological inquires. The option in inequality and social justice examines the causes and consequences of inequalities based on class, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, age, and sexual orientation. Social inequalities at the local, national, and global levels are studied, as are the political, legal, and social processes that contribute to or reduce inequalities. Ethical elements of social justice are considered with regard to inequality. An option in inequality and social justice prepares students for employment in a variety of government and private-sector agencies, especially in social services, or for graduate school in Sociology. It also provides valuable preparation for related fields such as law, social work, education, counseling, politics, and public administration.

Requirements, in addition to courses in the core and content areas, include:

NOTE: No more than one course from the ISJ emphasis may be used to fill the requirements for major content courses.
RECOMMENDED: Students should take 498 (SOC 490) concurrent with 441.

Rural and Environmental Change Option:

Rural environments, residents and agencies are facing rapid social, economic, demographic and political change. This option develops analytical and practical skills for understanding rural and environmental change globally and in the American West, and its policy implications in such areas as rural health, welfare and work; community development and assessment; native peoples and natural resource management. An option in rural and environmental change prepares students for employment with either a government, private or non-profit agency concerned with the above topics or for pursuing an advanced degree in sociology.
Requirements, in addition to courses in the core and content areas, include:

NOTE: No more than one course from the REACH emphasis may be used to fill the requirements for major content courses.

Teacher Preparation in Sociology

Students who want to be licensed to teach sociology at the high school level must complete the BA degree requirements in sociology (general sociology, no option required). They also must complete a teaching major or minor in a second field of their choice and the professional licensure program in the College of Education.
Students may also earn a teaching minor in sociology. See the Department of Curriculum & Instruction for information about admission to the Teacher Education Program and completion of these licensure programs.

Suggested Course of Study

General Sociology Majors:

First Year A S
SOCI 101S (SOC 110S) Introduction to Sociology 3 -
WRIT 101 (ENEX 101) College Writing I 3 -
M 115 (MATH 117) Probability and Linear Math - 3
Lower-division Writing course - 3
Electives and General Education 9 9
  15 15
Second Year A S
SOCI 202 (SOC 202) Social Statistics 3 -
SOCI 211S (SOC 230) Introduction to Criminology, SOCI 270 Introduction to Development Sociology, or SOCI 220S Race, Gender & Class 3 -
SOCI 221 (SOC 235) Criminal Justice System or elective - 3
Sociology major content courses 3 6
General Education 6 6
  15 15
All sociology majors are expected to have their general education work completed by the end of their sophomore year. The bulk of the work in sociology should occur during the junior and senior years.
Third Year A S
SOCI 318 (SOC 201) Sociological Research Methods 3 -
SOCI 455 (SOC 455) Classical Sociological Theory - 3
Sociology major content course 3 -
Upper-division writing course - 3
Option courses (CRIM, ISJ or REACH) or electives 9 9
  15 15
Fourth Year A S
SOCI 460 (SOC 460) Capstone in Rural and Environmental Change (Rural option) or SOCI 441 (SOC 441) Capstone in Inequality and Social Justice (ISJ option) - 3
Option courses (Crim, ISJ, or Rural) or electives 15 12
  15 15

Students choosing an option in criminology are required to complete the core in their option prior to taking the criminology option elective courses. Students choosing the inequality and social justice option should take SOCI 498 (SOC 490) concurrent with SOCI 441 (SOC 441). Students choosing the rural and environmental change option should take SOCI 270 (SOC 270) first and complete at least two option electives prior to taking SOCI 460 (SOC 460).

Requirements for a Minor

To earn a minor in sociology the student must complete a minimum of 21 credits in sociology with at least 9 of these credits at the upper-division level. Students must take SOCI 101S (SOC 110S), SOCI 318 (SOC 201), SOCI 455 (SOC 455) and two (2) major content courses.


R- before the course description indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.

Sociology (SOCI) - Course Descriptions

101S, 130S, 191, 202, 211, 212S, 220S, 221, 270, 275S, 291, 306, 308, 312, 314, 318, 325, 330, 332, 335, 342, 345, 346, 350, 355, 362, 371, 382, 386, 391, 398, 423, 435, 438, 441, 442, 443, 444, 455, 460, 470, 485, 488, 491, 492, 494, 498, 520, 530, 538, 545, 561, 562, 563, 590, 594, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599



Robert W. Balch, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1972

James W. Burfeind, Ph.D., Portland State University, 1984

Daniel P. Doyle, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1984

Rebecca T. Richards, Ph.D., Utah State University, 1990

Associate Professors

Dusten R. Hollist, Ph.D., Washington State University, 2003

Kathy J. Kuipers, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1999

Teresa R. Sobieszczyk, Ph.D., Cornell University, 2000

Celia C. Winkler, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1996

Assistant Professors

Daisy M. Rooks, Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, 2007