Jul 14, 2024  
2021-2022 Rivier University Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Rivier University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Day)

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The sociology major provides students with an understanding of human social relationships and the social structures they construct.

The sociology major is designed to provide the student with a base of knowledge about society, social institutions, and social structures and how they affect social relations. The major is intended to provide students with a strong liberal arts background. This focus may lead to careers in government, business, human resources, health organizations, social work, gerontology, criminal justice, research or serve as the foundation to graduate studies in sociology, anthropology, law, social work, public health, management, or any program requiring a sophisticated knowledge of society, social processes, and social structure.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete degree requirements in sociology should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of historical developments, current perspectives, and major sociological theories and theorists;
  • Communicate clearly and effectively acquired knowledge of sociology both orally and in written form;
  • Interpret and relate  sociological research to solutions of social problems;
  • Recognize problems, analyze situations, develop alternatives, and make decisions based on research and knowledge of sociology to design a sociological research proposal;
  • Demonstrate an open mindset and seek multiple perspectives about how human behavior impacts global resources to build a global community that practices sustainability, social and economic justice, and the art of being human;
  • Describe the career opportunities for college graduates of Sociology and to create and follow a career development action plan.


Student achievement in the sociology major is assessed in a variety of ways. Assessment includes formal course examinations, classroom participation, research papers, critical analysis papers, journals, individual and group projects, in-class presentations, role playing, self-appraisal, and videotaping. Students are encouraged to keep a portfolio of their experiences for reflective purposes, as well as to demonstrate their competencies when applying to graduate school and for positions in their field.

Major Requirements (30 credits)

General Education Requirements (42-45 credits)

Associated with General Core

Who is My Neighbor?  Students explore this question in their second and third years.(6 credits)

  • HUM200 Literature, Art, and the Human Credits: 3
    Students take one -200 level interdisciplinary course that addresses a basic human question from the perspectives of the literary, visual, and musical arts.
  • HIS203 Interactions: The West in the World I Credits: 3 or
  • HIS204 Interactions: The West in the World II Credits: 3

How Shall We Live? Students explore this question in their junior and senior years. (6 credits)

  • Religion: Faith, Religion, and Social Justice Credits: 3
    Students take one Religion course developed with this theme at its center.
  • Philosophy: Ethics, Values, and Moral Choices Credits: 3
    Students take one Philosophy course developed with this theme at its center.

What, then, Shall We Do?  Students explore this question in their junior or senior year. (3 credits)

  • Capstone: Justice and Global Responsibility Credits: 3
    Students take one of a number of offerings under Justice and Global Responsibility. This seminar serves as the culmination of the Common Core. Informed by problem-solving pedagogy, this seminar enhances the student’s connection with the Catholic vision of the University by focusing on justice and global responsibility.

Area Distribution Courses: The Core Complement
Humanities and Social Sciences (6 credits)

  • One course from: English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, Religious Studies Credits: 3
  • One course from: Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology Credits: 3

Mathematics and Natural Sciences (6 credits)

  • One course in Mathematics:  MA112 College Algebra or above Credits: 3
  • One course from: Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, or Physical Science Credits: 3-4

Culture through Language (6 credits)
Students must demonstrate university-level introductory competency in a language other than English.

General Electives (48 credits)

Degree Requirements (minimum 120 credits)

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