Major Specializations

For sociology majors who wish to focus their studies, the department offers four areas of specialization. Majors who complete the requirements for any of these specializations will be presented with a certificate upon graduation (the specializations will not appear on diplomas or official transcripts).

To earn the specialization, students must earn a "C" or better in the courses required for the major and in the specialization courses.

Health and Society

This specialization is ideal for majors who intend to work in settings which require strong background knowledge in medicine or health, or who want to go to graduate school in sociology, medicine, the health professions or public health. Majors can complete the Health and Society specialization by successfully completing SOC 322 Medical Sociology or SOC 477 Sociology of Health Care, plus two additional health-related sociology electives from this list:

  • SOC 304 Sociology of Aging
  • SOC 308 Sociology of the Life Course
  • SOC 311 Drugs and Society
  • SOC 314 Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 322 Medical Sociology
  • SOC 329 Population Problems
  • SOC 331 Sociology of Wealth & Poverty
  • SOC 338 Sociology of Sexuality
  • SOC 341 Environment and Society
  • SOC 358 Sociology of Food
  • SOC 362 Families and Inequality
  • SOC 364 Sociology of the Body
  • SOC 378 Social Inequalities and Health
  • SOC 382 Sociology of Death and Dying
  • SOC 446 Environmental Sociology
  • SOC 457 Social Policies for Aging Societies
  • SOC 467 Sociology of Social Policy
  • SOC 477 Sociology of Health Care

Crime, Law and Justice

This specialization is intended for majors who plan to work in settings which require a strong background in crime or law, or who plan to apply to graduate school in sociology, criminology, or law. Majors can complete the requirements for specialization in Crime, Law and Justice by successfully completing SOC 307 Criminology or SOC 373 Law and Society plus two additional law-related sociology electives from this list:

  • SOC 307 Criminology
  • SOC 311 Drugs and Society
  • SOC 317 Criminal Justice Systems
  • SOC 319 Juvenile Justice
  • SOC 331 Sociology of Wealth and Poverty
  • SOC 332 Sociology of Work
  • SOC 337 Sociology of Punishment
  • SOC 345 Sociology of Deviance
  • SOC 348 Urban Sociology
  • SOC 360 Political Sociology
  • SOC 366 Crime and Popular Culture
  • SOC 373 Sociology of Law
  • SOC 384 Collective Behavior & Social Movements
  • SOC 387 Race and Racism
  • SOC 467 Sociology and Social Policy
  • SOC 482 Advanced Topics in Social Justice, Crime and Law

Global Sociology

This specialization recognizes the efforts of students to incorporate cross-cultural understanding and diverse approaches to knowledge and social inquiry into their undergraduate sociology degree. Majors can complete the Global Sociology specialization by earning sociology credit in an approved study abroad or study away program, or by incorporating significant international content in a Sociology Honor’s research project.

Applied Social Research

This specialization is ideal for sociology majors who plan to work in settings which require a strong background in data analysis or social science research methods. Students learn how data are gathered and analyzed using a variety of methods and techniques. The specialization is offered to graduating UB sociology majors in good standing who have completed three research-intensive courses in the Department of Sociology.