Learning Goal 1

Students understand the discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to our understanding of social reality.


  1. Describe how sociology is similar or different from other social sciences and give examples of these differences.
  2. Articulate the contribution of sociology to a liberal arts understanding of social reality.
  3. Apply principles, concepts, and the sociological imagination to at least one area of social reality.

Learning Goal 2

Students understand the role of theory in sociology.


  1. Define theory and describe its role in building sociological knowledge.
  2. Compare and contrast basic theoretical knowledge.
  3. Demonstrate the historical/cultural context in which theories were developed.
  4. Apply basic theories or theoretical approaches in at least one area of social reality.

Learning Goal 3

Students understand the role of evidence and qualitative and quantitative methods.


  1. Identify basic methodological approaches and describe the general role of methods in building sociological knowledge.
  2. Compare and contrast the basic methodological approaches for gathering data.
  3. Design a research study in an area of choice and explain why various decisions were made.
  4. Critically assess a published research report and explain how the study could have been improved. 

Learning Goal 4

Students demonstrate information literacy in sociology.


  1. Use technical skills in retrieving information from the Internet.
  2. Use computers appropriately for data analysis.
  3. Write in appropriate social science style for accurately conveying data findings.
  4. Identify and apply the principles of ethical sociological practice.

Learning Goal 5

Students demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of: culture, social change, socialization, stratification, social structure, institutions, and differentiation by race/ethnicity, gender, age, and class.


  1. Define and explain the relevance of each concept.

Learning Goal 6

Students can articulate an understanding of how culture and social structure operate.


  1. Describe the inter-linkage of institutions and their effects on individuals.
  2. Explain how social change factors affect social structures and individuals.
  3. Describe how culture and social structure vary across time and place and with what effect.
  4. Identify examples of specific social policy implications using reasoning about social structural effects.

Learning Goal 7

Students can articulate the reciprocal relationship between individuals and society.


  1. Explain how the self develops sociologically.
  2. Explain how society and structural factors influence individual behavior and development of the self.
  3. Explain how social interaction and the self influences society and social structure.
  4. Compare and contrast the sociological approach to the self with psychology and economic approaches.

Learning Goal 8

Students can articulate one specialty area within sociology in depth.


  1. Summarize basic questions and issues in the area.
  2. Compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations and middle range theories in the area.
  3. Summarize current research in the area.
  4. Develop specific policy implications of research and theory in the area.

Learning Goal 9

Students can articulate the internal diversity of the United States and its place in the international context.


  1. Describe variations by race, class, gender and age.
  2. Make appropriate generalizations across groups.

Learning Goal 10

Students demonstrate critical thinking.


  1. Demonstrate skills in recall, analysis and application, and synthesis and evaluation.
  2. Identify underlying assumptions in theoretical orientations or arguments.
  3. Identify underlying assumptions in particular methodological approaches to an issue.
  4. Show how patterns of thought and knowledge are directly influenced by political and economic social structures.
  5. Present opposing viewpoints and alternative hypotheses.
  6. Engage in teamwork where many different points of view are presented.
  7. Articulate the utility of the sociological perspective as one of several perspectives on social reality.