Montana State University


Department of Sociology & Anthropology

The Bachelor of Science in Sociology provides the student the opportunity to combine a liberal arts education with a unique focus on the empirical study of human societies including social dynamics, institutions and inequality. Students are permitted a large number of elective courses.

A Bachelor's degree in Sociology prepares students for employment in a number of arenas, including governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, agricultural organizations and academic institutions. The fields of law enforcement, probation & corrections, labor relations, business management, personnel administration, market analysis and various types of industrial research employ students who major in sociology. Many graduates enter social services. Sociology also provides excellent preparation for graduate school and other educational and career opportunities.

The Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree with two options: (a) General Sociology, or (b) Criminology. Both options require 39 credits in Sociology courses.

General Sociology Option

This option is for the student who desires a broad and general foundation in Sociology with the ability to fully customize their major and substantive focus. For this option, the student is required to take SOCI 101IS, SOCI 202, SOCI 318R, SOCI 455, and SOCI 499. The remaining 24 credits in Sociology will be comprised of eight courses of the studentís choosing, of which seven must be at the 300-level or above. Students that choose the General Sociology Option often take a set of courses that lead to a specific area of emphasis, such as Social Inequality, Family Relations and Children, Business and Management, Marketing and Public Relations, Social Services, Health and Medicine, and Pre-Law.

Criminology Option

This option is for the student who desires a strong foundation in Sociology with a specific focus on laws, the legal system, the social structure of criminal behavior, and society's efforts to understand and control crime. This option allows students to pursue a sociology degree that integrates core coursework in sociology with sociology courses that focus on law, crime, and the criminal justice system.. To achieve this integration, the student is required to take SOCI101IS, SOCI202, SOCI318R, SOCI311, and SOCI499. The remaining 24 credits in Sociology will be comprised of 15 credits in Criminology and Context courses and 9 credits in Criminology and Sociology elective courses.

We strongly recommend that prior to enrolling in any upper division courses in Sociology students complete their core in Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Diversity and Inquiry - Social Sciences with a grade of "C-" or better. We also recommend students take SOCI 202 in their sophomore year and SOCI 318 in their junior year.

Prerequisite Requirements

Any student who enrolls in a course offered by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology without the required prerequisite(s) will be required to withdraw from the course.

Curricula in Sociology


Freshman Year Credits
WRIT 101W--College Writing I    3
SOCI 101IS--Introduction to Sociology    3
University Seminar Core 3
Diversity Core  3
Quantitative Reasoning Core    3
University Core and Electives     15
Sophomore Year Credits
SOCI 202--Social Statistics 3
SOCI Electives     6
University Core and Electives     15
Additional required social science, natural science & humanities courses      6
Junior Year Credits
SOCI 455--Classical Sociological Theory (General Sociology Option) 3
SOCI 311--Criminology (Criminology Option)
SOCI 318R--Sociological Research Methods     3
SOCI Electives    9
Additional required social science, natural science & humanities courses     6
University Core and Electives     9
Senior Year Credits
SOCI 499--Senior Thesis Capstone    3
Sociology Electives 9
Additional required social science, natural science & humanities courses     3
University Core and Electives         15

Required Courses: Students must complete SOCI 101, SOCI 202, SOCI 318 and SOCI 499 in sequence. In addition, students must complete SOCI 455 (General Sociology Option) or SOCI 311(Criminology Option) before they enroll in SOCI 499.

Sociology Electives: Students for General Sociology option: Students must take 24 additional credits from any courses designated as SOCI. All but 3 credits must be in upper-division courses and no more than 3 credits of SOCI 492, SOCI 498, and SOCI 490 combined can count toward the fulfillment of elective credits. Students may request, in writing, to count up to 6 credits of upper division ANTH courses as SOCI electives.

Sociology Electives for Criminology option: Students must take 15 additional credits from the following courses: SOCI 201, SOCI 221, SOCI 313, SOCI 325, SOCI 326, SOCI 344, SOCI 357, SOCI 358, SOCI 359, SOCI 362, SOCI 368, SOCI 414, SOCI 435, SOCI 436. All but 3 credits must be in upper-division courses. An additional 9 upper-division credits must be taken from any courses designated as SOCI, and no more than 3 credits of SOCI 492, SOCI 498, and SOCI 490 combined can count toward the fulfillment of these 9 elective credits.

Students should consult routinely with their advisors as they select elective SOCI courses. For students in the General Sociology option, the department has identified a variety of informal 'focus areas' where students with particular interests (e.g., prelaw, family/child relations, law enforcement, health & medicine, business, marketing, social inequality) can concentrate elective course work. For students in the Criminology option, departmental advisors can assist students in choosing the courses that best match their academic and occupational interests.

The maximum number of Sociology transfer credits accepted is 18.

SOCI 318, SOCI 455 and SOCI 499 must be taken at MSU-Bozeman. Transfer students who have taken these prior to transferring can petition to have these courses accepted. For graduation in the Sociology option students must have a grade of "C-" or higher in all required and elective Sociology courses.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.


Required Courses Credits
SOCI 101IS--Introduction to Society    3
SOCI 318R--Sociological Research Methods     3
SOCI 455--Classical Sociological Theory    
Sociology Electives 15

12 of 21 hours must be from upper division courses numbered 300 or above.

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