The first or second year of study is the perfect time to make plans to get the most out of your major. If students are interested in sociology but not sure they want to declare a major they should consider taking one of our introductory courses (SOC 100, 102, 195, or 300). Any one of these courses will fulfill the prerequisite and allow interested students to declare a sociology major. Courses at the 200-level are also an excellent place to start learning more about sociology as a discipline and determine if the major is for you.
After you've declared, reflect on what you'd like to do during the remaining two or three years of your undergraduate career. How does Sociology fit into that? If you're unsure about what you want to do, consider some experiential learning with Project Community (SOC 225) or the Program on Intergroup Relations. When it's time to register for your next semester of classes, review all of the SOC options offered that semester in the LSA Course Guide and select courses that you're genuinely interested in. Stretch your perspectives! Take a risk on a class that unexpectedly piques your interest. Don't forget about the required courses. Fit the required statistics course (SOC 210 or STATS 250) in early (preferably your sophomore year) and make sure you leave room in your plans to take SOC 305 (theory requirement) and SOC 310/312 (methods requirement) during your junior year and first semester senior year.
If you are considering advanced study of the discipline of sociology (a Ph.D.) or want to add a level of rigor to your studies, investigate the Honors Program in Sociology. Make an appointment with the sociology major advisor to talk more about how the program works and what kind of experience writing a thesis provides. The Department hosts an informational meeting about the Honors Program every October. Check our events page for details.
As you navigate the second half of your undergraduate career, think about which elective Sociology courses you might take to round out your intellectual development and mastery of the discipline--but don't forget about the three required courses! These should be completed by the first semester of your senior year. Consider experiential learning through Project Community or Intergroup Dialogue facilitation. Juniors are strongly encouraged to schedule an advising appointment before registering for the first semester of their senior year.
Students in their third year of study often use the winter semester to study abroad. Be sure to talk with the sociology advisor about your study abroad semester if you plan to take courses for your major while abroad.
Students who also want to participate in the department's Honors program should visit with an advisor as soon as possible to discuss the required course schedule and conflicts that may arise with study abroad plans.
Career Exploration and Internships
It's time to start thinking about what you will do after college. The Career Center is an excellent and free resource for students at all stages of career exploration; you don't need to know what you want to do before you go to see a Career Center advisor or counselor. In fact, not knowing is the best reason to go!
The Career Center hosts a variety of career expos and information fairs to help you explore. The job fairs can be excellent places to find internships as well. Sociology will also offer some complementary programs to help you explore what different career or graduate study paths are like and how to make intentional decisions. Visit our events page for details.
If you are a senior, make appointments right away with all of your major and minor advisors for a major or minor release, which is the required first step for graduation. You'll also need to apply for graduation and wait for the results of an official degree audit. The administrative pipeline to graduation is a multi-step process and you will not graduate unless you complete every step. Read the information here to make sure you don't miss anything.
You may know what kind of job you want and are already searching or preparing for more study. Or you may have no idea what you want to do next. That's OK! Be sure to make appointments with advisors and mentors for guidance. The Career Center is an excellent and free resource for students at all stages of career exploration, job searching, interviewing, and networking.
The Career Center hosts a variety of career expos and information fairs relevant to graduating seniors. Sociology also offers complementary programs to help you kickstart your first year out of college. Visit our events page for details.
Graduating seniors are also likely to find the Alumni Association a helpful resource in post-graduation planning. Did you know? They will print you free student business cards to have on hand for job fairs and interviews. They also have several useful career resources and a variety of mentorship programs to help you access the University of Michigan's worldwide alumni base!
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