Housed in the historic Mouton Hall on the quad, the sociology program focuses on human behavior in the context of culture and society. Its task is to understand human beings — what they do and why they do it. Sociologists try to bring into focus the familiar and the mysterious behavior of people and make the behavior understandable. In sociology, understanding is sought through systematic observation and analysis. Though no one has yet arrived at a total understanding of human behavior, sociology offers the adventure of acquiring understanding beyond the point we reach in our usual day-to-day existence. Students learn about people as social beings and gain an understanding of the relationship between society and the individual. Given that such an understanding is essential to successful social interactions, whether in business, leisure or personal relations, sociology is an important facet of a college education.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with an integrated body of knowledge leading to careers in, for example, community service, social work, counseling, marketing research, criminal justice and personnel management. The curriculum offers a strong background for persons who wish to enter such professional schools as law, social work, theology and business, as well as graduate training in sociology and other fields (such as anthropology, psychology, political science, criminal justice, communication and philosophy). The sociology curriculum at UL Lafayette offers a variety of courses in sociology, representing the areas of sociological theory, social research methods, criminology, minorities, social problems, religion, deviance, environmental, medical and urban sociology, social stratification and death and dying.
In order to obtain a degree in sociology, students must take 31 hours in sociology and must also earn an 18 hour minor in another field (such as criminal justice, anthropology or child and family studies or any other approved minor). The five required sociology courses are General Sociology (SOCI 100), a writing course called Synthesizing within Sociology (SOCI 301), a research course in either quantitative or qualitative methodology (SOCI 306 or SOCI 308) with an accompanying data analysis laboratory (SOCI 307 or SOCI 309), and Sociological Theory (SOCI 411). The additional 15 credit hours of sociology courses can be selected based on the student’s interests, with guidance from the student’s advisor.
Many students also work closely with faculty on various sociological research projects and grants.