Purpose Statement

The sociology program commits itself to developing majors with pre-professional training and non-majors with basic knowledge of and skills in sociology. The program achieves its purpose when its students:

  • have acquired knowledge and skills requisite for entry into selected professions, especially pre-professional careers in the behavioral sciences
  • have acquired knowledge and skills requisite for entry into graduate programs in sociology and related fields
  • can critically analyze their society through exposure to sociological theories and research methods
  • have bridged the gap between theory and practice through internships
  • have enhanced their sensitivity to others by studying customs, beliefs, and practices that are different from their own

In addition to preparing its majors, sociology contributes to the general education program and serves other majors. Students who wish to double major in sociology and psychology need have only one emphasis.

Sociology Major

Core Requirements (39 hours)

G-SO 101  Introduction to Sociology (3 hours)
SO 206  Social Problems (3 hours)
G-SO 202  Minorities in the U.S. (3 hours)
SO/PY 303  Social Psychology (3 hours)
SO 320  Urban Sociology (3 hours)
SO/PY 335  Research Methods I (4 hours)
SO/PY 336  Research Methods II (4 hours)
SO/PY 375  Junior Seminar (1 hour)
SO 401  Sociological Theory (4 hours)
SO 450  Sociology Proseminar (3 hours)
SO/PY 474  Scientific Writing for the Behavioral Sciences (2 hours)
*SO/PY 475  Senior Seminar/Thesis (2 hours)
G-MA 221  Elementary Applied Statistics (4 hours)

Criminal Justice Emphasis (12 hours)

SO 275  Criminal Justice (3 hours)
SO 355  Juvenile Delinquency (3 hours)
SO 455  Police and Law Enforcement (3 hours)
SO 460  Correctional Institutions (3 hours)

Health and Human Services Emphasis (12 hours)

SO 260  Introduction to Human Services (3 hours)
SO 365  Social Work in American Society (3 hours)
PY 430  Health Psychology (3 hours)
SO 470  Social Gerontology (3 hours)

Total: 51 hours

Recommended supporting courses

PY/SO 308  Counseling (3 hours)
G-BI 101  Principles of Biology (4 hours)
EC 201  Elementary Economics: Macro (3 hours)
G-PS 101  Historical Introduction to Politics (3 hours)
G-PS 102  U.S. Government (3 hours)
G-PY 101  Introduction to Psychology (3 hours)
*G-TE 333  Technology and Society (3 hours)
Foreign Language

Recommended courses for Students interested in Human Services careers

PY/SO 210  Human Sexuality (3 hours)
PY/SO 308  Counseling (3 hours)
G-SO 246  Marriage and Family (3-4 hours)
As much practical experience in human service placements as possible

Sociology Minor


G-SO 101  Introduction to Sociology (3 hours)
SO 206  Social Problems (3-4 hours)
SO 401  Sociological Theory (4 hours) or SO 450  Sociology Proseminar (3 hours)
SO/PY 303  Social Psychology (3 hours)
SO/PY 335  Research Methods I (4 hours)

Total: 18 hours 

Social Work

McPherson College has well prepared its students majoring in the Behavioral Sciences for entrance into the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree programs. The pre-professional program at McPherson College commits itself to fostering student learning in career-oriented liberal arts so that students are prepared for community service and/or graduate study in social work. Students who have acquired knowledge and skills requisite for entry into the field of social services and graduate social work education demonstrate proficient knowledge, understanding, and application of psychological and sociological theories and concepts.

All accredited graduate programs in social work require a four-year bachelor’s degree for admission. The pre-social work student should plan the liberal arts program to include courses in arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and biological sciences. Although the pre-social work student may choose a major in any field, a strong knowledge of human services, personality theory, counseling, and social problems is strongly recommended. The B.S. in psychology or sociology, with the health and human services emphasis, is recommended.

M.S.W. programs require evidence of relevant paid/volunteer work experience related to human services organizations. The pre-social work student should therefore be prepared to complete at least one internship or field experience related to community/social services. (The College’s Career Connections program is highly recommended.)

The M.S.W. Degree prepares graduates for advanced social work practices in one of three areas—clinical social practice with individuals, families, and groups; social work administration/community practice aimed at social service administration and social policy development; and school social work. With such diverse professional practice concentrations, it is difficult to outline a generic program to prepare all pre-social work students for admission to these practice areas. Students should counsel with the pre-social work advisor to help them identify the type of professional program they are considering, and to assist them in developing a plan for completing the graduate admission requirements of that program or field.

Although M.S.W. programs differ in admissions requirements, the following courses, in addition to the major, are recommended for students interested in entering the social work profession at the graduate level:

PY 405  Personality Theories (3 hours)
PY/SO 308  Counseling (3 hours)
SO 206  Social Problems (3-4 hours)

Courses in the Health & Human Services Emphasis:

SO 260  Introduction to Human Services (3 hours)
SO 365  Social Work in American Society (3 hours)
PY 430  Health Psychology (3 hours)
SO 470  Social Gerontology (3 hours)
PY/SO 388  Career Connections (1-12 hours)
PY/SO 295/495  Field Experience (1-4 hours)