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Future Students


Sociology is the scientific study of the development, structure, and processes of human society. It uses systematic methods to examine and explain the social world by careful and objective analysis of human behavior. Sociologists focus on the actions, beliefs, values, norms, organizations, institutions, and other social forces that characterize a society and shape people's lives. To study all of these factors, sociologists use a variety of theoretical perspectives and scientific methods including surveys, interviews, and observation.

By carefully collecting and analyzing this information, sociologists produce explanations of how our social world works and how it influences our personal lives. This has turned sociology into a useful tool for solving social problems such as crime, discrimination, poverty, inequalities, etc. Sociological research often helps business and labor officials, community organizations, educators, policymakers, public and private admininstrators, and the general citizenry to understand and solve problems that confront society on local, national, and international levels.

Students who study sociology are generally interested in human behavior, the human condition, and social justice. They want to know more about the cultural dynamics, institutions, norms, organizations, roles, structures, values, and other social forces that define societies. They are curious about how societies work and why they often do not.


Program Overview

The program is designed to provide the student with 1) a broad general knowledge in several areas of the discipline; 2) special skills in analyzing, generating and defending approaches to the subject matter of sociology; and 3) an opportunity to pursue in-depth research on a topic of interest to the student, leading to the preparation of a thesis.

Close interaction with working sociologists on the faculty is central to the student's education throughout the period of study. The tutorial program aims to give the student thorough preparation for advanced training in sociology, allied fields, or public service careers. Primarily a liberal studies program in conception, the tutorial program introduces the student to basic research findings, thought processes, analytic skills and current theoretical questions in sociology.


A broad exposure to current research and theoretical materials is provided by the tutorials; comprehension will be assessed through written assignments, seminar meetings, and/or examinations. The faculty tutor meets at least weekly with the student for discussion and to plan the direction of further study. During the first year students complete tutorials that provide a comprehensive introduction to sociology and its sub-disciplines, such as crime/ deviance, gender studies, social inequality, or social change. 


During the second year students take tutorials in methods and theory. Topical tutorials are taken in the third year in subfields of sociology.


The fourth year is devoted to the development of a thesis. With the agreement of a faculty member, and with the authorization of the program director and the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College, a student may take additional specialized tutorials during the second and third years of the program.

Collateral Requirements

While the basic goal of the program is acquisition of sociological knowledge, students are also expected to develop one or more "tool skills" and to choose collateral courses in other social sciences, humanities or natural sciences. "Tool skills" include preparation in a foreign language and/or mathematics, statistics or computer science. Collateral courses may be undertaken in such fields as anthropology, economics, geography, philosophy, history, linguistics, psychology, or political science. Additional electives may be chosen by the student in consultation with the Director of Tutorial Studies in Sociology.


Applicants are selected by the Sociology Director of Studies and the Honors Tutorial College on the basis of superior academic ability and the potential for self-motivated undergraduate study and research. A high school class rank in the upper 10 percent, high scores on standardized tests (a minimum c ACT composite of 30 or equivalent SAT scores), are generally required for entry as a freshman. Two teacher recommendations are strongly recommended. A student currently enrolled at Ohio University may apply before the beginning of the third semester of study. A college grade point of 3.5 is required, along with personal interviews.


The deadline for applications for admission is November 15th. Interviews are held in January.

Further Information

Dr. Debra Henderson

Director of Tutorial Studies in Sociology/Sociology-Criminology

Ohio University

Bentley Annex 137

Athens, OH 45701-2979

(740) 593-1382

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