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  Old Westbury Home > Sociology > Majors & Minors

Majors & Minors

Undergraduate Degrees

B.A. or B.S. in Sociology
Students will gain an understanding of the dynamics, principles and patterns that govern human interaction. Areas of study include the family, small group processes, large scale organizations, deviance, political protest, race and minority relations, public policy, poverty and social welfare, the rise of cities, crime and delinquency, sociology of culture, media and communications and social work. The Sociology curriculum has three components:

  • Introductory Sociology and a broad array of electives open to majors and non-majors.
  • Foundation courses in sociological theory, research methods and cross-cultural analysis open to
    majors only.
  • A Senior Seminar in which majors complete an independent research paper in consultation with a
    faculty mentor and classmates.

B.S. in Criminology

The Criminology discipline offers students an understanding of the complexities underlying the social problems of crime and delinquency and provides a foundation that enables them to evaluate the utility of various crime control methods, including legislative policies, policing, incarceration, as well as preventive and restorative solutions. It is highly relevant to those seeking to advance in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, law and intelligence.

Students interested in this degree must apply for admission to the major. The requirements include proficiency in reading and writing and completion of the Introductory Sociology course.

  • The Criminology Curriculum has three components:
  • Elective courses in Criminal Justice Administration, Introduction to Criminology, Juvenile
    Delinquency, Punishment and Corrections, Victimology, and Computers and Social Statistics, open
    to majors and non-majors.
  • Foundation Courses in sociological and criminology theory, research methods, and cross-cultural
    analysis (open to majors only)
  • A Senior Seminar in which majors complete an independent research paper in consultation with a
    faculty mentor and classmates.


Environmental Studies
Students interested in environmental issues may enhance their knowledge of the interaction of humans with their environment by pursuing a minor in Environmental Studies. This interdisciplinary course of studies exposes the student to both environmental sciences as practiced in biology and chemistry, as well as policy issues, which are explored from a social science perspective. Students who are majoring in the natural sciences may wish to pursue this minor in preparation for a career in environmental research. Students in the Social Sciences and Humanities may want to broaden their knowledge of environmental issues in preparation for a career involving environmental policy or law. Direct participation in environmental agencies and organizations on Long Island or independent laboratory research on an environmental problem is an important aspect of this minor. Sponsoring departments: American Studies, Biological Sciences, Chemistry/Physics, Politics, Economics and Law; Psychology and Sociology

Global Studies
Offered in cooperation with the History & Philosophy and Politics, Economics and Law Departments, the Global Studies minor contains two options. The first option brings together the international and regional courses offered in History & Philiosophy, Modern Languages and Politics, Economics & Law to enhance students' understanding of the issues and challenges associated with the present stage of economic globalization, and to prepare them for a rapidly changing world. The second option (ML/PEL) recognizes the importance of foreign language study. It requires two years of course work in a foreign language: one year as part of General Education, the second year within the minor.

Pre-Law Studies
Law schools maintain that there is no particular undergraduate major that will best prepare students for admission to the study of the law. In accepting applicants, all use LSAT scores, GPA's, reference letters, personal written statements, and various indicators of applicants' interest in and suitability for entry into the profession. However, schools have identified the requisite skills for success in the completion of a law degree. They include analytical and problem-solving skills; the ability to reason, to construct a logical argument, and to present that cogently orally and in writing. A strong liberal arts education is crucial in developing these abilities. Through a curriculum that crosses the disciplines of American Studies, History & Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, and Sociology, students access a range of courses which contribute to a knowledge base that is pertinent to law studies. The curriculum of the minor pulls together courses in the liberal arts disciplines of economics, history, philosophy, political economy, political science, and sociology. Sponsoring departments: American Studies; History & Philosophy, Modern Languages; Politics, Economics and Law; and Sociology.

Public Policy
In conjunction with the Health & Society faculty of the Biological Sciences Department and the PEL Department, the Sociology Department offers this minor to give students an opportunity to explore the role of government in addressing current issues of public concern.


Did You Know?

Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics, Jong Pil Lee, was awarded a 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring during ceremonies held at The White House.

More than 22% percent of Old Westbury's professors have earned among SUNY's highest honors - the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor, Distinguished Service Professor or Chancellor's Award for Excellence in teaching and service.

Women's volleyball coach, Marjahna Vickers, was named the 2005-06 College Female Coach of the Year by the Nassau County Sports Commission after leading the Lady Panthers to 21 wins and the most successful season in the program's history.

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