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Sociology Major: Health & Environment Specialization

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a specialization in health and the environment for those Sociology majors who wish to tailor their courses to a specific path.  Students interested in community and public health professions, urban and regional planning, law, social work, environmental studies, healthcare professions, and health research should consider this specialization.

College Core Quantitative Requirement:

All TCNJ students must take one course in Mathematics as part of their college core requirements. We specify that sociology majors choose one of the following options:

  • STA 115 Statistics (C minimum)
  • STA 215 Statistical Inference (C minimum)

We also recommend that students in the health and environment specialization choose biology to fulfill the scientific reasoning requirement.

Sociology Core Requirements (4 units)

Students must earn the grade minimum in prerequisite course (as noted below) before they may register for department core courses.

SOC 101 – Introduction to Sociology (or HON216 – The Sociological Perspective)

Sociology explores the intersection of biography and history. How do culture, class, race, sex, family, medicine, business, religion, education, and government affect our lives? Special attention is paid to the impact of society on self.

Grade Minimum: C

SOC 301 – Development of Socio-Cultural Theory

Prerequisites: SOC101 or HON216
The response of social theorists to the consequences of the industrial revolution and the issues of capitalism, secularism, industrialism, modern consciousness, and the socio-critical enterprise, as seen through the work of such theorists as Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Contemporary development of these theories will also be discussed.

Grade Minimum: C

SOC 302 – Quantitative Research Methods

Prerequisites: SOC 101 or HON 216 and STA 115 or STA 215
The course is designed to familiarize students with quantitative research methodology, methods of quantitative data collection, and analysis of quantitative data used in sociology. Students will learn one of the most widely used statistical software packages in the social sciences (SPSS) and conduct independent research using on of the most widely used sources of quantitative social data, the General Social Survey (GSS).

Grade Minimum: C

SOC 499 – Senior Seminar in Sociology

Prerequisites: SOC 301, SOC 302
Culminating experience for sociology majors.  Course draws on skills and knowledge of sociology course as well as knowledge gained from the liberal arts broadly construed. An internship is a major required element of the seminar. With departmental approval only, exceptional students may substitute two semesters of SOC 495: Senior Thesis in Sociology for SOC 499.

Grade Minimum: C-

HES Specialization Requirements: (5 units)

The Health & Environment Specialization examines human health and its relationship with the non-human environment, two inextricably linked areas of study. Related professions require students to have strong skills in understanding diverse populations, quantitative and qualitative research methods, critical thinking, and communication skills. This specialization provides an ideal curriculum for developing these general skills, while substantively examining the subjects of health and environment.

Sociology majors choosing this specialization will take SOC 101/HON 216, SOC 301, SOC 302, SOC 499 and six electives: one SOC/ANT elective of their choice and five electives from the following departmentally-approved list of options. In all, at least four of the six must be SOC/ANT electives at the 300 or 400-level.

Approved Specialization Options:


  • ANT 205 Human Evolution
  • ANT 240 Introduction to Epidemiology
  • ANT 246 Climate Change and Society
  • ANT 335 Global Urbanization
  • ANT 341 Environmental Anthropology
  • ANT 361 Human Osteology & Forensic Anthropology
  • ANT/SOC 371 Culture, Health, and Illness
  • ANT/SOC 372 Global Public Health
  • ANT/SOC 373 U.S. Public Health and Social Policy
  • SOC 330 Urban Population Dynamics
  • SOC 336 Social and Cultural Change
  • SOC 345 Inequality, Pollution, and Environment
  • SOC 355 Introduction to Urban Planning
  • SOC 365 Poverty and Welfare in the U.S.
  • SOC 374 Medical Sociology
  • SOC 377 Health Disparities

Out of Major (limit 1):

  • BIO 352 Biostatistics
  • ECO 320 Health Economics
  • HIS 388 Environmental History
  • PHL 255 Biomedical Ethics
  • PHL 265 Environmental Ethics

For complete course descriptions, please see the  Undergraduate Bulletin.