Sociology/Social Welfare

The Sociology Concentration: Social Welfare

This is the applied emphasis within the Sociology/Social Welfare concentration. Students choosing other areas of Sociology, such as public sociology or even graduate school, are advised into a set of courses less oriented toward the social welfare field. Students choosing the social welfare route are generally seeking a professional career in social work or more generally the social welfare arena. This includes a variety of disciplines–social work, direct therapy/counseling, public safety (law enforcement, parole/probation, corrections, juvenile justice), crisis response, advocacy for domestic violence survivors, sexual assault response, community development, child welfare, victims’ assistance, refugee assistance, hospice work, veterans’ assistance programs, school-based counseling and youth-in-transition programs, self-sufficiency programs and case work, public health worker, etc.

The following requirements exist for Anth/Soc students with a Social Welfare concentration (see Sociology/Social Welfare checksheet):

  • Required lower-division courses: Soc 204, Soc 205, ANTH 100 or 203;
  • Required Anthropology course work: 20 credits total (includes Anth 100/203)
  • Required upper-division Soc courses: Soc 315Soc 327, Soc 420Soc 403, Soc 454, Soc 499 (1 credit)
    • The Soc/Social welfare degree is also offered online. Students should work with advisers—not all required classes are offered all terms, and some are specific to the on-campus or online populations.
  • A total of 35 upper-division Soc credits (including those above–that means another 9-10 credits of Soc. Students usually take more courses than the minimal requirements, in areas of interest–you can take up to 90 credit hours in Anth/Soc)
  • Soc 403–this is the senior capstone, which combines practical experience and research. Students seek placement with an organization in the social welfare field. This is treated as a pre-professional experience, students work in an agency/office, conduct a modest research project, and write up their experiences. A minimum of 5 credits (most students do more, and it is possible to have multiple practica/capstone experiences–this is critical to gaining practical experience, making professional contacts, building a network, and identifying specific interests within the social welfare field).
  • A statistics course (either STAT 243 or PSY 327)
  • Institutional requirements include:
    • College-level math course for BS (MATH 105, 211, 212 provide SMI gen-ed credit)
    • Two years foreign language for a BA degree (Spanish)
    • Diversity (DPD) requirement (complete list here and Anth/Soc courses that fulfill this requirement are on the checksheet)
    • University Writing Requirement (UWR) requires four approved courses:
      • WR 121 (or equivalent),
      • lower-division Soc (204), and
      • two upper-division Soc (327, 454, 338, 306, 350, 360, 460 all qualify, see checksheet)
  • Recommendations/suggestions for social welfare students (for reaching 180 credit hours–which excludes any math courses numbered under 100–think of this as a pool of potential courses to choose from when trying to fill out your schedule with electives):
    • at least one course on gender (Soc 360, Soc 350, Anth 372, PSY 231, HIST 330)
    • Psych courses (for those pursuing a therapy or counseling career), neuropsychology, personality, child development, etc.
    • Drug and alcohol sequence (HWS 431-432-433) for those considering case work/counseling/therapy
    • HWS (online) courses on aging and gerontology (for those considering working with the elderly, a growing population in all industrial societies)
    • Upper-division Soc courses of particular value: Soc 338 (Soc of Families), Soc 306 (Social Psychology), Soc 334 (Work and organizations), Soc 345 (Media, Politics and Propaganda); Soc 365 (Communities), Soc 374 (Food and Society, 2 cr), Soc 375 (Sociology of Food, 5 cr), Soc 445 (Inequality and Diversity), Soc 460 (Women in Poor Countries); online offerings include Soc 318 (Death and Dying), Soc 336 (Social change and social justice, 3 cr).
    • Upper-division Anth courses of possible interest include Anth 312 (Native Peoples of North America), Anth 375 (Food and nutrition), Anth 335 (Culture, Health and Illness), Anth 380 (Native Peoples of Oregon), Anth 420 (Encountering the Other), Anth 430 (Medical Anthropology)
    • Courses from the Communications major, especially dealing with group interaction, conflict management.

A student pursuing the Social Welfare concentration can graduate with either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Our program is not a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). We provide a more robust-sociologically informed curriculum, but an MSW will generally take two years (often MSWs are possible in one year with a BSW). BA is preferable because of the foreign language requirement (at least two years)–students who are bilingual, especially with Spanish as a first or second language, have certain comparative advantages on the job market. However, many students pursue the BS as well (which requires lower-division math and science coursework). To finish in four years, without enrolling for summer terms, students must average 15 credits per term, 45 credits per year (4 x 45 = 180, the minimum required to graduate). As a four-year degree program the Social Welfare concentration generally looks something like this:

  • Year one:
    • General education requirements (recommendations for social work include introductory courses in psychology (SSC, PSY 201), communication (AEH and GTW), writing (GTW and APC), Spanish (AEH), information literacy (GTW Lib courses), economics (SSC, especially 115).
  • Year two:
    • Introductory Soc (204 and 205) and Anth (100 or 203)
  • Year three:
  • Year four:
    • Soc 454, Soc 420, Soc 499, Soc 403, upper-division Anth/Soc electives

What are students doing?

Currently, in 2021, just in La Grande, Baker and Umatilla Counties, we have students working in the following areas: