Effective Fall 2015

May be elected as an interdepartmental major

The major in Social Theory and Practice supports students in developing the analytical and practical skills necessary for active engagement in the world and for building careers that promote equality and responsible citizenship. Students learn theories, methods, and strategies that enable them to understand and critique social structures and processes and to become effective actors in struggles for justice.

Students wishing to pursue a problem-centered interdisciplinary program in the social sciences must develop a plan for the major in consultation with department advisors The STP major is an interdepartmental major that requires students to explicitly propose and pursue an individualized course of study that reflects broad social science perspectives. Through a curricular proposal created typically in the fall of the sophomore (or junior) year, STP students articulate a series of social issues and thematic threads which they will pursue through subsequent theoretical and experiential coursework. Consequently the STP major combines the freedom and responsibility of the Individualized Major Program within an institutional umbrella that requires the following:

Prerequisites to the Major

RCSSCI 260 “Understanding Power, Theorizing Knowledge” and RCSSCI 290, a one credit course taken in the same academic term that helps develop a prospectus for the major.

One other “gateway” course, either an RCSSCI 200 level course or another course chosen in consultation with the STP department advisor. The aim of the gateway course is to introduce students to issues and approaches in the social sciences as well as to the ways questions are framed from different disciplinary perspectives.

Requirements for the Major

Complete the following non-overlapping groupings:

  1. Required Institutional Framework Courses:
    1. Core Course: RCSSCI 301.
    2. Quantitative Methods: at least one, typically STATS 250, SOC 310 or 312, or ECON 251 ( or 404 elected prior to Winter 2015).
    3. Research Seminar: RCSSCI 460, in which the student completes a Senior Project or Senior Thesis.
  2. Thematic Courses.  A minimum of six courses (and at least 18 credits) at the upper level (300 and above). Students are directed to consider how to create a cohesive union of theory, practice, and other course work that reflects the unique set of social issues they are attempting to understand. The thematic coursework must be conceptualized and defended by the student, be chosen in consultation with the advisor, and be organized in the following manner:
    1. Social Theory: At least 3 additional social theory credits
    2. Community Engagement: At least 3 approved “practicum” credits. Acceptable practicum courses require some form of community engagement beyond the classroom, in addition to regular critical reflection on that engagement. Examples include Project Outreach courses, Practicum in Sociology courses, the RC Spanish Language Internship Program, The RC Telling It Program, the RC Semester in Detroit Program, the Prison Creative Arts Project, some sections of RCSSCI 360, RCSSCI 461, and RCIDIV 302.
    3. Additional electives

    RCSSCI 460 does not count toward this requirement.


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