Study Sociology at BHSU

Social & Cultural Awareness

  • 3  SOC  100  Introduction to Sociology
  • 3  SOC  350  Race and Ethnic Relations
  • 3  SOC  423  Social Stratification
  • 3  SOC  483  Sociology of Gender Roles

Social Resiliency

  • 3  SOC  100  Introduction to Sociology
  • 3  SOC  151  Social Issues in Sustainability
  • 3  SOC  462  Population Studies
  • 3  SOC  440  Urban Sociology -OR- SOC  463  Environmental Sociology


The Sociology major at Black Hills State University focuses on the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Students in the program expand their social awareness and gain critical thinking skills that will benefit them in their professional and personal lives.

Graduates of the BHSU Sociology program prepare for successful careers in criminal justice, government, business and industry, research and planning, advocacy, and communications. They are prepared to make a difference in society.

The benefits of getting this degree from BHSU include:

  • Have personal access to professors who have a wealth of experiences in the field
  • Take interesting courses that study sociological theories and apply them to the outside world
  • Have opportunities for travel to regional and national conferences to present your own research
  • Get involved in numerous campus organizations
  • Participate in meaningful internships in the community


• Networking with area professionals
• Participate in community organizations like the food pantry
• Learn about internship opportunities
• Leadership opportunities for those interested
• Work with other student organizations like the Psychology club
• Opportunities both in Spearfish and Rapid City 

BHSU Spearfish advisor - Dr. Trenton Ellis
BHSU Rapid City - Dr. Lesleigh Owen

Required Core - 27 semester hours

  • 3  SOC  100  Introduction to Sociology
  • 3  SOC  307  Research Methods I
  • 3  SOC  308  Research Methods II
  • 3  SOC  330  Self and Society
  • 3  SOC  350  Race and Ethnic Relations
  • 3  SOC  402  Social Deviance
  • 3  SOC  403  Sociological Theory
  • 3  SOC  423  Social Stratification
  • 3  SOC  498  Undergraduate Research/Scholarship

15  Choose ONE specialization

Culture & Society - Choose 5 courses from the following:

  • SOC  225, 355, 356, 382, 421, 422, 444, 458, 471, 480, 483, 484, 491, 492, or 494

Law & Justice - Choose 5 courses from the following:

  • SOC  150, 201, 326, 351, 452, 455, 456, 491, 492, or 494

Social Resilience - Choose 5 courses from the following:

  • SOC  151, 400, 432, 440, 454, 462, 491, 492, or 494

Supportive Electives - Take 1 course from each group below. Courses must be different than those used to satisfy Gen Ed & Major requirements

  • 3  Social Science:  AIS/LAKL, ANTH, GEOG, HIST, POLS, SPCM

General Education

A minor is required with this major plus electives to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Notes: This program guide serves as a resource for you. For official program requirements, please check with the official catalog at

*Updated 6/13/19*

Minor in Sociology - 21 semester hours

  • 3  SOC  100  Introduction to Sociology (gen ed)
  • 3  SOC  150  Social Problems (gen ed)
  • 3  SOC  403  Sociological Theory
  • 3  SOC  423  Social Stratification
  • 9  SOC Electives - Take any 3 courses from SOC

Minor in Sociology - Teaching - 21 semester hours

  • 3  SOC  100  Introduction to Sociology (gen ed)
  • 3  SOC  150  Social Problems (gen ed)
  • 3  SOC  350  Race and Ethnic Relations
  • 3  SOC  403  Sociological Theory
  • 3  SOC  423  Social Stratification
  • 3  SOC  Electives  Take any course from SOC
  • 3  SEED  415  7-12 Social Science Methods

Careers in this field

» Admissions Counselor
» Case Manager
» Community Organizer
» Corrections Officer
» Human Resource Manager
» Juvenile Court Worker
» Market Analyst
» Police Officer
» Project Manager
» Public Relations
» Urban Planner
» Special Agent

Get Involved

International Travel

Our majors have been supportive of international travel to both Botswana and the Philippines, and we have plans to take students to London to investigate the topic of social stratification.


As one of our Sociology majors, you will recognize the importance of real life experience, and regularly investigate and participate in local region internships. Other BHSU Sociology graduates who have taken an internship have a 100% job placement rate!

Human Services and Sociology Association

The Human Services Sociology Association (HSSA) is a student organization made up of student members who are majoring in or are interested in the Human Services or Sociology Field. “Our mission is to provide opportunities for personal and professional development through networking, training programs, exploration, education, and service projects.” Beyond the Degree is new program designed to provide career exploration in the Behavioral Sciences Field. Guest speakers provide insight about specific careers within the field of Criminal Justice, Child Protection, Human Services, and more.
HSSA offers a variety of certified trainings in the realm of future career requirements. Mental Health First Aid, CPR and First Aid, and Adverse Childhood Experiences are some of the few that have been offered. Each training equips participants with proper procedures when interacting with clients in distress.


Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.