Explore the sociology major with a concentration in youth studies if you’re looking to make positive change for today’s youth. CMU’s program trains you to recognize the ways that gender, ethnicity and social class influence youth development. You’ll develop skills to implement and evaluate preventive and positive youth development programs, and you’ll have a capstone service-learning experience with a school or agency. Your studies may include the sociology of family, adolescence, childhood and education, youth deviance and institutions, and youth welfare.
Points of Pride
CMU is the first, and only program in the nation offering a youth studies concentration within the sociology major, as well as a youth studies minor.
Put Your Degree to Work
With a degree in sociology and concentration in youth studies, you may find yourself in a career as a foster care advocate, juvenile probation case worker, nonprofit youth program director, preschool or daycare center manager, recreational program director, school or clinical social worker, substance abuse counselor, youth counselor, or youth services director.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Social worker||$44,200 per year||19% (114,100 more jobs)|
|School counselor||$53,610 per year||12% (31,200 more jobs)|
|Behavioral disorder counselor||$38,520 per year||31% (28,200 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Sociology Major: Youth Studies Concentration
Total: 39 semester hours
Required Courses I
Systematic introduction to the field of sociology, its theories, concepts, and methods. Explores social relationships within the context of social structure. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Social Research and Analysis
First in a two-part methods sequence with SOC 350. Basic research issues. Univariate, bivariate, multivariate analysis techniques in sociology and social work. Computer applications. Prerequisites: SOC 100; completion of math competency.
A review of sociological thought within its social and historical context, focusing on Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and the perspectives of symbolic interactionism and feminism. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Social Research Methodologies
Second in methods sequence with SOC 200. Research methodologies. Observation and surveys; two from: experiments/single subject design; program evaluation; interviewing/focus groups; ethnography/community studies. Prerequisites: SOC 100; 200 with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better; or for PSY majors, PSY 211 with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better; six additional hours of sociology and/or social work.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
Explores the nature and extent of major social problems. Examines structural, institutional, constructionist and normative elements, and encourages critical engagement with types of proposed solutions. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Class, race, and gender and other forms of social strata. The bases, consequences, and correlates of position in the system of stratification. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221; or SOC/ANT 101 and a signed Global Justice Minor.
Required Courses III
Youth, Deviance, and Institutions
Sociological theories and research on youth considered "deviant" and their experiences with social institutions. Emphasis - topics such as runaways, prostitution, foster children, anorexia, addictions, sexuality. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Family as a contested social institution embedded in changing social and cultural contexts. Explores kinship systems, family diversity, social organization, social conflict, family policy, and change. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Sociology of Adolescence
Transition from childhood to adulthood. Emphasis on topics such as identity, peers, relationships with parents, school, and the media. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
SOC 422/SWK 422
Issues pertaining to youth welfare are related to broader organizational and structural features of society, including historical and comparative (international) perspectives. Identical to SWK 422. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisites: SOC/ANT 101 and a signed Global Justice Minor; or SOC 100 and a signed Youth Studies Minor; or SOC 200, SOC 301, and SOC 350.
Sociology of Childhood
Explores peer culture, social problems, children in families, social policy, and social change of children ages 3-12. Also emphasizes race, class, and gender studies. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Required Courses IV
Select one of the following:
Education and Culture
Processes of learning from infancy through adolescence across cultures and institutions, including family and school. Origins and spread of mass education. Educational disparities and inequality. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Sociology of Education
Contributions of sociology to an understanding of education as a social process. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or SOC 201 or SOC 221.
Required Courses V
One Development Course from outside the department, selected from:
Oppression: Roots and Impact on Human Development in the United States
A study of the roots and impact of different forms of oppression on the development of individuals within the family context. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States)
Study of adolescence and issues relating to the family of a teenager. Prerequisite: HDF 100 or EDU 280 or PSY 220.
Growing Up in America
Learn how childrearing, family life, education, and the transition to adulthood have changed from colonial times to the present. May be offered as Writing Intensive. May be offered in an online format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Research-based findings on the development of human behavior from conception through late adulthood. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: PSY 100.
Childhood and Adolescence
Psychological development from childhood through the college years. Main topics are personality, social, and cognitive development. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Prerequisite: PSY 220 or HDF 100 or EDU 280.
Capstone Experience in Youth Studies
Capstone experience for Sociology Major: Youth Studies concentration students to work with youth in community settings and meet on campus to reflect on field experience. Prerequisites: SOC 100, 215, 411, 412, 425; ANT 200 or SOC 311; SOC 422 or SWK 422. Co-requisites: Concurrent enrollment in one of the following is permitted: SOC 311, 411, 412, 422, 425, or SWK 422.