Sociology is a scientific discipline that is concerned with understanding the social forces that shape and direct human action. Courses in the department introduce students to the discipline by exposing them to exemplars of what sociology has been, and by asking them to study different aspects of the social world.
We believe that there are a variety of legitimate ways to "do sociology" and we do not seek to privilege any one of them. Our individual courses construct arguments for students to consider, to develop, and to argue against and they provide the analytical and methodological training students need to formulate theoretical arguments and to evaluate those arguments empirically. We want an active engagement from our students as they find their own points-of-view within the discipline, and we expect from them a theoretical and methodological rigor and sophistication within the approaches that they study and adopt.
The political science major is helping the Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office build defenses for clients facing the death penalty.