College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Sociology

What Should I Take?


Before you decide what courses to take, think about your goals after you graduate. Do you want to go to graduate school or will you be looking for a position to begin your career? If your goal is to go to graduate school, look for courses that will challenge you intellectually and for those that will provide you with advanced research and writing skills. If you will be looking for a career-related job, there are other factors to consider. For example, most employers aren't interested in the number of credits you've taken on a particular topic. Instead, they want to know if you have the knowledge and skills to do the job. Therefore, when you are considering a course, you should think about what types of knowledge and skills that course has to offer.

We have developed two tools to help you do this - the Course SLO search engine and the MyLO Checklist. You can use the Course SLO search engine to identify the learning objectives in different courses. You can use the MyLO checklist to develop a personalized program of study that reflects the skills and knowledge that best fit your academic and professional goals. For more information about how to use these tools, keep reading! If you want to go directly to the tools themselves, please click on the links above.

Course SLO Search Engine

The Course SLO search engine enables you to easily identify the knowledge and skills emphasized in any sociology course. Each course emphasizes one or more of the following eight Student Learning Objectives (SLOs).

  1. Critical Thinking
    • How much did the course emphasize analytical thinking, the sociological imagination, sociological theory, or applying sociological concepts?
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning
    • How much did the course emphasize quantitative reasoning and understanding of statistics, charts, or graphs?
  3. Evaluating/Conducting Empirical Research
    • How much did the course focus on learning to evaluate or conduct sociological research?
  4. Communication
    • How much did the course emphasize writing, listening, or speaking?
  5. General Life Skills
    • How much did the course emphasize general life skills like interpersonal relations, civility, punctuality, responsibility, or organization?
  6. Society and the Physical World
    • How much did the course emphasize understanding human connections to technology or the physical environment?
  7. Social Order
    • How much did the course emphasize behaviors (for example, crime and deviance) or institutions (for example, values, norms, culture, community, law) that affect social order?
  8. Social Inequality
    • How much did the course emphasize inequality or diversity?

Use the Course SLO search engine , search by course title, faculty name, or by the SLO you are most interested in. For example, if you are thinking about taking Environmental Sociology, but you are wondering what knowledge and skills it emphasizes, you can click on Environmental Sociology using the "course" drop down menu, and you will be able to see what percentage of the course focuses on certain SLOs. If you are considering a course taught by a particular instructor, you can do a search for that instructor to find out the SLOs for all the courses that person teaches. You can also search by SLO. Suppose, for example, that you plan to go to law school. The best preparation for law school is training in analytical thinking. Therefore, you should take courses that emphasize critical thinking skills. You can identify these courses by doing a search by SLO, and searching for 'Critical Thinking.' Data retrieved by the Course SLO search engine reflects courses taught in the past two years (excluding summer course offerings). Course SLOs

MyLO Checklist
The MyLO checklist helps you identify the learning objectives for your personal program of study. When you click on the MyLO Checklist, you will see a list of courses taught in the past two years along with the mean SLOs for each course. Click on the courses you would like to take. Then, click on Printable Version. You will have a list of courses with the SLOs for each course. At the bottom of the page you will see your "MyLOs" - that is, the means skills and knowledge that are emphasized in the program of study that you designed. You can edit your MyLO course plan by clicking on the back button on your browser or on MyLO Checklist. This will take you back to the previous page where you can change your course selections. MyLO Checklist












Sociology Department, PO Box 644020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4020, Ph: 509-335-4595, Fax: 509-335-6419, Contact Us