2023-2024 College Catalog

Sociology, Bachelor of Arts

Department Chair: Elena Chernyak

Elena Chernyak; Ryan Ceresola; Zachary McKenney; Cheryl Johnson; Michael Branch; Amber Kerwin; Adjunct Faculty: Denise Newvine





Sociologists investigate human relationships and interaction at interpersonal, organizational, institutional, societal, and global levels.

Sociology provides insight into social relationships among individuals, couples, families, organizations, political institutions, social movements, and globally. It examines social structuring based on race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, religion, age, and class. The study of sociology as part of a liberal education helps students develop a critical understanding of the workings of societal forces.

The department presents a wide range of theoretical perspectives. Research areas include health, demography, social issues, political movements, youth, rural poverty, environmental issues, social welfare, public policy, human rights, domestic violence, and globalization.

In addition to a rich theoretical mix, the department encompasses a broad range of pedagogical approaches. Faculty utilize videos, participant observation exercises, role playing, ethnography, film analysis, basic and advanced statistical analysis, journal writing, community-based advocacy and service learning, field trips, faculty-student collaborative research, and guest speakers as well as traditional lectures in their teaching.

While most department courses consider issues of race, class and gender, the department also offers specific courses examining issues of race, class, gender, and cultural identity in the U.S.

Special study opportunities available through the department include off-campus programs in Ireland, social advocacy work with agencies and organizations, internships in related careers in the local community and in other locations throughout the country, and community-based service-learning projects. The Hardy Chair Lecture Program grants students the special opportunity to interact with nationally and internationally recognized scholars and practitioners.

The Sociology major is composed of five required courses, and six electives. Electives may be organized to construct a focused area of study (e.g. social work, community advocacy, social and political rights and social movements). In addition, the department offers a minor and major in Criminal Justice (CRMJ).

A major in Sociology prepares students for graduate study in the discipline, as well as in a variety of other fields including law, counseling, teaching, social work, public health, education and criminal justice. The understanding of how people interact and behave in groups provides an excellent background for a wide range of careers in such fields as law enforcement, business, education, and government service. In addition, majors have used their background in sociology to pursue careers in communications, community relations, human resources management, and community organizing and advocacy.

Grades for all courses taken in sociology are used to calculate the average in the major for Departmental Distinction.

All CRMJ courses with the exception of CRMJ 290, CRMJ 390, and CRMJ 490 Senior Thesis may count as electives.

Sociology and Criminal Justice double majors can double count only four courses towards both majors: SOCI 105, SOCI 290/CRMJ 290, SOCI 383/CRMJ 390, and SOCI 485/CRMJ 490.

Please note: If you are in the 3-year or Education Program, you will need to take Social Theory, Qualitative Methods and Quantitative Analysis your sophomore year.