Department Chair: Dr. Janine Chi, Associate Professor of Sociology
Assistant Professors: Bywater, Carter, Finkelstein, Miller
Visiting Assistant Professor: Sadeghi
Sociology is the study of group behavior and society. The realization that our social world - be it a family, a campus, a city, a nation, an entire world - guides our actions and life choices is an essential lesson of the discipline. To think sociologically is to realize how the general categories into which we fall shape our particular life experiences and influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions. In doing so sociologists examine the causes and consequences of human behavior; the goal is not to document a particular perspective of society but rather to know how societies work and why. The field of sociology has broad scope. Topics of investigation range from intimate relationships to the consequences of overpopulation; from shared religious beliefs to social movements promoting radical social change; from problems of poverty to corporate downsizing; from questions of group solidarity and shared identities to instances of group conflict and violence. Sociology provides a distinctive perspective on the world and addresses many challenging issues that are confronting society and the world today. The sociology major offers a capstone course, SOC 450 - CUE: Senior Seminar in Sociology , in which students conduct original research.
We offer an honors program that includes conducting advanced original research through a close working relationship with a faculty member. Requirements for admission to the honors program include: 1) 3.60 GPA in sociology courses and an overall 3.00 at the time of application; 2) the successful completion of at least two 300 level electives in the department; 3) the successful completion of SOC 311 - Research Design in Sociology ; and 4) an application that includes a statement of purpose and a proposal for the research project. The application must be given to the faculty advisor and the department chair by April 15 of the junior year. For more details see the department website.
We offer a graded sequence of courses that is designed to help students understand and comprehend the central concepts, principles, issues, and methods associated with this discipline and to see how sociological research is connected to research in other disciplines. Majors from the department have a strong record of successful applications to graduate programs across the country and have found careers in teaching and research at the university level. Due to the department’s emphasis on methodological rigor, our graduates are often employed in law, civil service, social services, education, social work, public health and policy, human resource management, marketing research companies, and non-profit research organizations. International organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, and World Health Organization regularly hire sociologists for research and policy analysis, and they can also be found working in museums and national parks.