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Meet Your Major: Sociology

As a sociology major, you will learn about the complex relationships between individuals and society. Our courses focus on how people’s lives are shaped by social, cultural, political, economic and historical forces. You will see the effects of social inequality and develop your sociological imagination and critical thinking. 

Our graduates gain the knowledge and skills to pursue an advanced degree or to work in a variety of fields, including law, social work, public health, education and criminal justice. 

Hands-On Learning

Our internship course, SOC 4000, provides you with the unique chance to experience possible career interests, to learn from those already working in the field, and to establish contacts that may be helpful in acquiring full-time employment. 

Our students have interned at the following locations:

  • Cervizzi & Associates, Attorneys at Law
  • Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
  • Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.
  • Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
  • Haverhill District Court
  • Landmark Senior Living Community at Oceanview
  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • Point After Club

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the sociology program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue graduate study or a career in sociology and related disciplines. Positions may include research assistant, resident service coordinator, program coordinator, youth worker, training associate, case manager, operations assistant, property manager,  sales manager trainee and more.

Some of our graduates have worked in the following positions:

  • Advisor Relations Manager, The Boston Foundation
  • Alumni Relations, Tufts University
  • Communications Coordinator, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Court Assistant, New Hampshire Judicial System
  • Human Resources Coordinator, Straumann
  • Patrol Officer, University of New Hampshire
  • Resident Assistant, EF Education First 
  • Senior Account Executive, Regan Communications

What You’ll Take

This bachelor’s degree program requires 124 credits. All sociology majors must take a minimum of 38 credits and a minimum of 10 courses in the sociology major. You must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average in your major courses.

Required Courses

All sociology majors must take the following five courses:  

SOC 1000  The Sociological Imagination
SOC 2000 Social Inequality – Class, Gender and Race 
SOC 3000W Social Theory 
SOC 3100 Research Methods 
SOC 3550 Statistics 
  • The Department strongly recommends that sociology majors take SOC 3000W, SOC 3100, and SOC 3550 by the end of their junior year. 

Elective Courses

Select five courses from the following list:
SOC 1500 Success and the American Dream
SOC 1600 Happiness
SOC 1700  Social Problems, Creative Solutions
SOC 1800 Tough Choices, Conflicting Values
SOC 1900 Addictive Society
SOC 2050  Social Work
SOC 3150 Social Movements

SOC 3300W 

Sociology of Education

SOC 3370 

Urban Sociology

SOC 3400 

Population Problems

SOC 3450  

Sociology of the Family

SOC 3600 

Sociology of Health

SOC 3625  

Crossing Borders: Sociology of Immigration

SOC 3800

Sociology of Gender

SOC 3850 

Sociology of Aging

SOC 4000


SOC 4810

Directed Study

SOC 4815

Directed Study

Cognate Electives

You may take a maximum of two of the five electives required from the following list of cognate courses (please note that some cognate courses have prerequisites):

CRM ####  

Criminology courses 
(with approval of Sociology Department chair)

HIS 2329  

American Social History

HIS 3390  

Modern European Social History

PHL 2700   

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 

POL 2121

Intro to Public Administration

POL 3122 

Issues in Public Policy

POL 3131 

Polling and Public Opinion

PSY 2200

Social Psychology 

PSY 3250

Cultural Psychology 

WGS 2010 

Introduction to Ethnic Studies

WGS 2200

Gender and Social Movements

WGS 3100 

Feminist Theory

WGS 3140  

Studies in Masculinities

WGS 3250

Sex and Gender Studies

WGS 3420

Gender, Race and the Media

WGS 3830

Gender and Global Health

WGS 4100

Gender Studies

WRT 2020W 

Writing for Social Change

In addition to the required and elective courses, the Department recommends that students develop proficiency in a second language—such as French, Italian, or Spanish—as part of their undergraduate education.

For a more targeted educational experience, sociology majors are also encouraged to pursue a course of study that involves a double major or a minor. For example, if you’re interested in a career in public health, it may be appropriate to double major in biology.


More Info

Shiela Breen

Administrative Assistant
O’Reilly 108


Michael DeCesare

Chair, Sociology