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Major Requirements

As a sociology major, you’ll use critical reasoning, original research and analysis to study the patterns—and consequences—of group interaction.

Equipped with these insights, along with deep perspectives on inequality and social justice, you’ll be poised for a successful career in a multitude of industries. Bonus? Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to launch into graduate studies in law or social work.

Meet Your Major 

In the Sociology program, you will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of people in groups and of the patterns and consequences of social interaction
  • Discover the social structures and culture that exert significant influence over our everyday lives 
  • Evaluate empirical evidence that demonstrates the effects of culture and social structures on the ways in which people think, feel, and act 
  • Explore how to apply the sociological imagination, sociological principles, and concepts to your own life
  • Critically assess published sociological research reports as well as design your own research study

Hands-On Learning

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in meaningful internships while boosting your resume. It’s your chance to get real-world experience in places like the Haverhill District Court, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and Lawrence High School.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the Sociology program, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in social services, criminal justice, or business. Positions may include:

  • Case manager
  • Counselor
  • Operations assistant
  • Resident service coordinator
  • Research assistant
  • Youth worker

What You’ll Take

All Sociology majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 38-credit and minimum-of-10 course requirement.

Required Courses

All Sociology majors must take the following five courses:  

SOC 1000 

The Sociological Imagination

SOC 2000 

Social Inequality – Class, Gender, and Race (SP)  

SOC 3000W

Social Theory (FA)

SOC 3100

Research Methods (FA)

SOC 3550

Statistics (SP)

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


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


A maximum of two electives may be taken from the following list of cognate courses—some of which 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

Public Administration and Public Policy 

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

Michael DeCesare

Chair, Sociology



Shiela Breen

Administrative Assistant