Meet Your Major: Sociology

As a sociology major, you will study human society and the patterns and consequences of social interaction.

Our courses focus on the ways that people’s lives are shaped by broader social, cultural, political, economic and historical forces. We emphasize the nature and effects of social inequality. Our primary goal is to develop your sociological imagination as a type of critical thinking and informed analysis.

Why Sociology?

Since sociology is a scientific discipline, you will learn the scientific method. You will practice methods of data collection, sampling, variable measurement and analysis - valuable skills you can apply in a variety of fields. 

Sociology also provides you with the tools to better understand our rapidly changing world and the role of social inequality in our lives. We discuss social inequality in all of our courses to emphasize how inequality affects the life chances of all members of society. 

Hands-On Learning

We provide our students with experiential learning opportunities in various community, human services, criminal justice and health-related agencies. You’ll apply your sociological research and thinking in supervised field work experiences. 

Explore potential career interests through our internship course, SOC 4000. Learn from those in the field and establish a network of contacts for your future job search. Employers who have participated in the internship program include:

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

Video: Sociology Students Travel to Germany

After Merrimack

Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue graduate study or a career in social work, public health, education, law, public administration, social services, human resources, business or criminal justice. 

Our graduates have gone on to positions such as:

  • Advisor Relations Manager, The Boston Foundation
  • Alumni Relations Officer, 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

Sociology Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the sociology major, students will…

  1. Acquire a SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION that allows them to understand how society shapes individual biographies and behaviors. 
  1. Understand sociology as a scientific discipline, its history, foundational theories and concepts, areas of research focus, utility for addressing social problems, and what distinguishes it from other social sciences. 
  1. Understand how inequality between social categories can shape attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes. 
  1. Develop an awareness and appreciation for diversity and how different racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and social class backgrounds lead people to experience and interpret the world in unique ways. 
  1. Gain the ability to locate, understand, evaluate, synthesize, utilize, and communicate information from the SOCIOLOGICAL research literature
  1. Gain the skills to answer sociological questions through SOCIOLOGICAL research methods and the development of empirical research projects

The Curriculum

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 GPA in your major courses.

Required Courses (complete all five)

SOC 1000  The Sociological Imagination
SOC 2000 Social Inequality - Class, Gender and Race 
SOC 3000W Social Theory*
SOC 3100 Research Methods
SOC 3550 Statistics

Electives (choose five)

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
watch video

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:

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 

Intro 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