Sociology, broadly defined, is the study of social life. Sociology makes the familiar seem unfamiliar, and thus it challenges our assumptions about why people behave the way they do.
Students who major in sociology at Emory & Henry study social life throughout history and across cultures. They learn to see the interconnectedness of social life, and become well-versed in different frameworks of social thought. They also gain valuable skills in research methods and statistical analysis, and the use of computer software programs. Thus, sociology graduates are prepared for careers in business, policy analysis, program evaluation, or human services, as well as for continued study of sociology in graduate programs across the country.
Core courses in the Department of Sociology introduce students to the philosophical foundations of sociology and the skills of critical evaluation, data collection, and data analysis. Additional courses provide students with an in-depth study of major subfields of the discipline.
The Department of Sociology offers students the opportunity to select one of two degree tracks, the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology or the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology – Crime and Society.
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology are required to complete four core courses (Introduction to Sociology, Methods of Social Research, Social Theory and Senior Seminar) as well as at least six topical courses within the discipline. Such courses might include Marriage and the Family, Cultures and Peoples, Race and Ethnicity, Social Problems or Special Topics in Sociology focusing on a critical issue in the field. Students who earn this degree are prepared to enter careers in human services, public policy, market research or related fields as well as for graduate training in sociology.
The Crime and Society degree track is designed to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, victim advocacy and related fields. Students who wish to earn this specialized degree must complete the four core courses along with six additional courses in sociology, political science and related disciplines. Students are required to take Criminology, Social Problems and Abnormal Psychology (Psychology). Additional courses for the track include either Law and Society or Politics of the U.S.; one of Constitutional Interpretation, Civil Rights and Liberties or Geographic Information Systems; and one of Race and Ethnicity, Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality or Race Relations in the U.S. South. Finally, all students in the Crime and Society track complete a three-hour internship with a local law enforcement or victim advocacy agency to provide them with a practical experience to match their academic knowledge.
Students in both tracks are encouraged to conduct collaborative research with faculty or others in the field through internships, as well as independent research through an honors thesis or other research options. In the past three years, 14 students have had the opportunity to present research at regional or national conferences, including annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association.
A bachelor’s degree in sociology provides an excellent liberal arts foundation for embarking on a wide range of career paths. As a sociology major, you will acquire a sense of history, other cultures and times, the interconnectedness of social life, and different frameworks of thought. You will become skilled at gathering and evaluating information and interpreting it for diverse audiences. Training in sociological research and theory will improve your ability to think abstractly, ask and formulate important questions and search for answers. In turn, you will be prepared to analyze key issues and relevant data, organize material, write clearly and creatively, and deliver oral presentations that will influence key decisions made by policy makers and management of both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Consequently, as a sociology graduate, you have a competitive advantage in today’s information society. The solid base you receive in understanding social change will allow you to compete for entry-level positions in research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and countless other social science endeavors. You may join a local, state or federal agency as a law enforcement officer or federal agent, using the skills you developed in the Crime and Society track to combat crime at home and abroad. If human services appeals to you, you will be able to work with youths at risk, the elderly, or people experiencing problems related to poverty, substance abuse, or the justice system. Finally, if you choose to focus your energy in non-profit organizations, you will be able to combine both types of work, using the skills you acquire as a sociology major to design innovative programs for at-risk groups, write grants and pursue funding for organizational priorities, and lead organizations as part of the non-profit management team.
The success of recent graduates from Emory & Henry’s sociology program demonstrate the value of a sociology degree. Several former students are pursuing graduate degrees (master’s and doctoral) in sociology and related fields, including psychology, education and library science. Among these, a select few have received assistantships, fellowships and other funding that are paying for the cost of their graduate education. Others are working in secondary and higher education counseling, human services, and nonprofit management. Yes, you can find a job with a sociology degree.
Dr. Koch and Dr. Wilson are strongly committed to our students and their future, and we promise this same commitment to you. Join us—pursue a degree in sociology at Emory & Henry College.