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Sociology

What is Sociology?

Sociology is a discipline that examines how people collectively maintain and sometimes challenge longstanding patterns in social life such as race, class, and gender inequality. It explains our social surroundings and the factors that shape our lives on the individual, community, national, and global level.

What can you do with a Sociology major?

The opportunities available to those holding a BA in Sociology are wide-ranging. In recent years, our graduates have gone on to work and study in the following fields:

  • Law and Law Enforcement
  • Public Policy
  • Business — Management, Marketing, Public Relations
  • Social Service and Public Service
  • Education (teaching and administration)
  • Counseling
  • Academia

See career paths and connect with alums who majored or minored in Sociology at Providence College

Why study Sociology at PC?

Sociology offers students the chance to examine the world through a sociological lens, which illuminates the connection between individual troubles and public issues. Through active learning and civic engagement, students are challenged to approach their world critically and to achieve a sharper understanding of how inequality, exclusion, and institutions impact both society at large and individual opportunities, experiences, and realities.

Students are introduced to competing perspectives and to social realities that reflect the complexities of race, class, gender, and culture. In addition to providing students the opportunity for in-depth study and analysis within a broad range of sociological sub-fields, our diverse curriculum enables students to engage in the “doing of sociology” through original sociological scholarship and internship opportunities. This broad range of courses provides students with the thinking, speaking, and writing skills necessary to pursue a variety of post-graduate endeavors, whether in the for-profit world, the non-profit arena, academia, or public service.

What does a Sociology Major look like?

The Sociology major involves 10, 3-credit courses. The four required courses are Introductory Sociology, Social Research Methods, Sociological Theory (either historical or contemporary), and Sociology Capstone.

The six elective courses can be chosen based on the students’ interest and the course offerings each semester. Some examples of these electives are Gender, the Family, Immigration, Criminology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Urban Sociology, Globalization, Political Sociology, and Social Movements.

There is also a MINOR available in Sociology, which consists of 6 courses:

  • Introductory Sociology
  • Social Research Methods
  • Four Sociology electives

For details on the requirements for the sociology major or minor, as well as course listings and descriptions, please see the on-line undergraduate catalog.

A major in sociology leads to a bachelor of arts degree. A minor in sociology is also available. Those interested in courses in anthropology should visit the anthropology web page for more information.

All sociology students are expected to use the American Sociological Association’s style for citations in their written work.  Please visit the ASA Style Guide web page.

Mission of the Sociology Major

The Sociology Major advances the mission of Providence College by cultivating a community of teaching, learning, and scholarship committed to critical thinking, academic excellence, and social justice.

The Major is a program of undergraduate study that leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation in the key tenets of the discipline (social theory and research methods) while exposing students to a wide range of sociological issues, problems, arguments, and approaches.

The Sociology Major at Providence College fosters students’ ability to examine the world through a sociological lens. We ask how social forces, like longstanding institutions, inequalities, and power relations, shape the everyday realities of individuals. Active, engaged learning and student participation is a mainstay of our faculty’s pedagogical practice. Our diverse and varied course offerings challenge students to approach their world critically and to achieve a nuanced understanding of how inequality, marginalization, and institutionalization impact both society at large and individual opportunities and experiences. Students are introduced to sociological perspectives that are global, national, and local in scope and to social realities that reflect the complexities of race, class, gender, and culture. In addition to providing students the opportunity for in-depth study and analysis within a broad range of sociological sub-fields, our curriculum enables students to engage in the “doing of sociology” through original sociological scholarship and internship opportunities.

Ultimately, instructors in the Major seek to train sociological thinkers who can apply knowledge and perspectives within multiple and varied contexts. The Sociology Major strives to provide students with the thinking, speaking, and writing skills necessary to pursue a wide range of post-graduate endeavors, whether in non-profit and for-profit arenas, academic, or public service.

The Sociology Major is committed to continuing to meet our students’ changing needs in concert with changing demographics in the department, the college, and the field. The Major values diverse perspectives and therefore welcomes dedicated students from all religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds and all gender identities and encourages students to pursue active and rigorous academic exploration and analysis of the issues and realities of our complex society.

The Major’s mission extends beyond the classroom to incorporate the goal of democratizing the college and the profession at large by promoting diversity, providing and increasing safe spaces on campus, and creating public dialogue regarding important social issues. The Major seeks to cultivate a vibrant learning environment in which students and faculty can take part in intellectual exchange and work together for social justice.