Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior, social systems, and social change. In our program, you’ll develop the skills to analyze the root causes of social problems through a deeper understanding of how society and culture shape people’s daily lives. This major gives you the tools to interpret and respond effectively to diverse social issues, while preparing you for a wide variety of careers.

Preparing You For Success

As a sociology major, you can learn about every aspect of social life from inequality, culture, crime, and politics to gender, the family, race, and social movements. You’ll develop strong critical thinking skills, as you learn how to use social research methods to collect and analyze data on complex social problems and what it would take to solve them. These skills will give you a solid foundation for graduate school, law school or the career of your choice. You can also pair sociology with another major or minor like criminology, political science, history, psychology, social work, education, the health sciences, or business.

By the time you graduate, your experiences may include:

  • Research with faculty and classmates
  • Networking with peers and alumni through department student organizations or the Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society of Sociology
  • Community internships where if you qualify, you can apply training in sociology and pursue career development opportunities
  • Organizing campus events such as speakers, film screenings and panel discussions on topics of your choice
  • An honors capstone experience where if you qualify, you can apply sociological knowledge and research skills to an independent project

Making Your Mark

Sociology majors are equipped for a wide range of careers, from business, law, and social services to nonprofit and government work. A recent national study found that those who major in sociology earn more than any other undergraduate major except computer science and visual art. Recent sociology graduates are working as judges, educators, adoption agency case managers, grassroots political organizers, researchers, workforce management strategists, human resource analysts, social media marketers, non-profit administrators, and public health experts. Others are in graduate school at places like the University of Illinois - Chicago, the University of Michigan, Kent State University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Missouri.


The mission of the Bradley Social Work Program is to prepare students with a commitment to the Social Work values of service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights and scientific inquiry; and to provide students with the knowledge base and skills necessary for beginning generalist practice in social work settings. The program seeks further to provide an educational foundation for students to pursue graduate study in social work and other helping professions. The program prepares students for competent and effective generalist practice in a globalized environment. The program emphasizes critical thinking and scientific inquiry to prepare students for social work practice in multiple environments with diverse populations and at multiple systems levels (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities).

Major Requirements (30 hours)

Required Courses - 9 hrs.

  • SOC 100: The Sociological Perspective - 3 hrs.
  • SOC 240: Research Methods - 3 hrs.
  • SOC 320: Social Theory - 3 hrs.

Elective Courses - 18 hrs.

In consultation with their advisors, students should select elective courses that provide both breadth and depth of exposure to sociology’s different subfields. All majors will receive a solid grounding in our discipline’s foundational focus on inequalities—gender, race, and class—as well as other areas of inquiry including theories of crime and deviance, medical sociology, the sociology of mental health, and others. Some of our elective offerings include:

  • ANT 303: Culture and Belief
  • ANT 305: Peoples and Cultures of the World
  • ANT 306: Health & Illness in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANT 314: Indigenous Peoples
  • SOC 210: Sociology of Families
  • SOC 300: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Gender
  • SOC 310: Sociology of Families
  • SOC 311: Comparative Family Systems
  • SOC 312: Social Inequality
  • SOC 313: Race, Ethnicity and Power
  • SOC 315: Gender and Society
  • SOC 322: Self and Social Interaction
  • SOC 325: Environmental Sociology
  • SOC 326: Sociology of Globalization
  • SOC 330: Perspectives on Deviance
  • SOC 331: Correctional Policies and Society
  • SOC 332: Juvenile Delinquency
  • SOC 333: Sociology of Violence
  • SOC 334: Crime and Society
  • SOC 341: Medical Sociology
  • SOC 343: Sociology of Mental Health
  • SOC 344: Social Movements
  • SOC 345: People, Power and Politics
  • SOC 347: Drugs and Society
  • SOC 390: Topics in Sociology

The following courses may also be counted as electives for qualified students, with the focus area to be designated by the professor:

  • SOC 391: Internship in Applied Sociology
  • SOC 450: Honors Senior Capstone in Sociology
  • SOC 490: Directed Readings
  • SOC 491: Directed Research

Optional Honors Capstone Course – 3 hrs.

In their final year, qualified students have the option of developing and completing an Honors Capstone Project within their chosen area of interest.

  • (optional) SOC 450: Honors Capstone in Sociology - 3 hrs. (or an additional 3 elective hours, if the Capstone is not chosen)

Up to 6 semester hours of individual study, internship, or capstone courses (SOC 391, 392, 450, 490, 491, or 492) may be counted toward required elective hours.