Do you want to change the world? First you have to understand it.

As a sociologist, you'll investigate society from a grounded and critical perspective. Our students study everything from crime to religion, developing a unique understanding of what motivates human behavior.

You'll be encouraged to study abroad and apply your substantial training to the real world. Our campus culture is focused on community service and activism, giving you ample opportunities to connect and grow within our community. 

Our faculty encourages diverse learning styles, offering many options for personalized courses of study and independent learning. You'll benefit from a well rounded liberal arts education with classes in specialties like women's and gender studies, Africana studies and international relations. 

With their technical and intellectual experience, our students find successful careers in community organizing, law, public policy, teaching, higher education and social work. 

Program Requirements

The major in sociology encourages each student, based on their interests, to develop a creative combination of courses from the thematic areas offered by the department. Each student majoring in sociology completes five required courses, three electives, and eight semester hours of independent learning. Students work closely with advisors in course selection and planning.

Required Courses

  • SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology
  • SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research
  • SOCI 249 Inequalities
  • SOCI 325 Applications of Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 330 Transnational Studies

Generally, SOCI 101 should be completed no later than the sophomore year, SOCI 239 and 249 by the end of the junior year, and SOCI 325 and SOCI 330 in the junior or senior year.

Elective Thematic Areas

 Choose three electives from the list below:

Social Justice courses examine social inequalities and ways that groups and communities confront injustices.

  • SOCI 210 Body Politics
  • SOCI 220 Working for Social Justice
  • SOCI 222 Organizing for Social Change
  • SOCI 231 Sociology of Childhood and Youth
  • SOCI 232 Race, Gender and Health
  • SOCI 241 Health, Illness and Society
  • SOCI 249 Inequalities
  • SOCI 262 Criminology
  • SOCI 263 Sociology of Education
  • SOCI 347 Antiracism and Social Justice

Transnational Studies courses address and challenge inequities resulting from colonial histories, capitalism, nationalisms and forms of neocolonialism.

  • SOCI 330 Transnational Studies
  • SOCI 267 Globalization
  • SOCI 270 South Asia: People and Power
  • SOCI 338 Cross-Cultural Alliance Building

Health and Well-Being courses examine the social distribution of health, illness, and health care as a consequence of social inequality.

  • SOCI 232 Race, Gender and Health
  • SOCI 241 Health, Illness and Society
  • SOCI 245 Global Health
  • SOCI 345 Health Systems and Policy
  • SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence: A Multicultural Perspective

Cultural Practices courses emphasize the importance of culture toward a fuller understanding of cultural and social contexts and issues.

  • SOCI 210 Body Politics
  • SOCI 261 Urban Sociology
  • SOCI 266 Sociology of Sports
  • SOCI 275 Birth and Death
  • SOCI 321 Sociology of Food
  • SOCI 344 Sociology of Poetry and Prose
  • SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence: A Multicultural Perspective

Social Policy courses examine social issues and how sociological theory and research contributes to the development of meaningful social policies to address those issues

  • SOCI 231 Sociology of Childhood and Youth
  • SOCI 262 Criminology
  • SOCI 263 Sociology of Education
  • SOCI 345 Health Systems and Policy
  • SOCI 321 Sociology of Food

Independent Learning

Students may take one of the two following options:

  • Internship and Portfolio
  • Thesis

Please see the catalog for more information about the required eight semester hours of Independent Learning.

Minor Requirements

The minor in sociology consists of five courses. 

One required course:

SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology

One of the following:
  • SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research
  • SOCI 249 Inequalities
  • SOCI 325 Applications of Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 330 Transnational Studies

Three elective courses selected from thematic areas after consulting a faculty advisor in the department.

Customize Your Program

Our students can concentrate on one thematic area, or selectively combine courses across them. We welcome you to work with your advisor to tailor a program to your interests and career goals. Simmons offers many options for customizing your studies, including dual majors, accelerated programs and a wide variety of complementary minors.

We also offer a minor in sociology for students pursing other majors. The minor in sociology consists of five courses.

One Required Course:

  • SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology

 One of the Following:

  1. SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research
  2. SOCI 249 Inequalities
  3. SOCI 325 Applications of Sociological Theory
  4. SOCI 330 Transnational Studies

Three elective courses selected from thematic areas after consulting a faculty advisor in the department.


Internships and Research
In addition to community service/activism, we encourage our students to pursue internships. Through internships you'll sharpen your skills and refine your interests while building your résumé and developing important mentoring relationships.
Faculty
    Valerie Leiter
    • Valerie Leiter
    • Department Chair and Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2217
    • Office: C205A
    Jyoti Puri
    • Jyoti Puri
    • Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2593
    • Office: C205G
    Becky Thompson
    • Becky Thompson
    • Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2592
    • Office: C205B
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    • Dawna Thomas
    • Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies
    • Phone: 617-521-2539
    • Office: W303D
    Saher Selod
    • Saher Selod
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2542
    • Office: C205A
    Shelley White
    • Shelley White
    • Assistant Professor of Public Health and Sociology, Master of Public Health Program Director
    • Phone: 617-521-2088
    • Office: C205D
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    Donna Cole
    • Donna Cole
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2557
    • Office: C205C
    Elise Brenner
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How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.