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 268 in the sophomore or junior year, and SOCI 325 and SOCI 330 in the junior or senior year.


Students choose any three electives from the list below:

  • 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 245 Global Health
  • SOCI 249 Inequalities
  • SOCI 267 Globalization
  • SOCI 266 Sociology of Sports
  • SOCI 270 South Asia: People and Power
  • SOCI 275 Birth and Death
  • SOCI 280 Sociology of the Law
  • SOCI 285 Drugs and Society
  • SOCI 321 Sociology of Food
  • SOCI 330 Transnational Studies
  • SOCI 339 Community Research
  • SOCI 344 Sociology of Poetry and Prose
  • SOCI 345 Health Systems and Policy
  • SOCI 347 Whiteness, Antiracism and Social Justice
  • SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence: A Multicultural Perspective


Students may take one of the two following options:

Internship and Portfolio
Students may choose to complete an internship to fulfill the capstone requirement. Internships are completed in the spring semester of the student’s senior year. In the fall semester before the internship, each student works with the internship supervisor to design an 8-credit internship plan for the following semester. As part of this requirement, students also take the Internship seminar (SOCI 370). Students completing double majors who wish to do an internship will complete their internship through one of their departments.

All students completing their capstone through internships will also submit a portfolio to fulfill their requirements towards the major.

A portfolio includes:

  • A paper from their first or second year of undergraduate study
  • An outstanding paper, preferably from a sociology course taken in their third or fourth year
  • A 5-page summative statement in which students reflect on majoring in sociology

Students present their portfolios publicly during the internship class.

Students may choose to do an independent research and writing project that culminates in a 40–50 page thesis written under the supervision of a faculty member in the department.

Students submit a proposal by the second semester of their junior year and take SOCI 350 (Independent Study) in the first semester of their senior year and SOCI 355 (Thesis) in the second semester of their senior year. An honors designation is granted to meritorious theses. All theses are presented at an event organized by the department.

Minor Requirements

The minor in sociology consists of five courses.

One required course:

  • SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology

One of the following core courses:

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

Three elective courses, selected from the lists of required and elective courses, after consulting with 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:

  • 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.

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.

    Valerie Leiter
    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: Sociology suite, C205B
    Default Profile Image
    • Dawna Thomas
    • Associate ProfessorSociology and Women's and Gender Studies
    • Phone: 617-521-2539
    • Office: W303D
    Saher Selod
    • Saher Selod
    • Associate 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: M333
    Anima Adjepong
    • Anima Adjepong
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology
    • Phone: 617-521-2590
    • Office: C205I
    Donna Cole
    • Donna Cole
    • Assistant Professor of Sociology, Affiliate Faculty of Public Health
    • Phone: 617-521-2557
    • Office: C205D
    Elise Brenner
How to Apply
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