Department of Sociology

The sociology department offers students a framework to understand social issues from a grounded and critical perspective and attracts students who are committed to social justice as an intellectual and activist pursuit. Students learn ways to apply research and theoretical skills toward social equity and leadership through our curriculum.

The department emphasizes critical reading, thinking, and writing. We support interdisciplinary approaches, especially regarding social justice, transnational studies, social policy, and cultural practices. We welcome collaboration with women’s and gender studies, Africana studies, international relations, psychology, and related fields toward a well-rounded and rigorous liberal arts education.

Sociology majors are encouraged to treat community service and activism as integral to their studies. Many of our students continue studies in sociology and related fields at the graduate level, either immediately or in the future. Sociology provides particularly good preparation for community organizing, law, public policy, social work and human services, doctoral work in sociology and related fields, and teaching at the early childhood, elementary, or college levels.

Programs in this Department:

Learning Outcomes

Our department has established six learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  • Identify structural causes of inequality
  • Identify how structural inequality impacts individuals and groups
  • Identify global/transnational circuits of people/services/commodities
  • Conduct social research (collection and analysis of data)
  • Apply critical sociological theory from the perspective of social justice
  • Conduct independent applications of sociological perspectives

Departmental Honors

Honors in Sociology

To become a candidate for honors in sociology, a student must earn a GPA of 3.6 in sociology, and either write a thesis (that earns an A- or A) or complete two or more years of outstanding community service and/or social justice work. If doing a thesis, students will work with their thesis advisor from the department, in consultation with other members of the department to determine candidacy. A thesis candidate will complete SOCI 350 (Independent Study) followed by SOCI 355 (Thesis) and earn an A or A- on the thesis. Honors distinction based on community service/activism would include at least two years of outstanding service/activism and earning an A in SOCI 370. Graduation with honors in sociology is based on the assessment of the department faculty.

Alpha Kappa Delta

Instituted in 2007, the Simmons College Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the U.S. national sociology honor society, recognizes students who maintain outstanding academic records. Students who qualify for election to Alpha Kappa Delta are invited by the faculty to join the chapter each spring. To be elected, students must be an officially declared sociology major or minor, be at least a junior, have accumulated the equivalent of an overall GPA of 3.3, have a GPA of 3.0 in Sociology courses taken at Simmons College, and completed at least four Sociology courses prior to initiation (not including courses graded pass/fail). Students with questions about Alpha Kappa Delta should contact Associate Professor Saher Selod, the chapter representative.