Sociology

As a sociologist, you'll investigate society from a grounded and critical perspective.

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

You'll study everything from crime to religion, developing a unique understanding of what motivates human behavior. Our Students are encouraged to study abroad and apply your substantial training to the real world. The culture at Simmons 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.

Required Courses

SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology 4
SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research I 4
SOCI 249 Inequalities 4
SOCI 325 Applications of Sociological Theory 4
SOCI 330 Transnational Studies 4

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:

Electives

Social Justice

Courses examine social inequalities and ways that groups and communities confront injustices.

SOCI 210 Body Politics 4
SOCI 220 Working for Social Justice 4
SOCI 222 Organizing for Social Change 4
SOCI 231 Sociology of Childhood 4
SOCI 232 Race, Gender & Health 4
SOCI 241 Health, Illness & Society 4
SOCI 262 Criminology 4
SOCI 263 Sociology of Education 4
SOCI 347 Antiracism and Social Justice 4

Transnational Studies

Courses challenge inequities that result from colonial legacies, capitalism, and multiple forms of nationalism and neocolonialism

SOCI 267 Globalization 4
SOCI 270 South Asia, People & Power 4
SOCI 330 Transnational Studies 4

Health and Well-Being

Courses examine the social distribution of health, illness and health care as a consequence of unequal distribution of social resources.

SOCI 232 Race, Gender & Health 4
SOCI 241 Health, Illness & Society 4
SOCI 245 Global Health 4
SOCI 345 Health Systems & Policy 4
SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence 4

Cultural Practices

Courses emphasize the importance of culture toward a fuller understanding of all of our lives.

SOCI 210 Body Politics 4
SOCI 261 Urban Sociology 4
SOCI 266 Sociology of Sports 4
SOCI 275 Birth and Death 4
SOCI 321 Sociology of Food 4
SOCI 344 Sociology of Poetry & Prose 4
SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence 4

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 4
SOCI 262 Criminology 4
SOCI 263 Sociology of Education 4
SOCI 321 Sociology of Food 4
SOCI 345 Health Systems & Policy 4

Capstone

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.

Portfolio: 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.

OR

Thesis

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.

One required course:

SOCI 101 Principles of Sociology 4

One of the following core courses:

SOCI 239 Introduction to Social Research I 4
SOCI 249 Inequalities 4
SOCI 325 Applications of Sociological Theory 4
SOCI 330 Transnational Studies 4

Three elective courses, selected from the lists of required and elective courses, after consulting with a faculty advisor in the department.

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.

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Our Faculty

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Shelley White

  • Asst. Prof. of Public Health and Sociology, MPH Program Dir.