Sociological training teaches us to think critically about social life, to carefully collect and analyze empirical data, and to understand the way the social world works and how it might be changed for the better. Many students and faculty members undertake research in the field.
Sociology is the study of the world created by complex human societies. By uniting concerns across the social sciences, sociology connects scholarship in history, economics, politics, and psychology.
We examine inequality, social mobility and social class, identities based on race and gender, conflict and social change, and institutions related to crime, business, education, law, politics, religion, and science. Through a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods—from close-up ethnographic observation and interviews to large-scale data collection—sociologists produce critical and useful knowledge about our social world.
Why Study Sociology?
Are you are interested in the social lives of people, groups, and societies and the connections between them? In looking at society objectively, and learning how we all fit together? Sociology applies qualitative and quantitative methods to explore societal problems, the challenges and consequences of human interactions, and systemic social change.
See more in Learning Goals.
Sociological training teaches us to think critically about social life, to carefully collect and analyze empirical data, and to understand the way the social world works and how it might be changed for the better. Learning to communicate clearly, creatively, and effectively are all abilities of tremendous value in a wide range of vocational callings and professions. Moreover, understanding the connections between broad social forces and personal experiences—what C. Wright Mills called “the sociological imagination”—is invaluable for living effective and rewarding lives in tumultuous times. See more in Courses.
Our faculty are engaged participants and leaders in our varied fields of scholarship. We have a diverse set of research and teaching interests, reflected in the wide array of courses we offer.
These include studies of major institutions (e.g., punishment, education, religion, family life, gender, politics, work, sexuality), significant social processes (e.g., identity, social movements, deviances), and experiences both in the U.S. and abroad (e.g., globalization, tourism, migration). The courses draw on both classical and contemporary social theory as well as current research to investigate these various issues.
Students have several options for funding research ideas and internships—from the Undergraduate Research Office, the Rohatyn Center, the Center for Careers and Internships, and more.Explore Funding
Faculty often collaborate with students on their work, creating opportunities for learning and practical skills in a hands-on environment.See Recent Publications
Awards and Prizes
Student work is shared and celebrated every year, highlighting the individuality of interests that are a signature strength of our department.See Recent Honors
These are just some of the many interesting ways our graduates have applied their liberals arts learning to engage the world. See more about Our Alumni.
- Center for Resilient Leadership, Founder
- Kent Emergency Physicians, Emergency Physician
- Healthfirst, Care Manager, SNF Rehabilitation
- Big Water Productions, Consulting Services Director
- Activo Renewables, Ltd., Managing Partner and Founder
- McFarland-Johnson, Inc., Environmental Consultant
- Ahearne Research Services, President
- Central Intelligence Agency, Political Analyst (Taiwan)
- Capital Health, Genetic Counselor
- Educators for Social Responsibility, Executive Director
- WellSense International Public Health Consultants, Director and Consultant
- International Institute for Sustainable Development, Content Editor
- Harvard University, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
- StoryCorps, Tour Site Supervisor/Facilitator
- Etonhouse Malaysia International School, Head Teacher
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Health and Human Services