Students pursuing a degree in sociology at Ithaca College explore the complex dynamics that exist between individuals, their collective identity, and actions in groups, as well as the social codes and behavioral patterns of larger local, national, and global human structures.
How do societies change? What makes social order possible? What are the sources of conflict in society? How is power exercised and how is ideology used to control people? How do people organize to create change? How do racial and ethnic prejudices develop and become entrenched in society? How do we define human sexuality and sexual norms? How has the family unit evolved over time?
Our curriculum reflects a new awareness by many sociology departments, that there is a need for a "public sociology" -- a sociology that brings its findings and insights to inform public discussions about social issues.
As sociology students you study the intended and unintended consequences of social life. You will be inspired to develop your own themes of study within the department and the College, and your own perspectives and skills for a public sociology. Themes of study might include studies in gender and social change, crime and social justice, environment and culture, human services and public sociology, or family, gender and work, for example. Your studies in sociology will include an inquiry into social institutions and organizations, individuals and culture, social change and inequality, and other experiences that might occur on or off campus.
The sociology department at Ithaca College is distinctive in a number of ways. We are small enough so that you can have a close relationship with your professors and, of course, other students. We are composed of outstanding teachers, and while we maintain high levels of academic expectations, we are able to meet your individual needs and interests. We are interested in questions of how to use sociology in the public interest, and to develop skillful engagements in community life. In many courses you will be encouraged to complete research projects, film and photography, and community-related projects.
Our students have many opportunities for hands-on learning. Most students in the major complete an internship in an agency or workplace off-campus. Some examples of internships in recent years have included working
- with women and children who have been in abusive relationships
- with lawyers as legal assistants and researchers
- in a secure facility for troubled teenage girls or boys
- with local law enforcement
- with human rights agencies
Our faculty members work closely with students to help them develop skills in writing and analysis, computer usage, and research methods. Students develop their own interests through internships in real-world settings and through close collaboration with faculty in independent study projects.
Many of our graduates are admitted into the top tier of graduate programs in fields such as social policy, law, and education. Those of our students who go on to graduate school report to us that they are extremely well prepared.