Sociology (B.A.)

Sociologists ask many questions: 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? Our sociology program explores the complex dynamics between individuals, their collective identity, and their actions in groups. You‘ll study the traditional foundations of social life -- social institutions and organizations, individuals and culture, social change, and inequality -- as well as social codes and behavioral patterns as they exist in larger local, national, and global social systems.The curriculum reflects the new awareness of the need for a “public sociology,” one that informs public discussions about social issues. You’ll be encouraged to focus your studies around a particular social theme and to use the perspectives you learn to engage in public debates and work toward positive social change. Possible themes include gender and social change; crime and social justice; environment and culture; human services and public sociology; and the intersection of family, gender, and work.

Our dedicated faculty will help you develop skills in writing and analysis, computer usage, and research methods. You’ll also have opportunities to apply what you learn in real-world internship settings and through close collaboration with faculty in independent study and research projects. Students have helped to provide cutting-edge treatment responses for addiction at the Ithaca Community Treatment Court and have planned after-school activities for elementary students at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, among other projects.

Our graduates make successful transitions into graduate programs and into the workforce, and they have found positions as agency caseworkers, public school teachers, college professors, researchers, college admissions counselors, and advisers to nonprofit organizations.