Humans are pack animals. Sociology will help you understand the pack.
Sociology is a social science with contemporary practical knowledge. Sociologists study structure and change as society, culture and social forces create the foundation of our lives and our senses of self. Sociology acknowledges the influence of society on who we are, on our subjective realities, what we can do, how we communicate and how we live. Through the major in sociology, you’ll gain a broader understanding of its context and significance.
Understanding “the pack” means understanding the differences in packs, and increasing cultural competency. Sociologists are known for their use of population data to explain and solve issues. You’ll learn how to analyze national and global issues for patterns of behavior, cultural values, beliefs and norms that explain the existence and dynamics of problems. Social problems commonly addressed include racism, sexism, ageism, economic inequality, poverty, environment, food system, euthanasia, domestic violence, animal abuse, abortion, rape, war and patterns of power.
Our program is student-directed, enabling you to focus your study of sociology on a topic, theme or learning style that best fits your goals. You’ll create individual learning contracts that will enable you to use your creativity and specific interests to develop unique projects. Classroom learning takes place as interactive discussions, and the program’s flexibility makes it easy for you to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.
Learn More About This Program
Shenandoah University’s College of Arts & Sciences is your direct connection to a classic, broad-based education to satisfy both your intellectual curiosity and career goals. With a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, small classes and individualized learning opportunities, we put students at the center of all our decisions and events.
We blend the liberal arts with pre-professional courses and hands-on learning to prepare you for careers in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. You’ll learn through small, engaging classes and relationships with faculty mentors; hone your skills to solve problems; and learn to use creativity and critical thinking to make informed decisions.
Minor in This Program
A minor in sociology gives you a broad understanding of the subject, preparing you for life as someone who can think, write, speak and see the world beyond the individual.
Declaring A Minor
Shenandoah students work with their Academic Advisor to declare a minor. Academic Advisors will continue to work with students to ensure that they fulfill all of the requirements to complete the minor.
Incoming students should not indicate their intended minor on their Shenandoah application. Applications are for intended majors only.
The Career Services staff helps Shenandoah students search and apply for internships related to their major and career goals. Internships differentiate you as an applicant in your future job searches, provide hands on experience in your field, allow you to sample different career paths for your major, and help you find a specific position that fits your passion before graduation.
I found my internship with Project Hope through the Career Services newsletter and they even connected me with an SU alum working there. My global health classes and my job on campus helped set me apart from the other applicants and allow me to thrive in this position.”
Danielle Lebar | Sociology ’17
Career and Salary Possibilities
A bachelor’s degree in sociology prepares you for careers that require cultural competency, such as in nonprofits, NGOs, marketing, management, personnel and social policy or as a sociology teacher/professor or law student. It also prepares you as someone who can think, write, speak and see the world beyond the individual.
Career and Salary Examples for Sociology Majors:
- Human Resources (HR) Generalist: $45,592
- Clinical Research Coordinator: $36,752 – $64,429
- Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization: $40,000
- Marketing Coordinator: $35,000
- Sales and Marketing Coordinator: $38,750
Career & Professional Development provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
Classroom discussions and assessments help you practice the skill of combining a variety of facts, data, beliefs and patterns of behavior into multiple logical views. Stories, beliefs and common sense opinions are deconstructed, and then reconstructed into multiple alternative possibilities, allowing you to recognize cultural diversity or cultural relativism. You’ll practice abstract thinking, but traditional analysis is also included through reading journal articles on various topics. You’ll also develop oral and written interpersonal communications skills, and learn how to clearly and effectively write and present your ideas.
You create your own learning contracts, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to develop individual projects. In the past, students have organized fundraisers for nonprofits; created movies about eugenics, inequality in Winchester and slang; created and implemented personal research; performed cost-benefit analyses on communication technology for local law enforcement; and developed a path analysis, pamphlets, application forms and comparisons with other institutions to create and maintain a citizen advisory board for a hospital.
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
Join the Honors Program
The Honors Program is a multidisciplinary Honors Program for students who are curious, creative, self-motivated, and eager to engage in their education and community.
Not only do Honors Program students partake in honors courses that emphasize collaboration, service, and communication, but they will also have the opportunity to develop aspects of the program based on their own interests and goals. By participating in the Honors Program you will acquire the tools, knowledge and experiences necessary to make meaningful contributions to your community – whether it be globally, locally, or specific to your life’s work. You will have access to unique courses, exciting experiences and a community of peers and faculty who never stop asking questions and striving for excellence.
Imagine participating in interesting conversations led by engaging professors who’ve already done what you dream of doing. You’ll be in a small class — the average class size is approximately 12 students — with professors who know your name, care about your success and provide advice as you pursue your academic and career goals.
Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFull Biography
Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFull Biography
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions and accepts applications throughout the year. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admission materials, and find our admissions standards.
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks. You will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
My favorite part of the GEL trip to Uganda was getting to interact with our translators. They were both men, and about the same age as me, but had completely different lives than me. Yet we all found excitement in similar things, like tossing around a ball or Frisbee. It was just really interesting to see that even in a country and culture that is so different from where I live, I still found similarities and made friends with people that are my own age. It’s very humbling to be back. I have always been conscious and skeptical about the fact that I have so much without having had to work for it, and this trip really emphasized that for me. I grew up in a predominantly white school district where most of my classmates’ families had a lot of money, and the kids didn’t realize how lucky they were to have everything that they did. This trip has certainly made me more aware of how much I have and made me more grateful for everything I do have.
Kyle Hooven ’20 | Psychology & Sociology double major
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.