What is Sociology?
The sociology curriculum is intended to provide an understanding of
the interactions and workings of societies, their institutions,
organizations and groups. Through an introduction to the basic
concepts, theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches of the
discipline, students are familiarized with the sociological
imagination, encouraging a deeper understanding of the relationships
between personal experience (one’s own and others’) and the social
world. Courses not only acquaint students with diverse cultures and
social structures but also emphasize the dynamics of power and
inequality on local, national and global levels, as they operate
through race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. Our curriculum
emphasizes the concepts and practice of social justice. Built into
courses and the curriculum are opportunities for students to develop
agency and a sense of social responsibility by critically engaging the
social world outside the classroom. The experiential focus of the
curriculum includes participation in international study,
community-based service and learning and internships.

The department emphasizes the active engagement of our students in
sociological inquiry. Toward that end, many courses are designed to
teach students the basics of the theory construction and methodological
processes. Our courses encourage students to make their own
discoveries about human social experiences, and all seniors are
required to synthesize and apply what they have learned in the
completion of a faculty-mentored senior project.

The department offers a variety of support services for student
research including the student-run sociology lab, where advanced majors
serve as tutors helping others with course papers and research
projects. While the department’s curriculum provides a strong
foundation for graduate work in the discipline, our strength is in the
development of strong critical and analytical skills as well as our
support of writing and oral presentation skills and computer and visual
literacy, all of which are essential for success in any chosen life
course. In the tradition of a liberal arts education, the sociology
curriculum is designed to promote in our students a sense of curiosity
about the diverse ways humans create, transform and adapt to their
surroundings, self-reflection and appreciation of perspectives and
experiences outside their own, and public intellectualism through
attentive, creative and articulate engagement with community affairs
and social issues.

The department has partnered with community based learning programs
to offer a variety of courses where students engage in organized
service activities that address community needs while offering
structured opportunities to reflect on those activities in ways that
promote active learning and personal development. Our campus-community
programs have offered sociology majors the chance to work with
children, seniors, persons with disabilities and farmers, as well as
participate in programs designed to advocate for the poor, the environment and victims of violence.

Working in Sociology
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Interest in learning about people and cultures
  • Interest in understanding social structures and human behavior
  • Ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing
  • Interest in social research
  • Ability to collect and analyze data
  • Desire to help others
  • Well-developed sense of curiosity

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles

Sociology Professor
Social Worker
Recreational Therapist
Rehabilitation Counselor
Marriage/Family Therapist
Program Director
Child Welfare Officer
Probation Officer
Substance Abuse Social Worker
Urban Planner
Human Resource Manager
Social and Community Service Manager


Learning More About Religious Studies

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library
  • Visit the SLU Sociology Department website
  • Check out Sociology course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in Sociology about the major. Click here for a list of possible questions to ask.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. Click here for information on how to find a professional, contacting them, and a list of possible questions.
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU
African Studies
African-American Studies
Asian Studies
Canadian Studies
Caribbean & Latin American Studies
European Studies
Francophone Studies
German Studies

Global Studies
Japanese Studies
Latin American Studies
Native American Studies