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  • Available as major (B.A. degree) and minor

    A political rally at an arena. A family with 10 children. An alienated Asian population in a southwestern U.S. city. Christians living in community in a secular society. Problems and patterns. Conflicts and celebrations. Sociology — the study of human social behavior and group activities.

  • As a sociology major, you will understand the classical and historical foundations of sociology, including the major topics and methods that sociologists use. Examine the groups, cultures, organizations and social institutions that unite and divide people. Study the patterns of social behavior; community life; and traditional social institutions, such as family and religion.

    Delve into the complexities and nuances of social systems, and the behaviors of societies and people groups. Define marriage and family from a Christian perspective. Identify and discuss urban problems and how societies function. Look at the dynamics of social change.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Study social theory, ethnic relations, social problems, family issues, cultural differences, religious trends, advanced research and statistics.
    • Design and complete a senior research project, such as the study of cohabitation, poverty, religious conversion, child soldiers, cyber crimes, disabilities, aging, sex trafficking, domestic violence, homelessness, divorce.
    • Work with sociology faculty who are academically strong , spiritually committed, and practically engaged in community life and ministry beyond the classroom.
    • And so much more!

    Focus on your particular area of interest for your study and research. You may be drawn to social organization, stratification and mobility; racial and ethnic relations; the family; urban, rural, political and comparative sociology; gender relations; demography; gerontology; criminology; or the sociology of religion.

    Learn to use sociological research methods. Gather data using historical analysis, comparative analysis, fieldwork, surveys or other quantitative techniques. Construct theories to explain certain societal trends. Discover research-based ways to help people make better decisions or manage their lives more effectively. Discuss how you can inform and influence educators, lawmakers, administrators and those who are interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy.

    Our graduates with a degree in sociology enter graduate school to pursue advanced degrees in the social science field, or pursue careers with a companies or agencies.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Attend Focus Leadership Institute (FLI). This is a one-semester study at the FLI location in Colorado Springs, Colo. Journey through the hows and whys of the Christian faith. Gather with other university student leaders. Explore a unique academic approach to leadership in the areas of marriage, family, church, society and comparative worldviews. Learn practical ways to live every aspect of your life to the glory of God alone. 

    Engage in a study abroad program with the American Studies Program, Washington, D.C.; the China Studies Program; or the Russian Studies Program.

    Volunteer with Marriage Inc. This is a cooperative effort of organizations and concerned citizens — bankers, teachers, counselors, doctors, businessmen and business women, pastors, parents and grandparents — in the Kankakee, Ill., community who are committed to building a healthy culture of marriage.


    Sociology may be the career path for you if you are:

    • interested in working with people
    • a person who wants to improve our society
    • strong in written and oral communication skills
    • a good listener
    • curious
    • observant
    • patient
    • self-motivated
    • sensitive to others
    • excited about collecting, organizing and interpreting facts and numbers
    • enjoy writing and presenting reports

    Possible careers include: sociologist, professor, anthropologist, market analyst, research assistant, demographer, urban planner, human resource manager

    Possible employers include: social service agency; government agency; local, state or federal government; nonprofit organization; private business; university

    Sociology is part of the Department of Behavioral Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences.

  • Sociology Right Image
  • Learn from professors who are academically accomplished, spiritually committed and deeply engaged in community life.

  • Complete list of faculty