Sociologists study the social relationships among people - everything from passing contact between anonymous individuals to the study of global social processes- how do we group together to form societies, and how do we as individuals interact in social contexts. At Lasell the focus is on applied sociology, which means that there is an emphasis on critically thinking about social problems, oppression and social injustices, and a focus on developing skills that can be applied to bring about social change, either on the micro or the macro level. Students investigate the relationship between individuals and society with a particular focus on inequalities stemming from race or ethnicity, social class, gender, disability, sexuality and other characteristics. Different social institutions, such as family, education, religion, and economy are explored.

Through application of Lasell's Connected Learning philosophy, sociology majors have ongoing opportunities to connect theoretical concepts discussed in the classroom with practical application gained by working directly in the field through service learning or social justice activism. In their first year, all students take an introductory course in human service theory and participate in at least one service-learning or social justice project. During their first one-semester internship, students work for a community agency that provides services or a therapeutic environment for its clients. A concurrent seminar provides the academic groundwork for this internship, and a required course in basic counseling skills gives students an introduction to valuable interviewing and intervention techniques. Finally, as the culminating capstone experience in their senior year, students engage in a two-semester, intensive internship placement, also accompanied by concurrent seminars each semester. Through their internship experiences and their academic course work, students develop and practice professional skills and master the writing styles for the discipline and the profession.

Skills emphasized in the major prepare students for social services where they might do community development, political organizing, volunteer management, human resources, advocacy, small group facilitation, advertising/public relations, and educational programming. Sociology graduates are prepared for careers in a wide variety of social service settings in administration, education, public affairs, advocacy agencies, government agencies, child welfare settings, and human service agencies. The undergraduate sociology major prepares the capable student for graduate programs in areas such as social work, sociology, management, hospital administration, public health, law school and the criminal justice system.

By planning early in consultation with an academic advisor, students may be able to reduce the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree in Sociology to 3 or 3½ years.

Academic Standards for Sociology Majors

  1. Students must earn a grade of C or above in each of the following courses:
    PSYC101 Psychological Perspectives
    SOC101 Sociological Imagination
    HS101 Human Services: Systems & Skills 
    HS210 Case Management and Counseling
    SOC331 Research methods in the Social Sciences OR 
    PSYC331 Experimental Design in Psychology
  2. Students must receive a grade of C-minus or above in any required Psychology, Sociology, or Human Services course (course with one of these three prefixes) or any course that serves as a substitute or alternative for such a requirement).
  3. The foundation seminar and internship courses (HS215 and HS217) are taken as a unit, and failure to receive at least a C in either of these courses will require the student to repeat both.
  4. The senior level internship courses (HS415 and HS417) and seminar courses (HS425 and 427) form yearlong courses. Failure to receive a minimum grade of C in any one of these courses will result in the student having to repeat the entire sequence, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The following goals and associated learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete the major program of study in Sociology.

Goal 1: Knowledge in the Discipline
Upon completion of the major program of study in Sociology, students will be able to:

  1. Describe key concepts and theories within the field of Sociology
  2. Use Sociological theories to explain human behavior on individual, small group, and societal levels
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of professional codes of ethics

Goal 2: Service learning and social justice
Upon completion of the major program of study in Sociology, students will be able to:

  1. Engage in action to address the issues of justice by raising awareness or advocating for change
  2. Reflect on the results of service
  3. Recognize and describe social injustice
  4. Analyze issues that cause social and economic disparities

Goal 3: Scientific reasoning
Upon completion of the major program of study in Sociology, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate facility with different research methodologies
  2. Demonstrate ability to apply quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis
  3. Develop a substantiated argument

Goal 4: Communication within the discipline
Upon completion of the major program of study in Sociology, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in professional Sociological writing
  2. Write a senior thesis
  3. Deliver a professional presentation