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College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
cas@ship.edu  
www.ship.edu/cas
(717) 477-1151

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Grove Hall 428
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1735
bjdeni@ship.edu
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Undergraduate
Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371
provost@ship.edu 

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The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016
GradSchool@ship.edu

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Sociology


Sociology studies issues like family stability, crime, poverty, racism, and the impact of of social changes over time and across social boundaries. Sociology majors work in areas that focus on helping improve the life chances of people in all aspects of society.

Sociology at Ship

Sociology is the study of shared human interaction in social groups. This approach focuses on how our social structures and organizations influence our behavior and our opportunities in life based on our membership in various social groups. For example, we know that men make more money than women, that white Americans live longer than black Americans, and that poor people actually pay a greater portion of their income in taxes than wealthy people. Sociological research has clarified these patterns and many others. Sociologists often work with stakeholders to change policies and improve social conditions for groups in our society.

Students have many questions about human behavior at the macro level. For example, how has the recent economic downturn affected various social groups differently? Sociological research can help find the differences between such groups. The sociology program at Shippensburg offers an award-winning faculty who receive excellent evaluations for teaching, and who are noted for being available to assist students. All students have a faculty advisor and all scheduling is done on a one-to-one basis. As a result, faculty get to know their advisees. They help students plan an academic program that fits their needs, and assist students with issues such as internships, graduate school information, and career counseling.

Admission and Degree Requirements

The sociology program at Shippensburg consists of a core of required courses and a wide array of elective options. Research skills are developed in computer labs where students learn how to analyze and interpret data. All students are also encouraged to participate in an internship to complement their academic and career interests.
The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology requires 36 credits of sociology courses, which includes a core of seven required courses and five electives. Students must take:

  • Introduction to Sociology: Society and Diversity
  • Sociological Practice
  • Social Stratification
  • Introduction to Social Research
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Classical Sociological Theory
  • Senior Seminar

These courses provide the core concepts and skills that are needed in sociology. Students then apply and enhance what they have learned through sociology electives, which include courses on topics such as deviance and crime, children and family, health care, disabilities, gender, sexuality, immigration, religion, and global society.
Students must also complete 48-54 credits of general education courses and recommended electives. All students must take 9 credits of a language or show equivalent competence. The remaining 20 credits required for graduation are taken from allied areas and free electives, and many students use these to complete a minor course of study.

Careers in Sociology

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is a popular major for students pursuing careers in:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Human and social services administration and advocacy
  • Health services
  • Nonprofit organizations, including higher education
  • Law and criminal justice
  • Policy planning and implementation
  • Research and data analysis

Shippensburg’s program places an emphasis on developing writing and analytical thinking skills through classroom assignments, extracurricular experiences and internships. In addition, students develop critical research and analytical skills as applied to various aspects of human society, including racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and socio-economic diversity.

We offer a high-quality program that facilitates both post-baccalaureate employment and admission to graduate programs. Recent job placements include Area Office of Aging, case manager with troubled youth, domestic violence victims' adult advocate, human resources assistant, Project Forward Leap, security police for the United State Supreme Court, and the Department of Defense. Students from our program have been accepted and successfully completed advanced degrees at institutions such as the University of Maryland, Texas Tech University, Florida State University, and the University of Virginia.

Get Involved

The department strongly encourages students to participate and works with them to create internships suited to their needs and interests. Internships are very valuable because they give students the opportunity to combine theoretical knowledge with real-life experiences, and in some cases, they have led to employment with the agency. Illustrations of recent internship placements include:

  • Abraxis, a residential treatment facility for adjudicated youths
  • Dauphin County Juvenile Probation Office
  • Family Support Services for children and adults with mental disabilities
  • Franklin County Office of Aging
  • State Museum of Pennsylvania Field School in Historical Archaeology
  • Planned Parenthood
  • American Red Cross

Students who qualify may join Alpha Kappa Delta, an International Sociology Honor Society that recognizes sociology majors who have excelled academically. Additionally, the department sponsors an active Sociology/Anthropology Club, which offers programs, travels to interesting sites, and provides community outreach opportunities.