Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Sociology studies issues like family stability, crime, poverty, racism, and the impact 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. 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, white Americans live longer than black Americans, and 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.

Why Study Sociology at Ship?

The Sociology and Anthropology Department has an award-winning faculty who receive excellent evaluations for teaching, and who are noted for being available to assist students. Faculty advisors work closely with our students and all scheduling is done on a one-to-one basis. As a result, faculty get to know their advisees. They will help you plan an academic program that fits your needs, and assist you with issues such as internships, graduate school information, and career counseling.

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.

The department strongly encourages you to participate in internships. We will work with you to create an internship experience suited to your needs and interests. Internships give you the opportunity to combine theoretical knowledge with real-life experiences, and in some cases, they have led to employment with the agency. 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

Career Opportunities

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

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.

The salary range for sociologists in Pennsylvania is $34,000 - $71,000.

Major Requirements

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 Thinking
  • Social Inequality
  • Elements of Social Research
  • Internship
  • 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.

The Sociology/Anthropology Department also offers minors in sociology and anthropology.

The undergraduate catalog details specific course requirements.

Student Groups

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.

Contact the Sociology/Anthropology Department

Sociology/Anthropology Department
Grove Hall 428, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1735