Sociology (minor)

What you will study

The sociology program is organized by different threads or dimensions:

  • First are foundational courses that give you a basic overview of the field and some initial experience applying sociological ideas to work on specific features of our way of life. Here you see how sociology applies in all facets of human experience, from figuring out how people act and think online to how people from different social classes or cultural groups see each other. Some courses you take are Introduction to Social Science, Working in Diverse Groups, and Social Movements and Social Change.
  • Next is the core in political economics. Some of the most important forces shaping how a society works are the society’s economic and political systems. Because these are so central to what happens in society, you need to learn a lot about them. You are concerned about how people make their livings, where our economy is heading, who gets elected to office, and why political decisions are made. Courses here include American Politics and Economic Environment.
  • You also focus a great deal on research and practice in the discipline. Sociology emphasizes the use of valid and reliable data to inform its discussions: this is a big part of what makes a sociologist different from others who may have social concerns but are not as aware of the facts needed to explore them carefully. You take courses in Behavioral Science Research Methods and Probability and Statistics, employing the latest computer technologies. You can even learn how to use data to create geographic maps to help others understand social trends, like crime rates, voting patterns, and changing attitudes and values. In various courses you learn interviewing skills. You also do a mentored internship at a site related to the discipline and your career goals, where you can practice using your sociological observation and analytical skills to meet your internship learning goals and gain experience in seeing how to apply sociology in the workplace. You also learn how to translate your sociological skills into running programs to tackle social issues, through courses like Fundraising and Grant Writing or Program Evaluation. The Alverno research and practice curriculum is very strong and often helps graduates get jobs or enter graduate school.
  • You take a variety of topic courses that you choose to enhance your individual interests. You choose the ones most interesting to you and most relevant to your life. Some courses from which to choose are The Family, Criminology, Case Management, Community Development, American Political Behavior, Comparative Social Policy, Cross-Cultural Social Psychology, and several others.
Sociology Support Intermediate
SOC-220Social Movements & Social Change4
MGT-210Economic Environment3
POL-225American Politics4
Sociology Support Advanced
SOC-320Families and Society4
or SOC-321 Criminology & Social Justice
Take 6 credits of 300/400 level SOC electives6

For 130 years, Alverno College has been dedicated to the education of women, preparing them for lives of personal and professional distinction and meaningful engagement with the world. Alverno extends this mission to men as well, through graduate and adult classes. We are a Catholic, liberal arts college with a curriculum so unique, educators from around the world come to Alverno to learn how we teach. Alverno’s abilities-based approach to learning ensures our graduates will learn more in class and retain knowledge longer. Students do not receive traditional grades, rather, they are assessed by faculty, community assessors, peers and themselves. Our small class sizes ensure students receive uncommon access to faculty. With an average student to teacher ratio of 10:1, you are guaranteed an individualized learning experience.