Students posing outside a window during a study abroad trip

Sociology

Unlock a world of possibilities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Commonwealth University. Our program offers you the chance to explore the intricate social structures, cultural dynamics, and pressing social issues that shape our lives.

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.A.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Illustration of Mountain

Sociology challenges students to understand the powerful role that social context plays in human life and history.  ociologists examine how factors like cultures and social structures guide and impact people and their communities. The “sociological imagination” equips students to think clearly about social problems, social change, and the social conditions needed for healthy communities where people can realize their potential. Our faculty provides students with substantive knowledge about how social life works and why it matters. A diverse social science, sociology brings both quantitative and qualitative methods to bear on the conditions of human existence.  

Sociology provides a fresh and indispensable way of seeing yourself and the people and groups around you. Training in sociology helps you be ready for a rapidly changing world. Our program will enhance your analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. You will learn to do social science research. All majors conclude their degree with a high-impact capstone experience, so all of our students have real world research or internship experiences before graduation. 

Course Delivery Format

  Bloomsburg

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Lock Haven

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Mansfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Clearfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

Courses and Curriculum

On top of all else, you’ll love your classes while you’re on the road to a rewarding future. Our sociology program offers you the opportunity to take courses in various substantive areas in the discipline, as well as ample opportunity to explore personal interests and achieve academic success. Faculty specializations mean you’ll have the opportunity to take fascinating courses, including:  

  • Families in Society
  • Racial and Ethnic Relations
  • Globalization and Culture
  • Medical Sociology
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Sociology of Sports
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Sociology of Education
  • Firearms and Americans
  • People and Production
  • Society and Economy
  • Population Studies
  • Deviant Behavior
  • Rural America 

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

Sociology Minor

Degree Requirements - Minor

SOC Sociology BA Degree Program

Successful sociology students will be able to:

  1. Use the sociological imagination to understand how social conditions shape and guide individuals, communities, and the course of history.
  2. Understand and analyze social life as a social construction guided by shared and negotiated meanings that impact action and social interaction.
  3. Use theories and concepts to understand social science data, social and political issues, and substantive areas of sociological inquiry.
  4. Synthesize and/or integrate sociological knowledge (e.g., evidence, literature, concepts, and theories) into coherent arguments, hypotheses, or statements.
  5. Develop a research question, research plan, analyze quantitative or qualitative data, and report results.
  6. Use sociological understandings to participate in civic life.

Successful sociology minors will be able to:

  1. Use the sociological imagination to understand how social conditions shape and guide individuals, communities, and the course of history.
  2. Understand and analyze social life as a social construction guided by shared and negotiated meanings that impact action and social interaction.
  3. Use theories and concepts to understand social science data, social and political issues, and substantive areas of sociological inquiry 

Sociology at Commonwealth University

Illustration of Mountain

Hands-on internships and education lead to vast opportunities for your further studies and career.

Sociology majors, particularly those less interested in research, are encouraged to consider internships during their junior or senior year. This is an especially valuable option for students that are not planning on pursuing graduate study. Interns get placement in a wide variety of settings based on future career interests.

Recent internship placements include:

  • Community Strategies Group (Housing and Redevelopment Non-profit in Columbia County)
  • Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine
  • Dean of Students Office (Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg)
  • Krislund Camp and Conference Center
  • Recovery Centers of America
  • Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education
  • Northumberland County Behavioral Health
  • Columbia County Prison
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Triose Freight Management  
  • Danville State Hospital

In consultation with the faculty internship supervisor and the supervisor at the internship site, we aim to make sure the student has a rewarding and enriching experience and one in which the tools of the sociological perspective are employed. 

We encourage our students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. Studying abroad gives you the chance to closely study and personally experience different cultures while living overseas and fulfilling major requirements. When combined with the independent study option in sociology, this can serve as a student's capstone experience!

Sociology majors are strongly encouraged to find an opportunity for experiential learning outside the classroom. In addition to the capstone research option, majors often do independent research or take our upper-level research courses. Every year multiple Sociology students present their work at a professional conference. The faculty are also involved individually in research and welcome the opportunity to involve motivated and diligent students in their work.

The sociology program has close ties with the Center for Community Research and Consulting, which provides numerous opportunities every year for undergraduates to get involved in diverse applied sociological research projects.

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) awards provide summer stipend support to students participating in summer research, scholarship, or creative activities. Students can receive a maximum stipend of up to $6,000 for a full-time project during the 12 weeks of summer session.

A bachelor’s in Sociology doesn’t restrict you to studying sociology in graduate school. The CU sociology program prepares students for success in a wide variety of strong graduate programs where they earn both Masters and Doctoral degrees!  

Some recent grad school placements and degrees earned include:

  • Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg – M.Ed. College Student Affairs
  • Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg – M.S. Instructional Design and Technology
  • Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg – M.B.A. Master of Business Administration
  • Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg – M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction
  • Kent State University – M.A. Higher Education Administration
  • West Chester University – M.S. Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Penn State University – M.Ed. Counselor Education
  • Penn State University – Ph.D. Rural Sociology
  • Portland State University – M.A. Sociology
  • SUNY Albany – M.S. Epidemiology
  • Columbia University – M.P.H. Public Health  
  • Temple University – M.P.H. Public Health  
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University – M.P.H. Master of Public Health
  • Penn State University – M.Ed. Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
  • Drexel University – M.A. Counseling
  • University of Delaware – M.A. Sociology  
  • University of Kansas – M.A. Sociology
  • University of Maryland – Ph.D. Sociology
  • Lehigh University – M.A. Sociology  
  • George Mason University – M.A. Sociology  
  • Temple University – Ph.D. Sociology
  • Purdue University – Ph.D. Sociology 

Commonwealth University sociology graduates land a variety of rewarding jobs doing things that really matter in the world:

  • Community School Coordinator – Philadelphia Public Schools
  • Director of Human Services – Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network
  • Associate Director of Case Management and Outreach – University of Pennsylvania
  • Domestic Violence Advocate – Equinox of Albany, NY
  • Clinical Research Coordinator – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Director – Carbon County Housing Authority
  • Associate Director of Operations – University of Pennsylvania
  • Director of Enrollment Communications and Graduate Admissions – Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor – Pennsylvania Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Senior Research Associate – The Urban Institute
  • Research Associate – Public Health Research Corporation
  • Deputy Director – Fors Marsh Group (Market Research)
  • Federal Policy & Advocacy Specialist – Upstream USA (Women’s Health Non-profit)
  • Senior Talent and Employee Experience Generalist (Human Resources) – YPrime
  • Patient Access Representative – Geisinger Bloomsburg Medical Addiction Treatment Clinic
  • Climbing Coordinator – Stanford University Recreation and Wellness
  • Director of Quest – Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg  
  • Human Capital Management Consultant – ADP  
  • Human Resources Associate – OPTiMO Information Technology 

Strong Curriculum

Consider double majoring! A major in Sociology combines well with Criminal Justice, Social Work, Business, Psychology, Communication Studies, and more. Or customize your education and create additional career options through a selection of minors and concentrations in those areas.

  • Political Science (minor and major)
  • Marketing (major concentration)
  • Communications (minor and major)
  • Languages and Cultures (minor and major)
  • Psychology (minor and major)
  • Criminal Justice (minor and major)
  • Pre-Law (major concentration)
  • M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.B.A. Master of Business Administration
  • M.S. Information Technology
  • M.S. Instructional Design and Technology
  • M.S. School Counseling
  • M.S. Sport and Performance Psychology
  • M.S. Sport Management
  • M.S.W. Social Work
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Practical Learning

Professional Preparation

What Makes a Good Student?

  • Interested in the “big picture"
  • Interested in discovering the often-unexamined reasons for events and behavior
  • Interested in other cultures and communities
  • Open to a wide variety of career paths

High Impact Experiences

  • Required internship or research project
  • Course-embedded projects
  • Professional conference attendance
  • Center for Community Research and Consulting
  • Teaching assistant
  • Research assistant

Careers

A wide range of employers value the preparation a degree in sociology provides. You’ll be ready to understand and work with diverse groups in various sorts of organizations. CU sociology graduates go on to rewarding careers.

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Public Health
  • Non-profit organization administration
  • Social Work and social services
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business, including marketing and human resources
  • Academia (i.e., college teaching)
  • Research (in a variety of settings)
  • Local, State and Federal Government
Sheira Sosa outside on a bench in front of a fountain, smiling.

Some of my friends who've graduated from other schools weren’t able to use their major hands-on while in school that when they graduated they were shocked. I was able to go to Boston, and present my own research, I've been able to write many articles on topics that interest me, and I've been able to take courses in a hands-on and interactive curriculum.

Sheira Sosa '19
Sociology with Criminal Justice Minor
Sneha Patel smiling at camera, wearing a grey sweater.

My favorite thing about being a sociology major is how you have unlimited options in your future career. Since I'm a double major, I love that sociology has broadened my perspectives in the criminal justice system.

Sneha Patel '21
Criminal Justice and Sociology
Sneha Patel smiling at camera, wearing a grey sweater.
Sheira Sosa outside on a bench in front of a fountain, smiling.

Program Contacts

CommonwealthU University Employee

Katie Ely

  • Professor of Criminal Justice
  • Lock Haven
Bosworth

Jeff Bosworth

  • Chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy / Associate Professor
  • Mansfield

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