Sociology Department

Sociology student Tatyana Lats sitting on curb

Sociology is the systematic study of groups, how they influence individuals, and the effects of their collective interaction.

See career paths and connect with students who have majored or minored in Sociology at SPU here.

The central premise of sociology is that we cannot understand individuals apart from the groups to which they belong and the structure of their societies. Coursework is designed to help you gain perspective on yourself and the world around you through an analysis of social structure and culture.


Students majoring in sociology find jobs in government, business, industry, and private research agencies. Others hold jobs in planning agencies and research departments of city, county, state, and federal government, or in religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, and many other settings.

The sociological perspective is also invaluable if you want to serve in any of the helping professions. Advanced positions in these areas often require graduate training.

The Department of Sociology’s goals for you are to:

  • Develop a sociological imagination that allows you to critically apply sociological perspectives to social institutions and problems.
  • Learn the skills of research design, data collection, and data analysis.
  • Explore the interrelationship between Christian faith and sociology so you can critically and faithfully apply your sociological knowledge in your work, community, and spiritual life.

Welcome to Sociology!

Joshua Tom, assistant professor of sociology, offers a few words of welcome and introduction as part of Orientation 2020.

Sociology student Heather Bean at Tent City

Choose from six minors

Sociology-related minors offer you a deeper perspective, no matter what your major. Choose from Sociology, Urban Studies, Women’s Studies, or Anthropology (biological, cultural, linguistics).