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Sociology Program

“The fascination of Sociology lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives.”
Peter Berger

2018 Sociology Department Spring Party and Award Reception
Students, faculty, and invited guests at the 2018 Sociology Department Spring Party and Award Reception

Sociology focuses on the study of human relationships. Society and its many groups are our subject matter. As the American Sociological Association has noted, "sociology BA graduates have an advantage in understanding human behavior on three levels:

  • how individuals behave in organizations, families, and communities
  • the ways in which these social units function as groups
  • the wider social, political, and economic contexts in which decisions are made and in which groups function."

The sociology program has five major learning goals, as follows:

  1. Students will understand basic sociological concepts, theories, paradigms in their historical context
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between sociological theory, research design, and interpretation and engage in work developing their research literacy
  3. Students will understand and engage in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analytical processes
  4. Students will be able to communicate, in written and oral form, sociological arguments
  5. Students will be able to exercise their sociological imaginations toward examining our social world as well as its practical uses and applications

B.A. graduates in sociology nationwide pursue a wide range of occupations. Among bachelor's degree recipients, over a quarter are employed in social services  and mental health, with clerical and administrative jobs also employing many graduates. Sociologists are particularly well-prepared to work in market research, data analytics, and policy research, all high-demand fields. Sociology degrees also prepare students for a wide variety of graduate programs, including those in public administration, social work, justice studies or criminal justice, law, and sociology itself.  Among the jobs and positions held by recent RIC sociology graduates are program manager for the City of Providence, teacher, market research project manager, director of human resources, sociology PhD candidate, and law clerk.​​

Page last updated: June 07, 2019