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Sociology is the systematic and scientific study of social life, from peer groups to mass media to the global society. The Sociology Program at Sacred Heart University is value driven and the faculty provide a course of study that fosters awareness of social conflict and inequality while highlighting practices and structures that promote healthy self-development, cohesive family and community, and a fair and just society. 

Our students study the social nature of humans and the structure of our social world.  We encourage students to be mindful of social problems such as class inequality, ethnic conflict, family breakdown, and alienation and to think in terms of solutions. Students learn social theory and research methodologies to better comprehend major societal developments and to investigate them. They conduct program and policy assessments. During their senior year, students work closely with a faculty member as they conduct original research for their senior thesis. Our graduates find this training in applied sociology to be indispensable in their chosen careers, for example, as they promote education reform, reduce discrimination in the workplace, and counsel young adults.

In contrast to many Sociology programs, we have a single dedication to the bachelor's degree in sociology. This allows for a more coherent and focused course of study. Our curriculum is designed around the themes of social change and ethics.

The department also offers a minor and an associate's degree in Sociology.

Sociology Program Goals

To foster:

  1. An understanding of the structure and dynamics of social life
  2. An understanding of the processes and consequences of social change
  3. An understanding of the relationship between individual life and social life
  4. The ability to apply the scientific method and other critical and analytical skills needed to understand social reality in an unbiased way
  5. The ability to conduct ethical analysis
  6. An understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and complexity
  7. An awareness of social inequality and injustice
  8. The ability to communicate and integrate ideas in both oral and written forms.

Student Testimonials

"The classes pushed me to dig a little deeper into myself.  It changed my perception on many issues in life."   

"The Sociology program challenges you as a person.  It makes you think of things or subjects in ways you never would or did."   

"Professors take an active interest in their students."

Latest News

Sociology Professor Participates in White House Summit on Working Families

July 2, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The call from the White House aide came on a Friday morning in June, and on the following Monday, Colleen Butler-Sweet was in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of The U.S. Department of Labor, attending the White House Summit on Working Families. An assistant professor of sociology at Sacred Heart University, Butler-Sweet’s road to Washington began at a conference in New York in mid-May. In many ways, though, it had started much earlier thanks to her professional focus on changing families and her specialized work in transracial adoption.

Prof Begins History Project with Irish American Immigrants

May 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Jerry Reid, professor of anthropology and sociology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University, recently began an oral history project with students on the lives of Irish American immigrants. With the help of students from his “Ethnography of Ireland” class, Reid records student interviews with Irish-American immigrants using high-quality digital audio recorders. The recordings and transcripts will then be archived with the Connecticut Irish American Historical Society and, hopefully, at the University as well.

Sociology Course Working With Local Habitat for Humanity Chapter to Survey Homeowners

October 15, 2013

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – This fall, Sacred Heart University’s Department of Sociology is introducing students to another side of community service, conducting background research to help Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County provide affordable housing for Bridgeport-area families. A large component of the course “Housing and Homelessness in the United States” is working with Habitat to survey owners of the homes that the charity has helped build. Students are designing and administering the survey. Then at the end of the semester, they will present the findings to Habitat. “The project with Habitat not only enhances the learning experience in the classroom, but also is performing an important service outside of the classroom,” says Gerald Reid, professor of sociology and associate dean of SHU’s College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to classroom hours and conducting the survey, students are also interviewing Habitat families. The students will take walking tours of local Habitat neighborhoods and will have the option of volunteering for a weekend home-building project. One of the students, junior Cristin Antimisiaris, has worked with Habitat since her freshman year and has spent two spring breaks in Indiana and Georgia building homes for the organization. But the course, she says, has given her a whole new insight into the people that Habitat helps.