The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology curriculum includes rigorous courses on research methods/data analysis and social theory with electives covering areas such as family, gender, class dynamics, technology, and social movements. The Sociology major at Sacred Heart University is value driven and provides 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. Studies culminate with a high-quality thesis project, paper, and presentation. In addition, our 3 to 1 faculty to student (major) ratio, assigned advisor and mentor for the thesis project, provides each student with continuous support and collaboration from our accomplished faculty.
In general, 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 to better comprehend social issues and research methodologies to investigate them, as well as, to conduct program assessments. Our graduates find this training in applied sociology to be indispensable as they promote education reform, reduce discrimination in the workplace, counsel young adults, etc.
There are three concentrations: General Sociology (a broad-based background for professionals), Teaching (classes on family, youth, and diversity help prepare prospective teachers to better understand their students' social lives), and Social Research (designed for those interested in advanced study in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies).
With the applied sociology emphasis, we provide research opportunities throughout the course of study. This begins in the introductory course with manageable research projects such as a content analysis study of music videos identifying gender-biased imagery. It culminates with the senior thesis project which consists of conducting original empirical research on a sociological thesis of the students own choosing, writing a formal paper reporting the results of that research and the implications thereof for a particular sociological theory, and presenting and defending that work, in a face-to-face forum of sociology faculty, students, and guests. Our students have presented their senior thesis projects at professional conferences.
All students complete an internship and have been placed at public relations and advertising firms, school systems, medical and rehabilitation centers, probation offices, environmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Some of the organizations in which our students obtain internships include: Bridgeport Discovery School; United Way; Kennedy Center; Lighthouse Program; The Teen Sage; Bridgeport Department of Probation; Community Resources and Special Projects; Frank PR; Greater Bridgeport Area Continuum of Care; Habitat for Humanity; PurePoint Energy; Special Olympics; Catholic Charities; sexual assault crisis program; women's legal defense program; and Yale research laboratory.
Our graduates have been hired by school systems, hospital administrations, counseling centers, human resource departments, public relations firms, social welfare and criminal justice agencies, fashion companies, investment firms, research organizations, publishing houses, NGOs and other non-profit organizations.
Our Sociology graduates have continued on with graduate programs at Sacred Heart University (Education, Psychology, and Criminal Justice); Northeastern University (Sociology); Oxford University (Sociology); New York University (Social Work); Boston University (Sociology); Fordham University (Social Work); and UMass Boston (Rehabilitation and Counseling).
SPSS, an advanced statistical analysis software program, is provided at no cost to students. Library resources include a social science book collection and access to numerous journals online.
Yes, to learn more about our study abroad opportunities available to students, visit our study abroad website.
The Sociology program at SHU is a chapter member of Alpha Kappa Delta (International Sociology Honor Society).