The sociology department offers two areas of possible concentration for majors, each building on the core elements of the major. A concentration is not required for the major. For those interested, a concentration offers a guide to students seeking to specialize in the designated area while also signaling their expertise to potential employers and graduate schools. The concentration will be noted on a student’s transcript. You may download the Sociology Concentrations Info Sheet (.pdf) here.


  • Declared sociology major.
  • An intended concentration must be declared before the start of the senior year. 
  • Students may only choose one area of concentration.



  • Research Methods and Data Analysis Concentration
  • Health and Society Concentration

Research Methods and Data Analysis Concentration

11 credits

A concentration in Research Methods and Data Analysis requires coursework covering a broad array of research methods, including both quantitative and qualitative methods, community engaged research, and actual data analysis through coursework and senior capstone. This concentration is ideal for students interested in graduate-level study in data analysis, applied and evaluation research, epidemiology, as well as those interested in careers in government, program evaluation, public opinion polling, and a broad array of non-profit organizations. 

Required Courses in the Major (5 credits):

  • SO228 Social Theory
  • SO229 Sociological Research Design 
  • SO401 Quantitative Research Methods or SO402 Qualitative Research Methods
  • SO450 Senior Capstone (2 credits) – Must make use of a method(s) informed by course work. 


Additional Required Courses (2 credits):

  • SO401 or SO402 (both must be taken for this concentration)
  • SO390 Advanced Topics: Community Based Research 


At least one additional methods elective from the following (1 credit): 

  • SO290 Advanced Topics: Data Analysis and Visualization
  • SO311 Community Based Praxis
  • SO390 Visual Ethnography
  • Other options may become available in the department
  • Options from other departments (consult with your major advisor)


Questions about the Research Methods & Data Analysis Concentration? Contact Professor Gail Murphy-Geiss (

Health and Society Concentration

11 credits 

A concentration in Health and Society requires coursework covering research methodologies and theories of medical sociology, examining individual experience, institutional structures, laws and policies that affect health, and broader systems of inequality that lead to unequal rates of illness and access to care. This concentration is ideal for students interested in graduate-level study and social research on health and medicine, including epidemiology, as well as those interested in careers in public health, medicine or health care services, and health-related non-profit organizations. 

Required Courses (5 credits):

  • SO228 Social Theory
  • SO229 Sociological Research Design
  • SO401 Quantitative Methods or SO402 Qualitative Methods 
  • SO450 Senior Capstone (2 credits) – Focus of capstone must fit concentration; may also satisfy the community engagement requirement of the concentration


At least three courses from the following (to be completed prior to capstone) (3 credits):

  • SO246 Sociology of Health and Medicine
  • SO290 Advanced Topics: Rethinking Violence in Society
  • SO290 Advanced Topics: Global Health
  • SO290 Advanced Topics: Global Mental Health Policy
  • SO292 Sociology of Body and Health


Community Engagement Element (may or may not be for credit):

Options, subject to approval, include:

  • Internship. Possibilities include:
    • SO310 Internship in Social Organization with health organization
    • An approved independent internship with a health organization for which no credit is granted
    • Public Interest Fellowship Program internship (with health organization)
  • Approved study abroad program with a health focus and containing a community engagement or community-based research element. Students should consult with their advisor. Possible programs include those by SIT, HECUA, Augsburg, and American University.
  • Community engaged experience through the Collaborative for Community Engagement or Sociology Department Program:
  • Community-Based Research experience (e.g., SO311 Community Based Praxis (PP) or similar)
  • SO390 Community Based Research (contingent on partners in any particular year; consult with Dr. Rojo)

Capstone that involves CBR or community engagement/action with a health organization


Questions about the Health and Society Concentration? Contact Professor Wade Roberts (

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