Sociology

Two students sit on the lawn outside of Kendall Hall enjoying their lunch pizza.

Insight

Chatting with co-workers at lunch, visiting family, participating in a campus club—these are just some of the places you can practice the power of the sociological imagination and storytelling to contribute to some of the biggest challenges our society faces, from racial justice to gender equity, climate change, labor movements, immigration, LGBTQ+ issues, gender inequality, and sexualized violence.

The Sociology Department trains students in critical thinking, data collection and analysis, and a social justice perspective that highlights movements seeking equality in terms of race, class, and gender and sexuality. Our program specializes in seeking to interrogate intra- and inter-group conflict, micro- and macro-social forces, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Students learn to reflect on their own situatedness but also how to practice sociological empathy that enables them to act as global citizens and allies to underrepresented groups. By the end of the program, students are well versed in the skills of public sociology, which blends sociological data, theory, and perspectives, rendering them useful for nonsociologists in addressing current social issues. Our students are adept at doing sociology in any setting they find themselves in.

Join a passionate and student-centered faculty and a diverse and engaged student body to challenge received ideology and build a better world.

Experience

Committed to the notion that data alone doesn’t tell a story, students learn how to merge data and theory to frame problems and solutions to local, national, and global phenomena. Students learn how to collect and work with data, and in doing so, become better consumers of the endless stream of bewildering information that fills contemporary life. In all of our classes, students learn about and practice theory to better map and understand the social world. A unique year-long theory sequence of courses allows students to learn about the foundational classical social theories that underpin our understanding of modernity followed by foundational contemporary theories that shake up our understanding of contemporary social life.

Our curriculum offers students the chance to focus on micro, social-psychological scales or on macro, planetary scales. Though race, class, and gender underpin every course in our curriculum, the department offers specialized classes in all three. Additionally, classes such as Women, Work, and Family; Global Perspectives on Ethnicity and Nationalism; the Prison Industrial Complex; and Environmental Sociology apply the theories of race, class, and gender inequality in various contexts.

Lastly, the cohort model has students take the methods, theory, and capstone sequence as part of a cohort. Thus, students can expect to take multiple classes with many of the same students. This allows students to develop meaningful connections and helpful relationships. Other opportunities for connection include the Sociological Association of Chico State (SACS) student group, our local chapter of the national sociology honors society AKD, and the honors program in the major, where students work with individual faculty to complete an honors thesis.

Outlook

Students graduate from our program with passion and concrete skills. Hands-on courses, focusing on grant-writing, internships, and research practice, prepare students for life after graduation by developing actionable skills beyond critical thinking. Our unique course on maneuvering the job market with a sociology degree helps students to identify careers in which they can thrive and teaches them how to secure jobs in these fields.

Some of our alumni work for regional, national and global nonprofit organizations. Others pursue careers in teaching; university life; nursing; medicine; nonprofits, public, and private administration; and cutting-edge technology. Some of our students go on to master’s and doctorate programs in sociology and become professors or professional researchers. We are honored that some of our alumni have returned to teach courses in our department.

We believe regardless of whether a graduate has the title “sociologist,” all our graduates have gained the skills and tools to practice sociological thinking in any career or social environment they enter. Our students, wherever they end up, are on the front lines of social change. 

Programs

Undergraduate

Bachelor's

Minors