Understanding Social Behavior and Social Systems
Whether you choose Sociology as your major or part of a double major, include it as a minor or simply take a couple of courses, you will gain understanding of how human behaviors affect and are affected by social systems and structures. The deeper you go, the more you will also learn to research, analyze, interpret and present the data needed to build more efficient and equitable communities that improve people’s lives.
The American Sociological Association describes sociology as “a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies” — a discipline that provides “an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology, and economics”.
At the macro level, sociologists study the way in which society is organized, how it operates, and what factors contribute to social stability or social change. At the micro level, sociologists are interested in the study of human relationships and interactions and how people create society and respond to its influences in their daily lives.
Career Paths in Sociology
Sociology helps prepare students for a number of career paths, ranging from criminal justice and law to social services, education and health care. The broad range of skills — writing, conceptual comprehension, observation, interviewing, statistical analysis, interpretive analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving — make them highly sought after by employers.
The Sociology major at Bemidji State University will prepare students for employment through an internship option or for graduate school through the thesis option. For students planning on post-graduate education, the scope of sociological study makes it an excellent choice for undergraduate preparation for a number of fields.
Majors and Minors
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Bemidji State University provides a strong foundation of core courses in social movements, theory and social psychology while focusing on issues of race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, poverty and economics, and education and careers. Coursework concentrates on statistics, research methods and analysis, and writing and oral presentation — all valued skills for any professional career path.
- Electives: Students choose at least two upper-level courses in environmental sociology, family and society, social and ethical issues in health and medicine or labor economics. At least one elective option includes a faculty-mentored research project.
- Senior capstone: All sociology majors complete a senior thesis of original research work and present at the annual BSU Student Scholarship and Creative Achievement Conference.
The Sociology minor pairs well with any non-sociology major.
Double Majors and Minors
Sociology students are encouraged to pair the major with a minor or a double major in another discipline to broaden skills sets and career options. Popular pairings include economics, political science, business administration, environmental studies and leadership.
BSU Sociology Club
The Sociology Club provides leadership and service opportunities and the chance to network with peers and faculty outside of the classroom.