Curious about how large social groups function? Wonder how your birthplace or ethnic identity or gender contributes to how you experience the world around you? Want to make a positive impact on society one day?
As a Central sociology major, you’ll gain valuable hands-on, career-related experience early on. Real-world activities, such as internships and service-learning opportunities, will serve to enhance your exploration of the social dynamics of family, education, race, ethnicity, gender, global development, popular culture and religion. Your studies will be guided by successfully published professors whose academic pursuits have taken them all over the world.
Along the way, you’ll acquire the critical thinking, writing, data analysis and presentation skills you’ll need to begin building a stellar résumé that leads to a successful career or graduate school program.
Central College offers a wide variety of internship opportunities to gain practical experience. The sociology department also has established internships where students can learn by observing social work, law enforcement and other professionals in their field. Recent internships sites include:
Sociology majors take courses that provide a solid background in the discipline and prepare them for careers and graduate school by focusing on critical thinking, writing, data analysis and presentation skills.
In Principles of Sociology, the foundation course for the sociology major, students explore the sociological imagination, which enables them to better see the degree to which their lives are shaped by the relationships they have with others. The department carries that basic insight throughout all sociology courses, such as Sociology of the Family, Criminology, Sociology of Sport, and Schools and Societies, along with required courses such as Research Methods and Sociological Theory.
Learn more about Sociology in the course catalog.
Jeremia Njeru, B.S., M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology
Dawn Reece, B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, interest areas include: gender, families, family stress, motherhood, race and ethnicity, and sports
Shawn Wick, B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology, interest areas include: international development, globalization, sociology of education and organizations
Jonathan Witt, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Sociology, interest areas include: social problems, social inequality, popular culture, religion and sociological theory
As you investigate current research in a variety of sociological disciplines, you’ll come to learn the skills needed to one day conduct your own meaningful research. Join your fellow sociology students and travel to the Iowa Sociological Association’s annual meeting, where you’ll be encouraged to present your research papers and posters.
In the end, Central sociology graduates have reported that they have been better prepared for graduate school than their peers from other colleges and universities.
Each year the Gordo F. De Jong Award is presented to a deserving sociology graduate — one day this could be you. This award program also provides funding for Central students to travel to, and present at, sociology conferences.
As a sociology major, you’ll be encouraged to study abroad and gain personal perspectives on the dynamics of other cultures. While there, you’ll have the opportunity to take sociology electives that will count toward your major and even pursue internship experiences. This is a great way to add depth and value to your résumé. Participate in Central’s Chicago program, the Social Justice Program or the Washington, D.C., program. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.
“I genuinely believe that everyone needs sociology. For me, it’s an important tool we all can use in order to make sense of our own experiences, empowering us to make more informed decisions about our futures. I want my sociology students to see that they have a personal stake in internalizing sociology’s lessons, using what they've learned long after their sociology class is over.”
– Jon Witt, Professor of Sociology
George Lauber, Jr., associate professor emeritus of sociology/anthropology at Central College, passed away at age 97.
Central College hosts anti-racist author and educator Tim Wise for an address titled “Challenging the Culture of Cruelty: Understanding and Defeating Race and Class Inequity in America” in Cox-Snow Recital Hall Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.
Hannah Hirl ’19 writes about her summer experience as intern for the Department of Human Services in Mahaska County.