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Sociology class at Wheaton College IL
sociology students talking to a classmate at Wheaton College


Why Study Sociology?

As a Sociology major you’ll be introduced to classic and contemporary literature in the study of social interaction and gain a basis for a wide range of career options. You’ll learn quantitative and qualitative research methods for analysis and gain foundation for graduate and professional training in sociology, social work, organizational management, and allied fields. At Wheaton, an additional focus is the development of biblical advocacy in the promotion of social justice and equity.

hours of required courses
sociology faculty
Esther Lee Cruz - Sociology '06

Marketing is a great field for sociology majors because it requires the ability to think about group psychology and how to change people’s behavior as well as the broader culture. Tech is a great industry to check out because it encourages sociological imagination and is all about creating social change through technological advancements

Alumni Profiles

Why Study Sociology at Wheaton?

Our sociology faculty recognize the need to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ at several levels of social interaction:

  • The micro level involves face-to-face communication, for example, in marriage or the family.
  • The middle-range level reflects activities in organizations or social movements.
  • The macro level presents issues of culture and societal structures.

At each level, social processes such as socialization, stratification, urbanization, and social disorganization are examined through a biblical lens.

The Sociology program at Wheaton College is nationally ranked 6th among Liberal Arts colleges in producing Sociology Ph.D.s over the last 10 years, according to the National Science Foundation. Many of our majors have scored in the 99th percentile on the Educational Testing Service Major Field Test in Sociology.

Through the sociology program at Wheaton, you’ll develop a sociological imagination and begin to discern how to use it to make the world a better place, whether you go on to graduate school or a career in one of the many fields available to you. You’ll make a strategic difference in the world, near and far, by authentic social and cultural study.

Sociology at Wheaton began when Dr. Lamberta Voget joined the faculty in 1935. Voget was recognized on campus for her urban sociology immersion trips to Chicago, and became increasingly popular among the student body during the social activism in the 1960s.

Today’s faculty follow in her footsteps and have been awarded teaching awards, research and travel grants, and a variety of national and international recognitions. They serve as recognized consultants or contributors to international missions agencies, relief organizations, law enforcement venues, denominational headquarters, and academic institutions.

  • Students Engaging in Sociology & Anthropology (SESA) builds a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction through a student forum that engages in sociological and anthropological thought. 
    By utilizing resources within and available to the department, SESA will seek to serve the students and faculty by planting and harvesting ideals of passion, collaboration,development, and celebration.
  • Regular field trips take students to various religious centers, juvenile courts and detention centers, The Field Museum of Natural History, a variety of inner-city schools, the Marian Joy Rehab Center, and several urban youth programs.
  • Our proximity to Chicago provides abundant opportunities with social services and law enforcement agencies for internships and independent study.
  • Teaching and Research Assistants - Sociology and Anthropology majors often have the opportunity to work with a faculty member as a paid teaching or research assistant depending on the skills and interests of the student and faculty member.
  • Competition - The Sociology and Anthropology department hosts the annual Fahs paper competition, where monetary prizes are awarded to the best sociological and anthropological papers.
  • Global & Experiential Learning – semester study abroad programs, summer study abroad programs, spring break co-curricular trips

What Will I Learn?

The Sociology major introduces you to classic and contemporary literature in the study of social interaction and forms a basis for a wide range of career options.

Sociology offers four minors for persons with other majors:
  • Minor in Sociology
  • Minor in Social Work
  • Minor in Family Studies
  • Minor in Social Action

The certificate in Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to help you investigate national and international questions related to gender.

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

The certificate in mission studies is an interdisciplinary program with an experiential component to train students in analytical skills relevant for global missions today.

Possible Careers for Sociology Majors

A sociology major can lead you to a wide variety of jobs in such sectors as business, the health professions, the criminal justice system, social services, and government. The Center for Vocation and Career will partner with you to explore the many opportunities available to you with this flexible degree.

The Sociology program at Wheaton College is nationally ranked 6th among Liberal Arts colleges in producing Sociology Ph.D.s over the last 10 years, according to the National Science Foundation.  Nearly all of our majors who apply (about 10 percent) are accepted to top-tier graduate schools, medical schools, and law schools.

Recent graduates have gone directly into graduate programs to pursue the following advanced degrees: 

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences (Ph.D.)
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
  • Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • Hamline University
  • Indiana University 
  • Princeton Theological Seminary 
  • Rice University 
  • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 
  • University of California 
  • University of Chicago 
  • University of Edinburgh 
  • University of Illinois 
  • University of Minnesota 
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Notre Dame 
  • University of Virginia 
  • Washington University in St. Louis 
  • Yale
Sociology offers a more educated and compassionate way to think about the world, our society, or neighbors. You will be given the tools to do the research that informs policy on local, national, or international levels. — Greg Hall '10
Sociology will widen your worldview and understanding of yourself, others, and society. It won't be easy and the statistics might be frustrating. But being a Christian sociology major will enable you to look past the brokenness and systemic injustices around the world to see a savior who is able to save everyone. — Noah Chung '12
Wheaton College Sociology Alumna Jennifer Nielsen
Jennifer Nielsen '10
MD/MPH student at Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso, Texas
From The Inside Out
"I am currently in my last year of a 4-year dual degree MD/MPH program with the intention to match into a Family Medicine Residency. Sociology was my inspiration for a career in Medicine. . . . Sociology showed me the transformative power the field of medicine could have to free people from cycles of poverty when combined with a multidisciplinary philosophy of healthcare, implemented at both micro and macro levels in society."
Noah Chung Sociology Alumnus Spotlight Image
Noah Chung '12
Master of Divinity (M.Div.) student, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
Caring For Communities
"At Wheaton I decided to major in sociology, seek mentorship, join a Christian community, and take some risks by doing some urban ministry internships through my sophomore and junior summer. I cannot begin to explain how each experience molded me into the man I am today. These experiences shaped how I view society and culture, how I am to approach that with a strong faith, and how that empowers me to pursue my vocational calling."