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Major in Sociology

What is a sociology degree?

Studying patterns of behaviors in societies is the first step toward understanding individuals’ choices and opportunities. Why are some people marginalized while some are not? What are the power dynamics in diverse communities, and how can we help foster societies that not only coexist, but thrive?

Why study sociology at Furman?

Ponder big questions of social constructs in a small classroom setting. Reach beyond the classroom and analyze patterns of societal behavior in other countries through faculty-led foreign study. Artfully blending theoretical and research-oriented courses, the curriculum gives students a way to delve into the nuances of society and social institutions centered around race, class and gender/sexuality. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

How will you learn?

A signature component of sociology at Furman is robust, research methods training that spans three semesters. Develop qualitative and quantitative research skills by collecting and analyzing your own data, then present your findings at a scholarly conference. Travel with faculty to Denmark to examine the science and culture of happiness or join a three-week May Experience course on campus to explore the intersection of broader social contexts and your own family history in “Family Tree Sociology.” Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

Careers for sociology majors

Many of our sociology graduates further their education at top-ranked programs across the country. A sociology major provides you with skills – critical thinking, data collection and analysis, presentation and writing – for a wide array of career paths.

Some fields our graduates go into include:

  • Medicine and health careers, hospital administration
  • Law or criminal justice
  • Nonprofit sphere
  • Experience management (XM), User experience (UX)
  • Economic development
  • Research
  • Social services
  • Counseling
  • Human resources

Sociology courses: What will you study?

Social Determinants of Health

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Race and Ethnic Relations

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Medical Sociology

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99%
Students who conduct research
63%
Students who choose to double major
45%
Students who participate in study away

What our students say

furman lake

“Furman, and sociology specifically, have pushed me to think more critically about the world around me and helped me gain a new and better perspective.” – Carolyn Shankwiler ’21

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s sociology faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise.

  • Sarah Adeyinka-Skold
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Sarah Adeyinka-Skold

    Sarah Adeyinka-Skold
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943301

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  • Yang Gao
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Gao

    Yang Gao
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943306

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  • Claire Gilliland
    Title:

    Visiting Professor, Sociology

    Claire Gilliland

    Claire Gilliland
    Title:

    Visiting Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number:
    Email:

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  • Amy Jonason
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Amy Joanson

    Amy Jonason
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943317

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  • Ken Kolb
    Title:

    Professor and Chair, Sociology

    Ken Kolb

    Ken Kolb
    Title:

    Professor and Chair, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642942359

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  • Kyle C. Longest
    Title:

    Associate Academic Dean; Associate Professor of Sociology

    Kyle Longest

    Kyle C. Longest
    Title:

    Associate Academic Dean; Associate Professor of Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943303

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  • Kristy Maher
    Title:

    Professor, Sociology

    Kristy Maher
    Title:

    Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943302

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  • Joseph Merry
    Title:

    Associate Professor, Sociology

    Merry

    Joseph Merry
    Title:

    Associate Professor, Sociology

    Phone Number: 8642943279

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  • Claire Whitlinger
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Sociology; Program Founder, Intergroup Dialogue Program

    Claire Whitlinger

    Claire Whitlinger
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Sociology; Program Founder, Intergroup Dialogue Program

    Phone Number: 8642943697

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  • FAQ

    What can you do with a sociology degree?

    Sociology students usually conduct research in their fields of interest, and many double major and study away. A sociology major provides you with skills – critical thinking, data collection and analysis, presentation and writing – for a wide array of career paths spanning fields such as medicine, government and human services. Graduates find careers in health care as doctors and other medical practitioners, non-profit managers, economic development experts, researchers, social services and human resources administrators, among many other professions.

    What is the average salary for sociology majors?

    Studies have found that the average salary for sociology majors is approximately $42,000 per year. Top earners can earn $67,000 or more, according to ziprecruiter.com.

    How long does it take to earn a sociology degree?

    A B.A. in sociology in Furman is a four-year program.

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