With a broad-based liberal arts foundation, sociology courses teach students to understand the extent to which social structures impact our lives through the study of sociological theory, methods, and data analysis. In addition, students choose elective courses in the areas of inequality, institutions and community, social change, criminology, and deviance.

The sociology program emphasizes “public sociology,” or, taking the disciplinary skills of sociology outside of higher education into the public sphere for the purpose of contributing to the greater good. Public Sociology links the formal study of sociological phenomena done in higher education and professional social science research to various audiences in the public.

Goals Include Engaging With

  • Public awareness of sociological research
  • Social activism and responsible citizenry
  • Social policy and social service organizations

Assumption’s sociology program helps students better understand the richness and diversity of social life in an increasingly interconnected, complex, and multicultural world. Through both courses and co-curricular activities, department faculty provides students with ways to think critically about their world, their society, and themselves. Students acquire new and different ways of looking at the human community, including an appreciation of the social patterning of behavior; an understanding of the development of communities; an awareness of the functions and dysfunctions of societal institutions; and a deeper comprehension of the diverse ways of being human.

The program is designed to allow students to explore sociological contributions to understanding social change and solving social problems. A major in sociology prepares students for graduate study in the field of sociology, as well as for graduate study in related fields such as social work, policy analysis, public health, education, law, journalism, and criminal justice. The sociology major also provides an important background for a wide range of occupations in which knowledge of human behavior, social relationships, and institutional practices are important.

In acquiring competencies in the methodological and theoretical approaches of sociology, students have the opportunity to explore human relations in their most fundamental as well as their broadest scope, from the dynamic intimacy of small groups to the structures of entire societies.

Learning Goals for Sociology Majors

  • Develop an understanding of how the discipline of sociology can be taken out into the public for the greater good.
  • Better understand how social inequality is based upon divisions in class, race, ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation.
  • Develop an understanding of sociological approaches to analyzing and addressing the complex interactions between individuals and societal, historical, and cultural forces.
  • To gain specific competencies in social research as related to the field of sociology.
  • To acquire the essential skills necessary for successful careers and post-graduate education.
Program Contact

Angela Kaufman-Parks, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Department Chair, Sociology & Criminology
508-767-7357 Kennedy Memorial Hall - Room 212

An Ideal Place To Learn

All classes taught by professors, none by teaching assistants
2019 Sociology graduates employed or in graduate school within six months
Student/Faculty ratio

Program Curriculum

  • Majoring in sociology at Assumption helps prepare students for graduate study and for work in fields such as social work, education, law, journalism, criminal justice, urban planning, policy analysis, and gerontology. Sociology majors must take 12 courses for a total of 36 credits: six required and six electives. This breadth of coursework prepares students for a variety of engaging career paths.

    Required Courses for Sociology Majors (6)
    SOC 121 Principles of Sociology
    SOC 250 Public Sociology
    SOC 300 Statistics
    SOC 350 Sociological Theory
    SOC 390 Sociological Research Methods
    SOC 475 Senior Seminar
    Elective Courses (6)

    Six elective courses in Sociology. These six courses must include three courses from the Structural and Cultural Factors area, two from the Deviance/Law & Society area, and one elective of the student’s choosing from either content area. CRM 485 Internship Seminar I may count as one elective toward the Sociology major

    Structural and Cultural Factors


    ANT 131 Cultural Anthropology
    GEO 108 World Population Issues
    SOC 122 Social Problems
    SOC 206 The Sociology of Urban Life
    SOC 216 Racial and Ethnic Relations
    SOC 218 Social Movements
    SOC 223 The Family in Society
    SOC 224 Gender Issues in Society
    SOC 232 Social Inequality in Society
    SOC 234 Social Policy
    SOC 255 Special Topics
    SOC 315 Masculinities
    WMS 285 Women’s Studies I: Images
    WMS 385 Women of the World
    Deviance/Law & Society
    CRM 130 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
    CRM 160 Criminology
    CRM 243 Juvenile Delinquency
    CRM 255 Special Topics
    CRM 272 Deviant Behavior
    CRM 275 Sociology of Law
    CRM 280 Sociology of Punishment
    CRM 325 Victimology
    CRM 333 Prisoner Rehabilitation and Reentry
    CRM 335 Family Violence


    Course Descriptions

  • Students who wish to minor in Sociology take 6 courses (18 credits) in the field. Students majoring in psychology, human services and rehabilitation studies, history, political science, economics, Spanish, pre-medicine, and global studies may find this minor particularly useful.

    Required Courses for Sociology Minors (6)
    SOC 121 Principles of Sociology
    SOC 250 Public Sociology
    SOC 350 Sociological Theory

    Three elective courses, two from the Structural and Cultural Factors elective offerings and one from the Deviance/Law & Society elective offerings.

    Course Descriptions

  • Assumption University offers a double major program in sociology and criminology to better prepare students for graduate school and careers of meaning. The department offers an accelerated double major in sociology and criminology (completed in just eighteen courses).


Angela Kaufman-Parks, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Sociology and Criminology Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology Department Chair, Sociology & Criminology
Steven D. Farough, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Sociology Director of Racial and Ethnic Studies
Andrew M. Garcia, J.D., Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Susan Perschbacher, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Francis Bruce Prior, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Sociology and Criminology

Experiential Learning

Assumption's Rome Campus

At Assumption's campus in Rome, Italy, the city and the country become your classroom through daily and weekend-long excursions throughout "the eternal city" and the Italian countryside. This unique study abroad experience will enrich your academic and cultural pursuits as you walk in the footsteps of emperors and gladiators then enjoy delectable Italian cuisine or perhaps a cappuccino after class in a local cafe. (Did you know that your financial aid follows you to Rome?)

Explore the Rome Campus

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Faculty/Student Research

The Assumption curriculum encourages scholarly and real-world experience. With hands-on research conducted alongside faculty mentors, students gain a depth of knowledge and skills that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment.

Study Abroad

At Assumption University, the world is your classroom. Students can study and explore abroad in over 50 places from Vienna to England, South Africa, and even our own campus in historic, yet modern, Rome, Italy. Assumption’s study abroad program offers culture, history, and a living classroom for all.


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