Students driven by a general desire to "make the world a better place" have found a home in Berea's Sociology Department for more than a century, where they are equipped with theoretical and methodological training to understand and respond to the social problems and injustices of their time by harnessing the aspirations and assets of the communities of which they are a part.
What does the "study of society" actually mean? Sociology is the study of how people are shaped by the social world--and how they can, in turn, collectively shape that world. We examine how race, class, gender, sexuality, and more intersect with institutions such as family, education, law, religion, the economy, and politics to shape the lives of individuals, groups, and communities
Opportunities & Internships
We strongly encourage our majors to participate in study abroad and at least one summer internship while pursuing their degree.
While students most often spend a term abroad in a single country (recent locations have included Spain, Namibia, Bhutan, and New Zealand), unique opportunities are also available to study a specific issue across multiple countries, for example focusing on global health in India, Brazil, and South Africa. While a full term abroad is typically quite doable within the major's course requirements, students can also take advantage of month-long opportunities in summer through Berea International Summer Term (BIST) and Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) in countries such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Ghana, Japan, and Germany.
Almost every Sociology major participates in at least one summer internship before they graduate, and many participate in two. Students interested in social services, social justice, community-engaged research, and more regularly participate in meaningful employment over the summer with employers focusing on a range of issues, including foster care, legal defense, refugee resettlement, education, women's and LGBTQ+ rights, and the opioid epidemic.
In addition to student labor positions in the Sociology Department, other placements well-suited to the major include positions in CELTS, the Child Development Laboratory, Hutchins Library, the Center for International Education, or anywhere on campus that works in areas related to your specific interests.
Careers & Outcomes
Career paths of recent graduates include the following:
- Social work
- Non-profit work
- Data analytics
- Community organizing
- Public Policy
- City planning
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