About Sociology

Our Program and Courses

Sociology is a major and minor at F&M. By studying human social interaction and social structures, you will learn the origins of sociological thought, explore the relationship between self and society, and examine sociology as it relates to social stratification, race, gender, sexuality, health and medicine, politics, education, culture, family, and more.  

Since sociology so often intersects with other disciplines at F&M, your coursework will often cross into other departments. Students often combine a sociology major or minor with government, public policy, business, gender and sexuality studies, psychology, public health, anthropology, or a language. An understanding of sociology enriches all social sciences, and this flexibility allows you to explore your own curiosities. Sociology students are characterized, above all, by the diversity of their interests, so no two sociology degrees are the same!

By the time you graduate, you will be able to demonstrate: 

  • A deeper understanding of how groups of people connect and interact, and the consequences of those interactions.
  • An understanding of sociological theories and influential thinkers in the field.
  • An ability to engage in sociological research and interpret sociological research findings.
  • An ability to employ sophisticated oral and written communication about complex ideas.
  • The ability to collaborate effectively in ways that will be useful in the workplace.

Wondering what sociology courses are like? Explore our course catalog to see what classes are available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Zohra Ansari-Thomas

Assistant Professor of Public Health & Sociology

Public Health

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Samantha B Binkley

Academic Department Coordinator

Classics; Sociology

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Caroline L Faulkner

Associate Professor of Sociology, Department Chair of Sociology

Public Health

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Jerome I Hodos

Associate Professor of Sociology, Program Chair of Public Policy

International Studies; Public Policy

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Emily A Marshall

Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Health

Public Health

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Katherine McClelland

Professor of Sociology

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Ashley C Rondini

Associate Professor of Sociology

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

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Firuzeh Shokooh Valle

Assistant Professor of Sociology

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Amy E Singer

Associate Professor of Sociology

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Learning Outside the Classroom

With F&M’s many research and study-abroad offerings, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take what you’ve learned and apply it to the world around you.

Research Opportunities 

You’ll find incredible opportunities to conduct research into the topics that interest you. You can explore topics that are relevant to your own experiences or those that intrigue you about the experiences of others. Some students use the summer to dive into this research, while others pursue their interests in course papers or  year-long independent study projects. Recent student research topics include stereotypes in the media; gender differences in how people choose majors or occupations; how first-generation college students acquire the skills and dispositions to succeed in selective liberal arts colleges; how art museums privilege nationalism and national identity; an analysis of ethnic portrayals in French films; an examination of race and social class differences in access to arts education in public schools; and a study of the experiences of first-generation college students from rural backgrounds. 
Explore research at F&M

Off-Campus Study

Studying abroad helps sociology students build a deeper understanding of different cultures and human interactions. Popular locations include South Africa, Denmark, Argentina, England, Australia, and Spain.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Entrepreneurship at F&M

In the spirit of living up to Benjamin Franklin’s legacy of creating solutions in the service of the public good, Entrepreneurship at F&M is a program that offers exciting opportunities for all students to explore and develop entrepreneurial skills. In addition to courses in entrepreneurship, there are several supporting programs, including: 

  • The F&M Incubator, which offers opportunities for students to bring their creative solutions to life. You’ll work in a team and you may receive mentoring, specialized support, and/or project funding. You’ll also attend a series of workshops on customer identification, design thinking, marketing and legal considerations, and other topics.  
  • A summer entrepreneurship experience during which you’ll earn course credit and gain real-world experience for your resume while discovering and mastering the entrepreneurial skills needed to bring innovation to any organization. You’ll be matched as a paid intern with sponsoring startups, entrepreneurs, and other organizations that are looking to innovate or disrupt the status quo across a variety of industries.
  • Workshops that introduce, discuss, or focus on entrepreneurship methods and insight
  • Events featuring F&M alumni and members of the wider community who have changed the status quo in all sectors of the economy and society

Learn more about entrepreneurship at F&M

Success Beyond F&M

What can you do with a degree in sociology? Our graduates are prepared to pursue advanced degrees or begin their chosen careers from day one. The creative and intellectual activities that make up the work of sociology — including analyzing, writing, collaborating with others, and critical thought — help you develop useful and productive skills, which are valuable for any post-college plan.

Graduate School

Many F&M sociology graduates go on to pursue advanced degrees in education, public policy, international relations, business administration, psychology, medicine, speech-language pathology, nursing, occupational therapy, public health, social work, and sociology.

Career Paths

Sociology graduates enjoy a number of exciting and varied career paths and achieve success in a wide range of industries including law, business, government, medicine, and social work. They hold positions such as (in alphabetical order): 

  • Affirmative Action Counselor
  • Admissions Counselor
  • Attorney / Public Defender
  • Business Analyst
  • Caseworker
  • Child advocate
  • Community Organizer
  • Consumer Researcher
  • Content Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Environmental Organizer
  • Family Planning Worker
  • Health Professional
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Legislative Aide
  • Librarian
  • Market Researcher
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Professor
  • Project Manager
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Research Scientist
  • Rural Health Outreach Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Urban Planner

Alumni Spotlight

“Sociology provides me with that basic understanding of ‘What is a society?’”

Born in Guatemala and raised in Boston, Leora Sammett '22 grew up around diverse immigrant communities. But it wasn’t until she arrived on campus that she fully realized her passion for working with immigrants and refugees. Sammett declared a major in sociology and a minor in Spanish — disciplines she feels are crucial to her intended career path. “Sociology provides me with that basic understanding of ‘What is a society?’” she said. “We can’t tackle social justice issues in ways we’re going to better ourselves without that fundamental knowledge.”
Read More »

The Perfect Blend of Sociology and Psychology

When he arrived his first year, Thomas Downs '22 planned to hit the ground running and declare his major as psychology. However, since a key element of the liberal arts model encourages students to explore a variety of courses and disciplines before choosing a major, he couldn't do this quite yet. So, Downs took a couple sociology classes, and that's when it clicked: this blend of psychology and sociology was exactly what he needed to pursue therapy. "Combining them together has really helped me understand why people are who they are," Downs said.
Read More »

Related Fields of Study

F&M Certificates

Certificates are supplemental educational pathways you can pursue at F&M. Each certificate explores new and innovative fields of study through the lens of two or more fields of study. Sociological perspectives are included in several certificates including Diversity and Equality in Education, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Arts for Social Change.


F&M’s Department of Government has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the country. Study government at F&M and examine power, politics, justice, equity, and change while developing skills in language, economics, mathematics and philosophy.


Embark on a journey of the mind and learn all about why we do the things we do. From non-human animal behavior to language development and neurological impairment, your time spent studying psychology at F&M will unlock a whole new world of understanding of how the brain works.

Sociology in the Spotlight

April 22, 2024

Embracing "And": Junior Genab Diallo on the Liberal Arts Experience

The ampersand in the middle of our College's name symbolizes the rich space of possibility that awaits students at F&M. For Junior Genab Diallo, the freedom to explore classes across disciplines helped her discover her passion.

October 6, 2023

Sociology Student Takes Action Against Human Trafficking

Sophomore Gubat Abdullaev spent the summer in Sweden researching the human-trafficking industry and presenting his findings to the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.

April 18, 2023

Guns, Place and Public Health: A Conversation

As a mathematics student at Franklin & Marshall College, Charles Branas '90 never imagined he'd one day lead gun violence research cited by the Supreme Court. Now chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Branas learned "just enough" as a math major to get his first post-graduate job coordinating studies with clinical researchers and emergency medical staff in Philadelphia.