Sociology is the study of social life, social organization, and social change. Sociologists study the causes and consequences of a wide range of human behaviors, interactions, groups, organizations, and institutions. Students at Colorado Mesa University can take courses in sociology on substantive topics like inequality, family, religion, social movements, health, race and ethnic relations, gender, sexuality, and more. Sociology has a tradition of developing explanations for how social order can be maintained as well as how and why social change happens. Few fields of study are as far-ranging and relevant to the everyday world that we live in.
Colorado Mesa University offers a comprehensive program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. It is also possible to earn a Minor in Sociology, a degree which meshes well with virtually any other academic programs, including any of the other degree programs in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Both options (BA in Sociology, Minor in Sociology) exemplify Colorado Mesa University's liberal arts mission by emphasizing critical thinking, statistical literacy, and the application of the "sociological imagination" to problems, programs, and policies in the real world. Beyond these opportunities, a degree in sociology prepares students for responsible action in the social world and provides a foundation for lifelong learning and civic participation.
Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the social world, as well as a range of research methodologies that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life, from corporate downsizing to problems of peace and war to the expression of emotion and beyond. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is an expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create social programs. Sociology majors gain important skills in critical thinking, research methods and responsible citizenship. Thus they are well-prepared for future graduate work in Sociology and related disciplines, as well as for careers in social services, human resources, government, business, the health professions, and the criminal justice system.
The Sociology ProgramOne of the strengths of the CMU sociology program is its emphasis on the values and content of a traditional liberal arts degree, providing students with critical thinking skills, communication skills, and research skills that are applicable in a broad range of careers in non-profit organizations, business and government. The program also offers excellent preparation for graduate study in sociology. Courses on substantive topics include social inequality, family, gender, sexuality, religion, race and ethnic relations, health, social movements, and environmental sociology. Sociology majors are encouraged to earn a minor in one of a wide variety of disciplines. Sociology majors at CMU enjoy a high acceptance rate to graduate school in sociology, applied sociology, and social work. Graduates who continue their education also go to law school, divinity school, public administration, human relations, and international studies. Click here for a more in-depth program overview.
Sociology courses at CMU are taught by passionate and approachable faculty with doctorates from highly-ranked universities who have chosen to make undergraduate teaching their top priority. The small size of the program and faculty facilitate meaningful and repeated interactions between students and their professors. Furthermore, upper-division students enjoy small classes that offer ample opportunities for discussion and participation. Faculty also supervise students seeking research experience, undertaking independent study, and writing honor theses. In the past, students and faculty have even collaborated on research projects.
Megan Henley, Assistant Professor of Sociology
PhD, MA (Sociology): University of Arizona; BA (Sociology): University of California Irvine
Scholarly interests: medical sociology, gender, knowledge, reproduction, families
Courses taught: Sociology of Marriage and Families, Introduction to Sociological Inquiry, Sociology of Health and Illness, Sociology of Sexuality, Contemporary Theory, Qualitative Methods, General Sociology
Stephen Merino, Assistant Professor of Sociology
PhD, MA (Sociology): The Pennsylvania State University; MS (Neuroscience): University of Michigan; BS, (Neuroscience): Brigham Young University
Scholarly interests: religion, race and ethnicity, social and political attitudes, social psychology, social networks
Courses taught: Race and Ethnic Relations, Sociology of Religion, Self and Society, Social Inequality, Environmental Sociology, Sociological Research Methods, General Sociology, Social Problems
Brenda Wilhelm, Professor of Sociology
PhD, MA (Sociology): University of Arizona; BA (Sociology and Mass Communications): University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Scholarly interests: families and households, life course, gender, demography, inequality
Courses taught: Life Course Sociology, Sex and Gender, 21st Century Families, Population, Social Movements, Classical Sociological Theory, Social Problems, Marriage and Families
Alpha Kappa Delta
Alpha Kappa Delta, the international honor society for sociology, provides funds and opportunities for sociology majors to travel to professional conferences and bring speakers to campus. Involvement in AKD is also a great "resume builder" that helps students applying for jobs and graduate school.
Graduates of this major will be able to:
Articulate the reciprocal relationship between individuals and society (specialized knowledge);
Interpret published statistical findings on social problems or issues (quantitative fluency);
Frame and answer complex questions about social issues using theoretical perspectives and the scholarship from the field of sociology (specialized knowledge, critical thinking);
Write a fully developed and empirically supported research paper in standard American Sociological Association format (communication fluency);
Describe ways in which theories and research from the discipline of sociology are applied in real-world organizational and clinical settings (applied learning).