Bachelor of Science in Sociology

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

This major is intended for students who want a strong sociology background in preparation for work in government or social agencies or who are interested in graduate work in sociology. In addition to developing analytical and critical thinking skills, students will gain an understanding of various substantive areas of the field including social structure and institutions, social change, social class, gender, race, and ethnicity. Sociologists are employed in such diverse fields as social and human service agencies, nonprofit and advocacy organizations, research and policy work, telecommunications, human resource management, and college teaching. This major is appropriate for work in any environment where an understanding of social structures and social dynamics is required.

For a B.S. degree in Sociology, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Entry to Major Requirements:
Entry to the Sociology major requires 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average.

Career Opportunities

The Sociology program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed for students who are interested in either subsequent graduate work in sociology or who want a strong sociology background in preparation for entering the work force. A degree in Sociology will provide opportunities to work in environments where an understanding of social structure and social dynamics is required. For example, employers in fields such as criminal justice, human services and personnel, and industrial relations often employ sociology graduates in a variety of capacities for their understanding of social issues and people. Businesses often look for graduates who possess good analytical, writing and oral skills to enter positions as management trainees. Finally, positions may be available in government services at the federal, state, and local levels.

Job Titles

The following lists some of the entry-level job titles of Sociology graduates: Caseworker, Counselor, Community Organizations Worker, Correctional Officer, Probation Officer, Domestic Relations Officer, Human Resource Assistant, Daycare Center Supervisor, Research Assistant, Market Researcher, Sales Representative, Social Work Assistant, or Management Trainee.

Job Outlook

Sociology degree majors at the bachelor’s level are employed across all major sectors of the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 37 percent work in business, 25 percent for government or military, 18 percent in education, 10 percent in nonprofit organizations, with just 10 percent being self-employed. Between 1996 and 2006, the overall rate of increase in the demand for workers in occupations that are most likely to employ recent graduates of Sociology majors will increase at a slower rate than the average for all bachelor’s degree graduates. These increases are expected to be between 10 and 17 percent.


Sociology students are encouraged to gain experience through an internship with an agency matching their interests and goals. The program permits a student to complete several internships, earning up to 9 credits. Additional information on internship planning and opportunities is available from the program office.

Student Organizations

Students are encouraged to join organizations related to their education and profession. Sociology majors may be eligible to join Pi Gamma Mu, an organization that recognizes scholastic achievement. Membership is given by invitation to students who have achieved at least a B average. The International Affairs Association promotes international and cross-cultural interaction through the sponsorship of activities such as the global pursuit tournament, fall international dinner and folk dance, and the Penn State Harrisburg Model United Nations Conference.

For Current Students

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