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The primary objective of the major is to provide students with a social-structural understanding of human behavior. The major offers a sound education in the discipline of sociology and, consistent with its location in a liberal arts curriculum, stresses the acquisition of skills that go beyond the confines of the discipline. Courses in the major emphasize the ability to read and write analytically, problem-solve, think critically, and communicate orally.

In addition to traditional classroom experiences, sociology majors can avail themselves of opportunities for independent study, internships, service learning, and senior thesis research, all under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

What sets our department apart from others at Providence College is a social-structural analysis of large-scale transformations. Whereas other disciplines might view mass migration, globalization, and educational inequality, for example, as the result of individual choices and actions, we take a wider, more complicated view, which suggests that social change and resistence thereto result from power, history, institutions, and longstanding patterns of inequality. Moreover, our faculty members and students do not just teach and study this overarching perspective: we bring the same analysis to political advocacy in the community and activism on campus. Our department "walks the walk" of sociology.

Career possibilities for sociology majors include:

  • academia
  • community organizing
  • labor relations
  • non-profit management
  • public service
  • criminal justice
  • law
  • counseling
  • social services
  • public relations
  • marketing


A major in sociology leads to a bachelor of arts degree. A minor in sociology is also available. Those interested in courses on anthropology should visit the anthropology webpage​ for more information.
For details on the requirements for the sociology major or minor, as well as course listings and descriptions, please see the on-line undergraduate catalog.

Recent Faculty Publications

Outlaw, Maureen. 2015. "Guardians against Spousal Violence?: A case for considering motive." ​Journal of Family Violence 30 (1): 1-12.

Cebulko, Kara. Forthcoming. "Marrying for Papers?: From Economically Strategic to Normative and Relational Dimensions of the Transition to Adulthood for Unauthorized 1.5 generation Brazilians." ​Sociological Perspectives.

Cebulko, Kara and Alexis Silver. Forthcoming. "Navigating DACA in Hospitable and Hostile States: State Responses and Access to Membership in the Wake of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals." American Behavioral Scientist.

Park, Jerry Z., Brandon C. Martinez, Ryon Cobb, Erica Ryu-Wong, and Julie Park. Forthcoming. "Exceptional Outgroup Stereotypes and White Racial Inequality Attitudes: the Effect of the Asian American Model Minority Stereotype." ​Social Psychology Quarterly

Dougherty, Kevin D., Gerardo Marti, and Brandon C. Martinez. Forthcoming. "Congregational Diversity and Attendance in a Mainline Protestant Denomination." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

de Leon, Cedric. 2015. ​The Origins of Right to Work: Antilabor Democracy in Nineteenth-Century Chicago. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.

de Leon, Cedric, Manali Desai and Cihan Tugal. 2015. Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.


Howley Hall


Dr. Maureen Outlaw
118 Howley Hall
Phone: 401-865-2523

Departmental Contact:

Beth Papagolos, Secretary
119 Howley Hall
Fax: 401-865-2232
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