Sociology Major

At George Fox, you will get an opportunity to pursue a sociology degree in an encouraging, Christian college environment.

Whether you plan to pursue a career in the helping professions, public administration, law, business, politics or education, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from George Fox University is a great start.

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior, so it’s a versatile discipline that gives you plenty of career options. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.

The sociology major serves as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, medicine, counseling, criminology/corrections, law enforcement, urban planning, social work, education and community development. It is also an excellent choice for those planning to become a college professor, researcher or applied sociologist. What further distinguishes our program is the fact we offer a Christian college environment that encourages not only academic – but spiritual – growth.

Choose from three concentrations:

Generalist

The generalist concentration provides students with the opportunity to hone their skills in critical thinking and analytic reasoning. Graduates with this concentration will be prepared for admission into graduate programs, careers in higher education or research, and/or entry-level practice positions within a variety of private and public settings where knowledge of human relationships and methodological skills is helpful.

Global and Intercultural Studies

Students interested in sociology-related topics including international conflict and peace, men and women in society, cultural anthropology, sociology of families, sociology of sexuality, and race and ethnicity can tailor their degree with a global and intercultural studies concentration. These courses specialize in helping students understand the reciprocal relationships between individuals and society, and how the self develops under the influence of societal and structural factors.

Social Justice and Communities

Students can take this concentration if they have a keen interest in social justice issues in society. The 18-hour concentration incorporates six classes, with options that include Men and Women in Society, Social Change, Social Stratification, Global Political Economy, and International Conflict and Peace.


Request more information about the sociology major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

George Fox sociology majors study the discipline at a top Christian college on the West Coast.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market will be a competitive one for soclologists through 2024. Graduates with a BA in sociology can expect to secure an entry-level position, while those with graduate degrees will often receive advanced positions and a higher salary.

  • Mental Health Specialist, Family Solutions
  • Reading for All Community Specialist, Polk County
  • Intake Coordinator, Georgia Justice Project
  • Student Engagement Coordinator, AmeriCorps, Linfield College
  • Youth Director, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Public Policy Associate, Internews Network
  • Young Adult Pastor, Yakima Foursquare Church
  • Portland State University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Nevada at Las Vegas
  • Arizona State University
  • Lewis and Clark
  • George Fox University
  • The Micah Challenge, Portland, Ore. (Working to mobilize communities, churches and Christian organizations on behalf of global poverty.)
  • Yamhill County Action Partnership, McMinnville, Ore. (Advocating for and assisting persons towards self-sufficiency in Yamhill County.)
  • Yamhill County Community Corrections, McMinnville, Ore. (Working with an variety of corrections and community safety programs.)
  • Students will complete an original research project by defining topic, methodology, and collecting and analyzing data. Some topics of research completed by sociology seniors have included homelessness count in Yamhill County, prostitution in Portland, Ore., and the function of small-scale farms and their consumer support base.
  • Participate in a community activism project in the Social Change course.
  • Apply for study abroad or for Richter Scholarships for research and study.
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to the study of society, including the study of the shared relationships that create social organization and social processes of society. Required for sociology majors and for admission into the social work major.
Applied statistics for the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on statistical logic and decision making. Recommended for the sophomore or junior year. Required for sociology and social work majors. (Identical to SWRK 340) Prerequisites: SOCI 150 Principles of Sociology and high school algebra.
Examines the nature, causes, and consequences of inequality in society. An understanding of how social resources are distributed, and the resulting distribution of life chances, is central to understanding the fundamental bases of social order and social organization. This course takes a sociological approach to the study of inequality in which we argue that inequality is a characteristic of societies, not individuals.
A critical study of major social philosophers from Comte to the present. Required for sociology majors. (Identical to SOCI 373) Prerequisite: SOCI 150 Principles of Sociology or PHIL 150 Introduction to Philosophy.
A study of the historical and socioeconomic factors experienced and lived by people of differing racial and ethnic backgrounds in the United States. Specific attention is placed on the social construction of race, social attitudes and past and present racial issues. Prerequisite: SOCI 150 Principles of Sociology or instructor's permission.
An overview of quantitative and qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Students will design a research project. Required for sociology and social work majors. Prerequisites: SOCI 150 Principles of Sociology, SOCI 373 Social Theory, and SOCI 340 Statistical Procedures or PSYC 240 Statistical Procedures.
Supervised experiences in private and public social agencies. Students may opt for 3 hours of SOCI 475 Internship as part of their concentration, or 3 hours of SOCI 475 Internship as an elective in the major. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisites: upper-division majors and by permission.
For sociology majors only, this course requires students to complete a research project. With an expectation of a literature review, data collection and analysis, students will produce a piece of original research that is worthy of publication and/or presentation. Prerequisite: SOCI 390 Research Methods.

Concentrations (15-16 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

Students choosing to take SOCI 230/430 Sociology of Religion must register for the upper-division options (SOCI 430).

Complete the following:

This covers communication as it affects and is affected by language and culture. Topics include contextualized use of communication within speech communities, intercultural effectiveness, cultural communication theory, competent intercultural experiences in co-cultures (ethnic, gender, intergenerational, deaf, etc.) and global cultural groups. A student may not earn credit for both the lower-division and upper-division versions of this course.
A comparative study of world societies and their ways of life.
Explores socio-historic contexts, sources, and patterns related to social change, such as globalization, social movements, technological innovation, economic and political forces. Gives attention to understanding the role of individuals and groups in social change; moving toward a reflective, informed way of thinking and living as thoughtful Christians committed to justice.

Choose two of the following:

A study of how societies construct gender similarities and differences. The impact of gender upon individuals and social institutions, and the implications of a sociological understanding of gender for the Christian faith will be explored.
Why do wars and conflicts occur and how do we prevent these? This course considers the causes of global insecurity (from wars between countries to transnational terrorism to genocide) and examines the various approaches to their resolution, including the creation of international institutions and military alliances. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of religion in global political conflict.
This course introduces students to causes and consequences of 'the wealth of nations.' Students will learn theories of economic growth and poverty alleviation. Topics to be covered include: globalization, education, international trade, holistic conceptions of development, and the role of institutions. (Identical to INTL 370 and SOCI 370.) Prerequisite: ECON 212 Principles of Microeconomics
A study of the world's cultural regions developed through the themes of location, human environmental relationships, movement, and regions, with emphasis on the interrelatedness of culture, physical, economic, historical, and political geography in creating the dynamic cultural landscapes existing today. (Identical to INTL 200.)
An introduction to the theory and practice of teaching English (or any language) to non-native speakers. Topics include principles of language teaching, communicative and interactive approaches, teaching methods and techniques for improving different language skills, lesson planning, materials selection and adaptation, testing, cultural issues, teaching English as Christian witness, and working with English-as-a-second-language students in a mainstream class. Students relate theory to practice in a school- or community-based practicum.
One semester of college-level world language study at the appropriate level.       (3-4 hours)

Complete the following:

A study of how societies construct gender similarities and differences. The impact of gender upon individuals and social institutions, and the implications of a sociological understanding of gender for the Christian faith will be explored.
A study of marriage and the family from a sociological perspective, including historical, cross-cultural, and economic backgrounds. A Christian faith perspective will emphasize the worth of people, the importance of the family as a place of nurture, and the gift of marriage. (Identical to HLTH 223.)
Explores socio-historic contexts, sources, and patterns related to social change, such as globalization, social movements, technological innovation, economic and political forces. Gives attention to understanding the role of individuals and groups in social change; moving toward a reflective, informed way of thinking and living as thoughtful Christians committed to justice.

Choose two of the following:

An introduction to the macro aspects of the social science concerned with the allocation of resources. Consideration is given to the fundamental principles of the economy as a whole, dealing with economic data, behavior, and theory at the aggregate level of the economy. The course studies topics such as government spending, taxation, and monetary policies, as well as events and issues in the global economy. ECON 211 and ECON 212 are complementary courses; however, it is preferred that ECON 211 be taken first.
An introduction to the micro aspects of the social science concerned with the allocation of resources. Consideration is given to the fundamental principles governing production, distribution, consumption, and exchange of wealth. The course studies the behavior of microeconomic units such as individuals, households, firms, and industries. ECON 211 and ECON 212 are complementary courses; however, it is preferred that ECON 211 be taken first. Prerequisites: Students must have completed MATH 180 College Algebra or higher math course, or an SAT math score of 620 or higher or an ACT score of 28 or higher.
A study of communication principles found useful in managing conflict productively. Focus is given to conflict occurring in institutional and organizational settings between individuals and groups. Attention also is given to conflict in social, national, and international settings. (Identical to PSCI 310.)
A study of the social and psychological processes of human interaction. Major topics to be covered include conformity, aggression, self-justification, persuasion, prejudice, attraction, and interpersonal communication. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
A comparative study of world societies and their ways of life.
This course will cover the theological and historical backgrounds of alternative systems of justice, and the criminological principles undergirding a variety of restorative justice programs, particularly community policing, problem-solving courts and community corrections, and will apply an international comparative component as well as a study the programs’ effectiveness. Prerequisites: SOCI 150 Principles of Sociology, SOCI 331 Crime and Deviance, and SOCI 333 Juvenile Delinquency.
A sociological examination of the meaning and function of religion in human society. Gives attention to the development of religious organization, the relationship of religion to class and politics, the nature of the sacred, dimensions of religiosity, and denominational diversity in the United States. (Identical to RELI 430.)

Student Experiences

Allison Ogle

“To live well in God’s world requires asking good questions. Through studying at George Fox, I learned how to ask these questions and how to think critically about the problems in the world. Now equipped with this ‘sociological imagination’ I am able to live the questions I learned to ask and incarnate a Christian response to issues like social stratification, racial reconciliation and gender inequality that plague our society and the church today.”

- Allison Ogle

Sara Eccelston

“My education at George Fox has been fundamental to shaping the way I understand the world and make decisions about how to live. I learned the important connections between power structures in society and theories to understand it all, and heard a Christian voice in the midst of sometimes hopeless statistics. My professors helped me to think critically, encouraged my questions, taught me how to research and gave voice to the parts of society that are often overlooked.”

- Sara Eccelston

Points of Distinction

  • Study criminal justice at a university that emphasizes social justice and service.
  • The minor is open to students in all majors.
  • Engage in course material and discussion surrounding issues related to the criminal justice system.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.