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About Sociology

About the Sociology Program

Study Sociology at Carroll University and find your career path in Sustainability, Social Work, and Community Development.

Sustainability means more than managing natural resources and improving environmental quality. It includes the well-being of people and their communities, the places they live, and the productive work they do. In the Sociology Program at Carroll University we explore the social and cultural dimensions of people, places, and their economic livelihoods.

Sociology and Sustainability - Environmental Sustainability

The Sociology and Sustainability coursework at Carroll focuses on people, their prosperity, and the planet both depend on. Sustainability is a career field offering graduates opportunities across myriad sectors of our economy and society. These range from corporate chief sustainability officers to manufacturing sustainability managers to renewable energy entrepreneurs to local family farm producers to environmental educators to outdoor recreation and natural resource managers to academic researchers. The Carroll Sociology Program in Sustainability trains students in the skills required to understand the social and cultural forces creating the challenges found in each of these professions to creating more sustainable social, economic, and ecological systems. Students graduate poised to pioneer sustainable solutions to some of today's most troubling problems while working toward justice, prosperity and environmental stewardship. Sociology majors complement their studies in Sustainability with majors or minors in environmental science, ecology and conservation biology, public health, global studies, political science, business administration, communication, marketing and graphic communication, criminal justice, religious studies, foreign language (e.g. Spanish), and other Carroll programs.

Social Work - Social Sustainability

The Social Work recommended courses are for graduates interested in careers with opportunities to advocate for and address individuals', children's, families', and communities' needs. The Carroll Sociology Program prepares graduates to earn their masters of social work (MSW) and for obtaining positions with organizations working to meet these needs. Social work professionals work for local, state-level, or national organizations in governmental, non-governmental, religious, and private sector settings. The Sociology Program's coursework is oriented toward helping students comprehend more deeply how social systems work and how social institutions shape individual lives through their experiences of personal troubles. Sociology majors complement their studies in Social Work with majors or minors in criminal justice, psychology, health and human experience, health care administration, public health, foreign language (e.g. Spanish), and other Carroll programs.

Community Development - Economic Sustainability

Like Sustainability, Community Development intersects many career fields and is the focus of various academic disciplines. At Carroll, the Sociology Program emphasizes training in the social and cultural dynamics of social change at various levels of society from organizations and the workplace, at local to regional to international scales, in urban, rural, and developing world contexts. It equips graduates to participate in communities and lead organizations working to improve people's life chances and opportunities by changing structural aspects of their economic and social conditions. Community development professionals include urban planners and policy makers and those working in the community, business sector, government agencies, or a non-governmental organization (NGO). Graduates practice public sociology to actively participate in the social life of neighborhoods, cities, nations, and global civil society as thoughtful professionals, while working to ameliorate problems in today's society. Sociology majors complement their studies in Community Development with coursework in communication, graphic communication, English and writing, management and leadership, business and economics, global studies, political science, pre-law, therapeutic recreation, foreign language (e.g. Spanish), and other programs of study.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing the major are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the variety and diversity of societal/cultural phenomena addressed by the field of sociology.
  2. Describe and apply sociological concepts, research methods, and theoretical perspectives to describe how societal/cultural forces shape individual’s personal experiences.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and convey oral and written messages effectively in a professional manner.


  • The program offers majors in sociology and criminal justice.
  • The Sociology major provides students with recommended course tracks in::
    • Sustainability
    • Social Work
    • Community Development
  • The Sociology program offers courses focusing on social aspects of sustainability or environmental issues; human dimensions of natural resources; societal and cultural factors involved in social work professions; and challenges and strategies involved in local, rural, urban, or international community development.
  • Students can earn a bachelor's degree in sociology and complete a second major within four years. Common second majors include criminal justice, communication, psychology, environmental science, biology, Spanish, and business administration.
  • The Sociology major has an interdisciplinary liberal arts focus, emphasizing social science and environmental sociology knowledge, as well as basic communication and intellectual skills.
  • All Sociology major students are strongly recommended to complete an internship or field experience project in an applied career setting. All Sociology major students participate in a seminar capstone experience coordinated by a faculty member.


  • Carroll University's location offers numerous internship opportunities with agricultural, small business, social services, and corporate organizations in rural, suburban, and metropolitan settings.
  • Students have participated in internships in areas such as business and community agencies that address environmental, criminal justice, children's and women's issues.
  • In sociology and criminal justice, students have done internships in: probation and parole, rehabilitation facilities, and community corrections.
  • Environmental sustainability internship opportunities include: nonprofits like Waukesha County Green Team, Milwaukee companies like Johnson Controls, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, WI; Growing Power, and other urban garden organizations.
  • Community development internship opportunities include: The Plowshare Center in Waukesha, WI; AmericaCorpsVISTA, the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, or the Model United Nations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Special Features

  • 40-credit Sociology major lets students graduate in four years with degree in second complementary program of study if they choose.
  • Program tracks in Sustainability, Social Work, Community Development offer students multiple career paths to a wide range of existing and emerging vocations.
  • Students get individualized advising from professors within the program to tailor flexible curriculum according to personal and vocational interests.
  • Small class sizes allow for interaction with professors and students. Professors teach all classes; there are no teaching assistants.
  • Multiple leadership and service opportunities related to program tracks and students’ vocational interests exist with campus clubs and organizations.
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