Have you wondered how a group forms into a mob?  Or how social movements can change the larger society?  Perhaps you’ve pondered why people always seem to face the front in an elevator or why inequalities, like racism and poverty, persist. 

Sociologists study the impact of large, social forces on our individual lives, as well as the ways that human interaction shapes and impacts us.  We try to understand how and why social problems exist, which also points us to ways to solve them.  Studying sociology can lend insight into understanding ourselves, others, and the world around us. 

Secondary Education Teacher

Sociology students seeking certification to teach in secondary education may choose to get an all social sciences endorsement. This covers courses in American history, world history, government, psychology, sociology, geography, and economics.

What can you do?

There is no set career path with a sociology major. That may seem daunting but it is actually a strength of our program. You will be well-prepared to enter any profession that requires working with others, analyzing problems, and applying research skills. The job market is constantly changing and sociology students are well prepared to adapt to the opportunities that arise. Some careers our majors have gone into include:

  • Social services and social work
  • Business development manager
  • Non-profit work/management
  • Attorney
  • Data quality engineer
  • Talent acquisition specialist
  • Community development specialist
  • Business owner
  • Doctor
  • Sales and marketing
  • Human resources
  • Research analyst
  • Student services
  • Resource management supervisor
  • Writer
  • Law enforcement
  • Teaching and education
  • community organizer

Our program is focused on high-impact learning, which often includes community based learning opportunities.  We want you to not only develop skills, but also put them into action.  This not only provides you with experiences that you can add to your resume, but also allows you to have a positive impact on the community.

Sociology students have worked with many local and national organizations as part of their coursework.

  • St. Mark Youth Enrichment program
  • Resources Unite
  • The Presentation Lantern Center
  • Dubuque Chapter of the NAACP
  • City of Dubuque Human Rights Department
  • Iowa Legal Aid
  • Riverview Center

Course Highlights

Deviance and Deviants

This course examines the causes of deviance and deviant identity, the functions of deviance, inequities surrounding deviance, and social reactions to deviance. Topics such as everyday acts of deviance, drug and alcohol use, gangs, white supremacy, sex work, cults, self-harm, paranormal beliefs, and mental health disorders may be explored. The ways in which class, race, gender, and other forms of difference affect experiences with deviance will considered, as will several theoretical approaches to the study of deviance.

Race & Ethnicity

The primary emphasis in this course is on introducing and exploring important issues related to race and ethnicity in the United States. The course analyzes information comprehensively and includes historical evidence in order to better understand culture. Students will explore probable causes and consequences of inequality rooted in race/ethnicity. Students will incorporate an analysis of values, including understanding how personal and cultural values result from social forces and structures, into their examination of race and ethnicity.

Sociology of Education

society. The course will focus on important, enduring issues within the sociology of education such as social class, race/ethnicity, gender, school organization, academic achievement, politics, and educational reform. Additional issues currently under debate, especially in regard to policy and practice will also be examined.

Clubs & Orgs

We have a variety of opportunities for you to get involved from the moment you set foot on campus.

Civic Leaders
The Alliance
Black Student Union
Dance Marathon
Habitat for Humanity
Loras Environmental Action Forum (L.E.A.F.) Student Government

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

As a juvenile prosecutor, a background in sociology enables me to look at cases from different angles and better understand what is needed to help juveniles and families.

— Tricia (’10)

Meet Your Professors

Lisa Garoutte PhD

Lisa Garoutte  PhD

Professor of Sociology

Kathrin Parks PhD

Kathrin Parks  PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology
Associate Dean for the School of Science & Health

Sociology News

  • Loras College

    IPTC Grant to Benefit Community College Transfers to Iowa Private Colleges, Universities

    Find a more transparent, cost-effective, and coordinated transfer process thanks to a three-year grant More

  • Campus Sunset Photos

    Loras May Term, Calendar Change Increase Student Opportunities

    The College is beginning and ending its fall semester one week earlier than the current academic calendar. In addition, Loras is shifting from a January term to a May term schedule to provide students with enhanced experiential learning opportunities. More

  • Adrienne Shavers, Loras Alum

    Empowering Change

    2014 graduate, Adrienne Shavers is revered by her friends and classmates for how closely she helps students and the lengths she’s willing to go to make a connection. However, with great humility, Adrienne admits that it’s a mutually impactful relationship. “I had no clue that the students I work with were going to help me more than I would ever be able to help them.” More