Program Overview

How do communities work — or not work? How are we influenced by the groups to which we belong, from our family to our school to our religion? What makes a good society? You’ll explore these questions in the field of sociology, which studies how people arrange their lives as members of groups and how those groups shape the way we think, feel and behave. Sociology, a field more than 200 years old, reveals insights into wide-ranging issues such as social inequalities, the role of social movements in social change, government and politics, economics and work life, human sexuality, crime and deviance, and more. If you like to ask why people do things, then this is the field for you.

The Alverno edge
Alverno is internationally known for its unique abilities-based curriculum, which will help you become a strong communicator, leader, critical thinker and problem-solver — all skills prized by employers. More importantly, these are the skills you’ll need to make a real impact on the world. That strong foundation will be further enhanced by the knowledge you’ll gain in your Sociology studies, which will teach you how to apply sociological perspectives to address significant social problems, use social scientific research, interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, and analyze your own work to help you constantly improve.

Personalize your experience
The core courses of the Sociology major fall under three areas: Foundations in Economics and Politics, Research and Practice, and Sociological Imagination. As you progress through the major, you can personalize the program by strategically selecting electives in areas such as race and ethnicity, family, criminology, community development, case management, and more. Interested in going deeper in a particular topic? You can work one-on-one with a faculty member through independent study work. Your required internship offers another opportunity to hone in on a specific aspect of the field.

The support you need to succeed
Forget about giant lecture halls or vying for face time with professors in crowded classes. Alverno’s 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes — almost always under 25 students — ensure you’ll really get to know our caring faculty, and that personal connection allows professors to guide you toward meaningful electives and internships that will help you reach your goals. You’ll also be assigned a faculty advisor and an upper-level Sociology major who will mentor you.

Get involved
Looking for more experiences outside of the classroom? Join one of Alverno’s dozens of student organizations to practice your leadership skills and connect with other students who share your passions. Many of our Sociology majors get involved in organizations on and off campus that work on social issues like poverty, human rights and the environment.

Internships for the Sociology major
Our Internship Office, which is connected to more than 2,000 partner sites, can help you find the right internship for you. Past Sociology majors have interned at the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin, Walker’s Point Family and Youth Center, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Milwaukee Hmong Health Consortium, Milwaukee County Department of Aging, Literacy Services of Wisconsin and U.S. Social Security Administration, among other sites.

How you can use your degree
Many of our students go on to master’s or doctoral degrees in respected graduate programs across the country, in fields such as sociology, social work, counseling and law. Other students go straight into the workforce in areas such as business, social service and government. Some of the places where you’ll find Alverno’s Sociology graduates include YWCA Southeast Wisconsin, Family Works, La Causa, St. Rose Youth and Family Center, Penfield Children’s Center, Wisconsin Early Autism Project, Hebron House of Hospitality and SaintA.


Have questions about studying Sociology at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Stephen SharkeyStephen Sharkey
Professor of Sociology, Chair of Social Sciences