Major | Minor

Further your understanding of complex social problems. Study how society informs our actions and behaviors in relationships and collective dynamics.

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Why Study Sociology?

Why do we personalize social problems? Just how much does the society we live in dictate our behavior and actions? And why should we pay attention to this at all?

The personalization of social problems has become endemic. By studying sociology, you’ll uncover how society informs our behavior, actions, and problems. Knowing how society functions will enable you to better understand the people within it. A background in the sociology of inequalities will also give you the skills to succeed in any career.

Why Study Sociology at Luther?

Our sociology faculty is passionate about the real-world application of sociological concepts. In and out of the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and research topics that interest you. In the process, you will use knowledge from other fields across our liberal arts program. This will help you cultivate critical problem-solving skills essential in everyday life.

Your classroom discussions will help you become a systems thinker and develop new ways to view global problems.

Program Highlights

Conduct Collaborative Research

Pilot a research project to explore with sociology faculty. You can receive funding from Luther College and Luther donors to explore your academic interests.

Experiment with Technology

Immerse yourself in industry-leading technologies. You can access data analysis and interpretation software such as SPSS to make sense of large amounts of information in sociology.

Iowa Sociological Society

Luther is an active member in ISA, an undergraduate organization that meets annually and professionalizes students in the discipline. Luther students routinely present their research and take home competitive awards.

What You’ll Learn

As a sociology major, you’ll have the opportunity to look at everyday social problems through a sociological lens: inequality, crime and deviance, health, education, family, population, and more.

Sociology Major

In your first two years, you’ll explore foundational concepts of human behavior. Junior year, you’ll immerse yourself in research design and methods of data analysis, and will examine research within the field.

As a sociology major, you’ll explore both quantitative and qualitative data to test sociological hypotheses. You’ll also complete a senior project.

From a broad selection of courses, you’ll have the opportunity to take four electives. You can explore social conflict, visual sociology, racialization, and so much more. You’ll also complete one 400-level seminar.

Sociology Minor

A sociology minor consists of five classes. You’ll explore key concepts such as inequality and deviance. After gaining this foundation, you’ll look at methods of data analysis and ethical considerations. This will allow you to examine the process of conducting sociological research.

You’ll also have the chance to take two elective classes, such as the sociology of gender and education, and complete a 400-level seminar.

Learning Outcomes for the Sociology Major and Minor

  • Learn the ethical dilemmas in the discipline of sociology
  • Understand the interaction between the individual and society
  • Understand the social construction of reality and culture
  • Celebrate the diversity of people and societies
  • Synthesize sociological theory and ideas


Branna Elenz
The sociology program pushes you to question the parts of society with which you are comfortable. Every class challenges you to view tough topics from different angles.
Branna Elenz '17

Careers and Outcomes

As a Luther sociology graduate, you’ll be equipped with the tools and perspectives to understand and confront a changing society. The diverse skills you’ve developed will prepare you to work in a number of fields or pursue an advanced degree.

Career Fields

  • Criminal justice, including policing and probation, investigation, and rehabilitation
  • Community organizing and nonprofits
  • Marketing research and data analysis
  • Public policy and law
  • Public health and social welfare
  • Human resources and public relations
  • City planning
  • Youth services, child welfare, juvenile justice

Expert Faculty

Char Kunkel, Luther professor of sociology, was asked to give her expert opinion on how prospective graduates can stand out in the employment pool. With a fiercely competitive environment and an uncertain economic climate, Kunkel thinks “a background in the sociology of inequalities may be the biggest factor” in making a prospective graduate an attractive hire.

female professor, standing, gesturing with one hand

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