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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 22, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sociology - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.

Chair: Battani. Professors: deYoung, Kennedy; Associate Professors: Battani, Kurthen, Lundskow, Malaret, Ott, Phillips, Stewart, Stillerman, Wheatley, Yu; Assistant Professors: Boudreaux, Campbell, Hickman, Rothstein, Westbrook, Yidana; Affiliate Professor: Verschave.

Web site:

The sociology department is a community of critical scholars who analyze the context of social interaction and the construction of difference in society. Faculty utilize qualitative and quantitative methods to develop insight on a wide range of substantive areas.

The department seeks to 1) engage students in critical examination of their own social world and those beyond their personal experience, and 2) examine how society reproduces itself in the individual and how individuals think and behave within institutional contexts.

Departmental teaching and scholarship strive toward three main outcomes: 1) affirmation of pluralistic and democratic visions of society; 2) development of critical thinking and analytical skills in students, which are essential in governmental, corporate, and academic settings; 3) empowerment of community development and participation in civic society.

Career Opportunities

Students majoring in sociology have a wide range of career options. The discipline emphasizes an understanding of social organization and diversity, as well as the function of institutions and motivations of individual behavior. This prepares students for careers in a variety of settings, including human services, human resources, social work, business, government agencies, and community organizations. Schools, religious organizations, hospitals, courts, prisons, mental health agencies, and substance abuse programs provide specific locations for student internships and career employment.

Graduate School Opportunities

Between ten and fifteen percent of sociology majors pursue graduate studies after graduating from GVSU. Students with an interest in pursuing graduate school opportunities are highly recommended to consult with their academic advisor as early as possible.

Minor in Aging and Adult Life 

The sociology department participates in a multi-disciplinary minor in aging and adult life. See section, “Aging and Adult Life,” for further information.

Student Organization 

The sociology club meets regularly throughout the academic year. The club engages in fundraising, social, career, and graduate school planning activities, and provides a forum for discussing topics relevant to the discipline.

Honors Organization 

The Grand Valley State University Theta chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society, promotes excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to an improvement in the human condition.

Membership in Alpha Kappa Delta is awarded each year to sociology majors who are juniors or seniors, have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above, and have maintained a 3.0 GPA in a minimum of 12 hours of sociology courses at Grand Valley.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Sociology 

Sociology Minor