Considering a major or minor in Sociology?
Haverford’s Department of Sociology is small, but we view this as a strength. It allows students to work with a small number of people in depth and to develop a textured way of approaching the social world. Our goal is to enable students to do sociology. To this end, our courses are structured to facilitate the emergence of each student's own arguments; we help them formulate their own theoretical contentions and develop their own intellectual agenda. We aim to help students develop an Archimedian point from which to survey the social world. If we are successful, the point-of-view that students develop enables them to approach new, unfamiliar, problems (both academic and social) with helpful ideas about their resolution.
There are a number of ways to learn more about our department and the discipline. To get a feeling for the breadth of the field, visit contexts.org to listen to podcasts, read blogs, and browse articles by leading sociologists that are intended for a general audience. Every March our department hosts a tea for declaring sophomores which freshmen are also welcome to attend. But you can contact the faculty any time of the year with your questions. You can also contact one of our majors for a student’s perspective.
Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
If you are considering going to graduate school, talk to your major advisor about applying for the ASA Honors Program which introduces undergraduate sociology students to the professional life of the discipline. Students from across the United States participate in this four-day program that coincides with the ASA annual meeting in August. Applications are usually due in early February.
The Eastern Sociological Society invites undergraduates to present their work at their annual meeting. Seniors are especially encouraged to present their thesis work in progress to get feedback and meet people they might want to work with in graduate school.
There are plenty of resources on campus to fund student research projects, reading seminars, and other initiatives. Our majors have received support from both the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and the Hurford Humanities Center.
The Student Sociologist newsletter is another good resource to find out about post-doctoral fellowships, conferences, prizes, and other opportunities.
Beyond the BA
Wondering what you can do with a degree in sociology?
Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. The analytic, statistical, and methodological skills acquired over the course of your studies are an asset in sectors as different as government, service, education, and business. Visit the American Sociological Association for the facts on sociology careers in the “real world” and for job search databases.
Thinking about going to graduate school?
Our department has an excellent record of placing students in the top graduate programs in sociology. In addition to discussing your research interests with faculty members, we recommend that you consult the ASA Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology which is published annually.
Considering applying for a scholarship or fellowship?
Consult the Office of Academic Resources for application information and deadlines, instructions on acquiring institutional endorsement, and general advice. It is never too early to start talking to your major advisor about preparing your application.