"It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this - things are not as they seem"
-Peter Berger-


Program Highlights

The Department of Sociology, which also offers a minor in Anthropology, offers a rigorous curriculum in support of the Coe College mission of providing students with a high quality liberal arts education and preparing students intellectually, professionally, and socially to lead productive and satisfying lives in the global society of the 21st century. The department serves this mission through an integrated series of courses designed to promote students’ awareness and understanding twenty-first century social problems, including the enduring presence of social inequality.  Thoughtful and responsible citizenship is fostered by guiding students to an understanding of the relationship between personal experiences and larger social forces. The Sociology Department encourages flexibility in course scheduling, with a variety of paths available to successful completion of the major. Students receive careful advising from the faculty in order to ensure course selection, off-campus study, internships, and independent study projects appropriate for their needs and interests. A degree in sociology gives a strong background for a variety of careers after graduation.

Why Sociology at Coe?

Preparing for Success

Coe students do more than just attend classes. We have the benefit of being located in a vibrant urban area that serves as a type of active classroom for issues relevant to the contemporary social world. As a Sociology major at Coe you'll receive a well-rounded education and a solid preparation for your life after college. At Coe you can:

  • Gain valuable experience on a semester-long internship with a Cedar Rapids service organization;
  • Spend a semester off campus on the ACM Costa Rica Studies Term studying the social forces in that culture, or a semester in Chicago with the ACM urban studies program, or many other off-campus opportunities;
  • Collaborate in research with faculty. For example, each semester several advanced students have the opportunity to work with faculty as part of various ongoing research projects. Working within the general framework of the project, students contribute to the overall database of information, while at the same time having the flexibility to craft a study compatible with their own specific interests;
  • Create a senior honors project with a Coe professor, conducting a research study of your own design.
  • Develop a project of program of your own – we have a framework that makes it possible for students to pursue their own interests.

Key reasons for choosing Coe College for sociology

  • An approach to the discipline that focuses on how sociologists learn about the social world, rather than simply sharing the objective information gleaned from sociological research.
  • A vibrant urban setting that serves as a type of living classroom.  At Coe, you have the benefit of a liberal arts education coupled with the opportunities of the 2nd largest city in Iowa.
  • A relatively streamlined major.  There are 11 courses required for the sociology major at Coe, which is approximately 1/3 of the courses required for graduation.  The flexibility of this major makes it easy for students to get the classes they need to graduate in four years.  In fact, most of our students double major and/or complete a minor during their time at Coe.
  • Many sociology and anthropology courses count towards the College’s Cultural Diversity requirements, and are part of the college’s social science division.
  • Classes in a wide range of areas, including “topics” course that are developed to highlight issues of current interest to faculty and students.
  • Faculty who have a wide range of experiences and who are genuinely concerned with the development of the whole student, not only the academic “major”. Mentoring students through the various stages in their academic careers is an honor and privilege that Sociology faculty take very seriously.
  • Strong links with other departments & programs at the college.  Sociology courses are included in a variety of other programs, including African American Studies, American Studies, Gender Studies, Nursing, and Teacher Education.
  • Sociology provides the skills desired by a wide range of careers and professions.  Our students graduate with strong abilities in writing, data collection, analysis, communication, ethical responsibility and understanding of diversity, to name only a few.  These skills are assets in a wide range of fields, and prepare students for whatever paths their futures may hold.
  • A collective, collaborative community of students and faculty.