Sociology focuses on the structure of technologically advanced societies, their related social problems and the many ways these problems affect the individual. As societies continually grow more complex and ethnic and cultural differences collide within the modern world, understanding social behavior becomes essential for the business executive, professional and citizen alike.

Sociology majors learn to think sociologically so that they may understand, interpret and analyze the social world. They will learn to think critically about societal issues and problems, understand basic and applied research in the discipline, conduct their own sociological research, and share and use their sociological knowledge in their everyday lives. All sociology courses deal with current social issues and feature regular discussion and debate. Courses represent diverse aspects of the field; no one theory or doctrine is emphasized at the expense of others. All courses make extensive use of visual media.

Latest News

Alondra Castillo '23

Sociology paper by Alondra Castillo ’23 places second in statewide competition

Alondra Castillo ’23, a sociology and Spanish major from Northlake, Illinois, has placed second in the Wisconsin Sociological Association’s undergraduate student paper competition. She won […]

Casey Gott '14

Casey Gott ’14 and her work on behalf of Indigenous people featured

Casey Gott ’14 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was featured on the website of Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force on Monday, Oct. 11. “Hunger Task Force honors Indigenous […]

Camrie Schmitz ’21 repeats Ripon success with winning sociology paper

Camrie Schmitz ’21 of Kiel, Wisconsin, received first place in the 2020 undergraduate paper competition of the Wisconsin Sociological Association. Schmitz won for her Senior […]


Jacqueline Clark

Clark, Jacqueline

Professor of Sociology

Marc Eaton

Eaton, Marc

Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Anthropology Department


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a major in sociology (36 credits): Required (20 credits): SOC 110, ANT 215, SOC 315, 401 and 502. Electives (16 credits): 12 other credits in sociology and four required credits in anthropology to be selected from ANT 222, 224, 275, 327 or 335. Up to eight credits from these anthropology courses may count toward the major.

Requirements for a minor in sociology: SOC 110 and 16 other credits in sociology to be selected in consultation with the sociology advisor.

Career Tracks

Students who earn a degree in sociology can pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, including business, criminal justice and law enforcement, health and medicine, law, nonprofit community services, public policy research and social work. Graduates also can obtain employment in research and teaching in university and collegiate settings. It provides a background for further work in other disciplines of the social sciences, humanities and biological sciences.

Recent graduates are working for employers such as the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, Chicago Public Schools, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, Menasha Public Works, Mount Royal College, Peace Corps, Saint Norbert College, St. Andrew’s School, The Nielsen Co. and the Wisconsin Early Autism Project.

Unique Opportunities

  • Through the Department of Educational Studies, certification in sociology and in broadfield social studies are available in early adolescence/adolescence (grades 6-12).