Jul 14, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
College Catalog 2024-2025


Full Time Faculty: Erika Busse-Cardenas, Christina Hughes , Erik Larson (Chair), Khaldoun Samman

Sociology reveals what is often hidden in popular accounts of our lives, relations, and the world. At its foundation, sociology asks us to situate people, events, and phenomena within a larger context. The mission of Macalester’s sociology department is to equip students with the practical skills and theoretical tools to develop explanations of and insights about pressing social issues.

Our curriculum develops student learning in ways that:

  • train students in multiple research traditions (including qualitative, quantitative, and historical-comparative methods),
  • build capacity for thinking theoretically, including deriving applications of theoretical ideas,
  • enhance students’ abilities to collaborate effectively,
  • foster creative thinking, and
  • develop students’ communication skills.

The curriculum includes courses that focus on structural inequalities that affect people (intersections of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and class), on large-scale social development and change, and on important arenas of ongoing social life (family, law, politics, cities, and others).

The combination of training in methods and substantive topics and emphasis on student inquiry prepares students for a wide range of careers. Students go on to graduate programs in public policy, social work, law, education, medicine, business, and a range of academic fields. Accordingly, our graduates work in diverse careers and sectors.

General Distribution Requirement

All sociology courses count toward the social science distribution.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The sociology department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available on the department website. Contact the department office or Academic Programs and Advising Office with additional questions. 

Topics Courses

SOCI 194 , SOCI 294 , SOCI 394 , SOCI 494  

Topics courses explore subjects of general interest to faculty and students that supplement the department’s regular course offerings, to be announced in advance of registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.