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Rapid social change powered in part by the information revolution has transformed the world into a "global village." The sociological imagination—an awareness of the embeddedness of personal experiences in the structures of the surrounding social world—offers a way to make sense of life in our age. Sociology at Mills teaches the sociological imagination through systematic study of empirical research results, theory, and method. Mills students gain a rich appreciation of their own and other societies as they learn to think critically, grow intellectually, and discover their potential roles as change agents in the modern world.

Our courses serve both majors and non-majors. Students who major in sociology acquire substantive knowledge about the social world, a perspective rooted in the debunking of conventional wisdom, the demystification of the taken-for-granted, and the ethic of answering empirical questions empirically. All students will learn a set of practical skills that will enable them to achieve a variety of career and life goals. Many of our courses complement work in other social science disciplines. And, as a part of a liberal arts education, sociology courses offer exciting, insightful experiences for all students. Several of our courses engage the larger Bay Area community through internships, partnerships, and service learning.

The Sociology Program offers a diverse array of topical, methodological, and theoretical courses that fit with a wide range of student interests. By combining these courses and courses in related fields, students can organize their studies into areas of concentration such as social inequality, computational social science, race and ethnic relations, law and society, or urban sociology.

Students interested in social inequality, for example, might take courses such as Social Inequality, Gender and Society, and Sociology of Capitalism. Students interested in race and ethnicity can build a concentration around courses such as Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States, Sociology of Hip-Hop, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations.

Students who want to focus on cities as a central feature of modern social life can build an urban concentration around courses such as Urban Sociology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Sociological Geography. The GIS course, along with Computer Simulation in the Social and Policy Sciences, and Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software might form the core of a concentration in computational social science. Students interested in law and society take Social Control of Deviant Behavior, Law and Society, and Race, Gender, and the Criminal Justice System.

While some majors choose to pursue a graduate degree in sociology, most recent graduates have gone on to fields such as law, public health, urban and regional planning, business, public policy, or social work. Regardless of one's career plans, the sociology major is an excellent foundation for lifelong learning and citizenship in the global village.

Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
Business Management (MBA)
Teacher Education
Interdisciplinary Computer Science
Public Policy

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P: 510.430.2338
F: 510.430.2304

Last Updated: 11/6/15