For Freshmen and Sophomores

Please visit our Declaration of Concentration page for information on declaring Sociology.

Sociology is an interdisciplinary social science that uses a variety of research methods, offering a broad perspective on social life. The concentration prides itself on its personal attention to students. It affords substantial access to faculty and administrators and flexibility in meeting individual intellectual agendas. 

If you are interested in exploring Sociology there are four routes to consider:

1.  You can take one of our courses that are designed to give you an introduction to the discipline including:


Sociology 23: Introduction to Political Sociology
Sociology 24: Introduction to Social Inequality
Sociology 25: Introduction to the Sociology of Organizations
Sociology 27: Introduction to Social Movements (USW)

2.  You can take a General Education course that is also a sociology course including:

SOW 34: Caribbean Societies
USW 24: Reinventing (and Reimagining) Boston: The Changing American City
USW 31: American Society and Social Policy
Sociology 27: Introduction to Social Movements (USW)

3. You can take an elective from one of our 100-level courses in an area that interests you including:

Sociology 103: The Sociology of Climate Change
Sociology 104: Higher Education: Institutions, Inequalities, and Controversies
Sociology 106: Humanitarian Activism and Civil Society
Sociology 113: Student Activism in Comparative Perspective
Sociology 115: Media and Popular Culture
Sociology 117: Social Trauma and Collective Identity
Sociology 121: The Pursuit of Community in America
Sociology 125: Personal Networks
Sociology 131: Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations
Sociology 133: War, Revolution, and Organized Crime: In Theory, In Film, and in Reality
Sociology 135: Education and Culture
Sociology 140 Identity, Inequality, and Social Media
Sociology 141: Contemporary Chinese Society
Sociology 143: Just Institutions
Sociology 146: Death by Design: Inequalities in Global Perspectives
Sociology 151 Political Economy and Global Transformation
Sociology 180: Law, Science, and Society in America
Sociology 181: Social Change in Modern Korea
Sociology 182: Law and Society
Sociology 186: Refugees in Global Perspective
Sociology 188: Politics and Social Class
Sociology 189: Democracy and Social Movements in East Asia

4.  If you have confidence that you are going to concentrate in sociology you can consider taking one of the following core courses that are required for concentrators:

Sociology 97: Social Theory (offered fall and spring)
Sociology 128: Models of Social Science Research (offered fall only)

Sociology is the study of society, of the social frameworks within which we live our lives. It is a study of social life at every level, from two-person relationships to the rise and fall of nations and civilizations. More than any other discipline it is a meeting place of the social sciences, combining its own ideas and methods with insights from history, anthropology, economics, political science, and psychology in an extended examination of the ways societies work--or fail to work.

The Department of Sociology at Harvard has a diverse and distinguished faculty. It has particular strengths in race, ethnicity and immigration, inequality, economic sociology and organizations, sociology of culture, urban poverty and the city, gender and family, crime and punishment, collective action and social change, comparative and historical sociology, and sociological theory. Students may take courses in a variety of areas or they may put together a focused program of study reflecting their own particular interests. Course emphases range widely from the theoretical to the applied and incorporate an array of approaches, including field-based sociology, qualitative methods, quantitative and computer-based analysis, historical and comparative studies, and theoretical explorations. 

For advice about choice of concentration or course selection please do not hesitate to contact the Undergraduate Program Office, either by dropping by William James Hall, 6th floor (at 33 Kirkland Street), Room 684, or via email or phone (5-3713). You should also feel free to talk to any of the Sociology Concentration Advisers listed below. If you would like to be informed of upcoming events of particular interest to concentrators or potential concentrators, please click here and we’ll add you to our list!

Concentration Advisers
Our Concentration Advisers are Sociology PhD students who are available to talk with sophomores, juniors, and seniors about the concentration. If you'd like to learn more about the discipline, hear about research in the department, or have questions about Sociology courses, just email your Concentration Adviser to schedule an appointment.

Peer Advising Fellows

Freshmen and first semester sophomores may wish to contact one of the sophomore, juniors, and seniors who serve as freshmen Peer Advising Fellows: The Sociology PAF for 2016-17 is Emma Nealis.

We look forward to getting to know you as you explore sociology.