For First-Years 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 three routes to consider:

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

Sociology 1023: Political Sociology
Sociology 1024: Social Inequality
Sociology 1025: Sociology of Organizations
Sociology 1026: Global Social Change
Sociology 1046: Life and Death by Design
Sociology 1058: Sex, Gender, Sexuality

2. You can take an elective from one of our 1000-level courses in an area that interests you including:

Fall 2019
1112 Men, Women, and Work
1113 Latinx Identity, and Mobility
1114 Racial Inequality and Public Policy
1119 Leadership and Social Change: Lessons from and for Boston
1122 Social Class in the Black Community
1124 Immigration and Gender
1126 Sociology in the Age of "Big Data"
1131 Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations
1131 War, Revolution, and Organized Crime
1141 Contemporary Chinese Society
1142 Sociology of Asian Americans
1152 Conflict, Justice, and Healing
1153 Subcultures
1167 Sociology of Law
Gen Ed 1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies
Gen Ed 1019 The Caribbean Crucible


Spring 2020
1103 Environment and Inequality
1106 Humanitarian Activism and Civil Society
1121 Understanding Meritocracy
1123 Social Movements
1130 Higher Education Policy and Service: On Campus and Beyond
1132 Global and Transnational Sociology
1135 Education and Culture
1138 The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Contemporary Socio-Legal Aspects
1139 Religion, Politics, and Society
1144 Economic Sociology
1148 Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective
1157 Qualitative Methods in Sociology
1174 Inequality and Society in Contemporary Japan
1175 Immigration and American Society
1186 Refugees in Global Perspective
1187 Nationalism and Ethnic Diversity
AAAS 158X The Key to Making It? Educational Progress and Barriers Among Black Americans
Psy 15 Social Psychology (may count for intro credit if taken for letter grade)
Gen Ed 1115 Human Trafficking


3.  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 spring 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 650, 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.

  • Cabot, Currier: Elena Ayala-Hurtado
  • Pforzheimer*Abi Mariam
  • Eliot*, Kirkland: Jimmy Biblarz
  • Lowell, Winthrop, and Dudley: Ethan Raker
  • Leverett, Adams, and Quincy:Nicolette Bardele
  • Mather* and DunsterLeah Gose
    *in residence
  • Peer Advising Fellows

    PAFs are trained sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who serve as peer advisers for freshmen. Sociology's PAFs are TBD. First-year students should feel free to reach out to our PAFs who have an interesting perspective on the discipline and what brought them to Sociology.

    *in residence

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