For First-Years and Sophomores

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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:

Soc 1000: Introduction to Sociology
Soc 1046: Life and Death by Design

*counts for introductory course when taken for letter grade

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

Fall 2022
Soc 1104: Sociology of Higher Ed
Soc 1109: Consumption, Health, and the Environment
Soc 1111: Sociology of Sport
Soc 1119: Leadership, Social Change, and Its Challenges
Soc 1136: Work and Culture
Soc 1163: Pursuing Truth and Justice: Principles and Methods of Equity through Inquiry
Soc 1165: Online Dating and the Transformation of Intimacy
Soc 1166: Sociology of Poverty
Soc 1173: Sociology of Development
Soc 1176:: Popular Culture and Contemporary Sociological Theory
Soc 1178: Human Rights and Gender Relations
Soc 1185: Crime, Punishment, and Policing
Soc 1191 Sociology of Organizations and Institutions

Soc 90I Research Lab: Immigration
92R Faculty Research Assistant

Cross Listed
Gen Ed 1019: Caribbean Crucible


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

Sociology 97: Social Theory (offered fall and spring)
Sociology 1128 (formerly Soc 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.

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