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Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.
~C. Wright Mills

Concord Univeristy Sociology Student Group Photo

Sociology is the study of human society and human social interaction. Our department explores a wide range of issues relevant to our lives — social inequality and social justice, crime and deviance, race and gender relations, dating and intimate relationships, and the impact of the internet on society and interpersonal relationships. We emphasize teaching as the top priority of the department, set high standards for student achievement, involve students in research, provide opportunities for student engagement in multicultural events and encourage civic involvement. 

Students interested in careers in Criminology and Criminal Justice can pursue the Sociology major with Emphasis in Criminology.  

This degree offers a broad liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically about issues of crime and justice.  A strong research curriculum and internship program prepares students for either graduate study or entry-level jobs in Criminology.

Criminology is an area of specialization with the discipline of Sociology offering complex insights into the existence of crime as a social problem.  Students will learn the major theoretical perspectives and research methods used by criminologists to tackle such questions as: Why does crime exist? How do societies decide which behaviors to label 'criminal'? How do we explain criminal behavior? What is the relationship between social inequality and crime? What social policies can reduce crime? What is the impact of being a crime victim? What forms of punishment are most effective? The Sociology major with Emphasis in Criminology is a good choice for students interested in careers in criminal profiling, victim advocacy, the analysis of crime data and policy, corrections, or to pursue graduate study in criminology.  It is also a good background for students who plan to attend law school to pursue a career in criminal law or medical school to become a medical examiner or forensic medicine specialist.

Outstanding Graduate Award - Sociology

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Each year at Concord University's Honors Banquet, the Sociology Department presents the Outstanding Sociology Graduate award to a senior sociology major. The recipient is selected by department faculty based on GPA and his or her contribution to the program. Will you be the next to receive this prestigious award?

McKenna Entsminger

Marcus Murrell

Nathanael Dean
& Josie Lupardus

Laken Pruitt

Steve Redden

Jerry Fowler

Nicholas Dolin

Donna Musick

Scott Inghram

Kevin Hart





Kaitlen Hubbard

Cory Haines

Celia Ann Laverty​

Kristen Mills

Meshell Shaffer

Holly Belcher

Matthew Smith

Ian Lovejoy

Tina Mullins

Rosemary L. Ellis

Why Sociology?

To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.
~Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Imagine having the ability to analyze the impact of mass media on children, identify patterns in the labor market, explore the role of the criminal justice system in the lives of the poor, or study the effects contemporary culture have on interpersonal relationships. Sociologists do all that and more. Sociology is the study of the interactions between groups and institutions, and the study of social life and human behavior. It allows us to better understand the changing world.

Sociology majors at Concord develop both qualitative and quantitative research skills as they learn to identify social trends and analyze statistics. Majors also learn about the diverse cultural and social realities that exist around the world. As they develop the ability to critically analyze social interactions between individuals, groups and societies, students also develop sensitivity and respect for social difference. Sociology students learn to clearly communicate their ideas in writing and public speaking while striving to engage in respectful dialog, essential skills in the work force. 

Produced by the American Sociological Association, the PDF booklets below provide practical information about how a sociology degree can be useful, where major's work, career planning and information about graduate school.

21st Century Careers With an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology (PDF)

What are they Doing with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology? (PDF)

Culture and Interaction Emphasis

Recommended electives for students planning to attend graduate school.

The culture and interaction concentration is ideal for students who plan to go on to graduate school and pursue an advanced degree. It focuses on developing critical thinking, writing and theoretical skills that will benefit those interested in graduate school. Students who pursue an advanced degree in sociology or a related field may become social researchers, college professors licensed social workers and policy makers among other careers. 

  • SOC 207 Social Inequality and the Media (3)
  • SOC 221 Sociology of Gender (3)
  • SOC 301 Sociology of Families (3)
  • SOC 307 Social Psychology (3)
  • SOC 310 Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • SOC 321 Popular Culture (3)
  • SOC 450 Sociology Internship (3-12)
Inequality and Social Justice Emphasis

Recommended electives for students planning to work in the human services field.

The inequality and social justice concentration is intended for students who are interested in working with non-governmental organizations, charitable trusts, community organization or other arenas of social activism. This plan focuses on helping students understand social organizations, inequality and issues of social justice while developing organization and problem solving skills.

  • SOC 207 Social Inequality and the Media (3)
  • SOC 210 Deviant Behavior (3)
  • SOC 221 Sociology of Gender (3)
  • SOC 230 Sociology of Law (3)
  • SOC 329 Minority Group Relations (3)
  • SOC 320 Special Topics in Sociology (3) (Gerontology)
  • SOC 450 Sociology Internship (3-12)
Getting an undergraduate degree in sociology is a great way to get a job after graduation. Businesses, social services and government agencies appreciate the knowledge of social and cultural interactions sociology majors acquire. With a sociology degree, students translate what they learned in the classroom to benefit businesses and organizations in surprising ways.


  • Human Resources
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Public Relations

Sociology majors often make strong public relations and marketing specialists. Sociologists also help businesses improve the culture of the workplace and understand group dynamics in human resources positions.

Graduate School

  • Professor
  • Subject Specialist
  • Researcher
An undergraduate major in sociology provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in fields including law, business, social work, medicine, public health, public administration and, of course, sociology. After graduate school, sociologists may become professors, researchers or highly skilled experts in an area of research.
For those interested in Graduate School, make sure to check out the links below:

Social Services

  • Caseworker
  • Counselor 
  • Mental Health
The knowledge and skills gained as a sociology major comes in handy when working as a caseworker or in outreach for children's services, senior care organizations and mental health agencies. Counseling at social services organizations, hospitals and homeless shelters offer other employment opportunities. 


  • Corrections Officer
  • Rehabilitation
  • Law Enforcement 
Students in sociology with an interest in criminology often go into careers that focus upon the relationship among crime, the criminal justice system, and society as a whole. A degree in sociology qualifies you to work as police officers, parole officers, security, prisoner rehabilitation specialists and many other positions. 

Non-profit Work

  • Advocate
  • Community Relations
  • Volunteer
A degree in sociology is an excellent foundation for work with international or national non-profit organizations. You can find work in a variety of areas or build experience by volunteering with nonprofit groups. Help in a food pantry, teach ESL classes to immigrants, serve as a patient or court advocate are just some of the opportunities.


  • Program Development
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Statistics Researcher
Sociology majors often work for government agencies as a public policy analyst or a researcher tasked with determining the effectiveness of government programs and policies. A sociology degree also prepares students to work for agencies providing services and aid to disadvantaged individuals.


  • Administrator
  • Career Counselor
  • Teacher

Sociology majors find jobs in higher education, working in career offices helping students identify career paths or assisting in the job search. Other options include work in the alumni relations’ office, fundraising and more. Sociology majors also work as educators with outside agencies, presenting special programs or overseeing grant-funded programs in schools.

Graduate Schools Our Majors Attend

Many of our majors that go on to graduate school earn Master’s Degrees in Sociology, Psychology or Social Work. Several have completed Law School. We have even had a few students earn a PhD in Sociology! Graduate and Professional schools attended by our former students include:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • George Mason University
  • Marshall University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Ohio University
  • Radford University
  • Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia University
Where Our Graduates Work

Below is a list of some of the companies, universities and agencies where our graduates are employed.

  • Children’s Health Improvement Partnership, Radford, VA
  • Pressley Ridge, Tazewell, VA
  • Kanawha County school system
  • Virginia Department of Corrections
  • Mount Olive Correctional Complex
  • McDowell County Office of Probation & Parole
  • West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Charleston, WV
  • Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Office of International Research, Education, and Development
  • Virginia Tech Student Support Services
  • Concord University, Office of Resident Life
  • Concord University, Admissions Office
  • West Virginia State University
  • Lane College, Jackson, TN
  • Casto & Harris Election Supply, Spencer WV
  • The Hershey Company, Hershey PA
  • Honeywell IT Services

Please note that some of these jobs require graduate or professional degrees.


Q: When can I register for classes?

  • A: Registration dates are available each semester on the Concord Academic Planning Calendar. Generally seniors register first and freshman last, and specific dates will be available by the middle of the semester.

Q: If I want to register online, where do I get my PIN?

  • A: Your advisor has your PIN.

Q: If I major in Sociology do I need to have a minor?

  • A: Not necessarily. If you take ONLY the classes required for General Studies and the Sociology major, you will still need 20-30 credit hours to meet the required 120 hour minimum needed to graduate. We recommend you use those elective hours to complete a minor. This could be one of the minors listed in the catalog or it could be a set of classes that you and your advisor select. If you are a double-major, you do not need a minor.

Q: What math classes do I need?

  • A: You need two math classes for General Studies. Sociology requires you to have MATH 105. MATH 103 is a prerequisite for MATH 105. If you take these two math classes you will fulfill the requirements for both General Studies and Sociology.

Q: Can I substitute Behavioral Statistics for MATH 105?

  • A: Yes, we will accept Behavioral Statistics for the Sociology major, but it does not fulfill the General Studies math requirement. You still need two math classes for General Studies.

Q: What is the D/F Forgiveness Rule?

  • A: If you earn a D or F in any course taken before you earn 60 hours, you can repeat the course. The grade you earn when you repeat the class will be used to determine your GPA. In other words, the original D or F will no longer be calculated into your GPA. However, the original grade will not be deleted from your transcript.

Q: How does the Foreign language substitution rule work?

  • A: Six hours of the same foreign language can be substituted for up to two General studies courses. Foreign language courses can only be substituted for ONE General Studies course per Academic Division.
    • If you did NOT take a foreign language in high school, you can substitute the 101-102 courses
    • If you took one year of foreign language in high-school, you must take 102 and a higher level course
    • If you took two or more years of foreign language in high school, you must take 201 and a higher level course
CU Sociology Club

The CU Sociology Club is dedicated to enhancing intellectual and community involvement within the discipline. The Soc Club provides the opportunity to get to know other students, faculty and interested community members outside of the classroom. 

Soc Club welcomes all students, majors, minors and even just fans of sociology to join. Members engage in community service, support campus events, organize charitable fundraising and attend academic conferences. Sociology club is a great way to learn more about sociology and about fellow students at Concord University.

For more information, visit the CU Sociology Club Facebook page.

Dr. Tracy Luff

Advising Materials

Each semester our majors meet with a faculty advisor to assess their progress and make a plan for the upcoming semester. Below are several important PDF documents that students need to have before coming to their advising appointment. The Advising Packet PDF walks you through the process of preparing a schedule and keeping track of your progress to graduation. 

Research Tools

It can seem daunting for student's embarking on their first research project in college so it is important to not forget the basics. Concord University's J. Frank Marsh Library provides students with access to important academic databases and archives, allowing student researchers to be confident in their sources. Sociology students often find EBSCO and JSTOR particularly helpful. (Log on to MYCU and find the databases under the library tab.) If you need help with your writing, remember Concord's Tutoring Services is there to help.

Citation Help

From journal articles to online research, it is very important that material is cited correctly. Plagiarism, even if unintentional, is taken very seriously at Concord. In sociology ASA is the preferred citation format. For examples of how to cite different sources in ASA, download the Quick Tips for ASA Style. Always check with your teacher to verify the citation format that they want you to use. Visit Purdue University's Online Writing Lab and EasyBib to learn how to cite work in MLA, APA, Chicago and other citation formats. 

Human Subjects Research Board

For students who which to research human subjects outside of the classroom, Concord University's HSRB will help identify any ethical or safety concerns and in conversation with a faculty advisor, assist students in developing projects that meet the highest safety and ethical standards of social researchers. The following PDF forms must be completed before students begin any human subject research project. 

Our Staff

Allen, Shawn
Shawn Allen
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Darden, Ellen
Ellen Darden
Professor of Social Work
Dick, Candence
Candence "Candie" Dick
Training Coordinator
Dinkins, Samantha
Samantha Dinkins
Durham, Robbin
Robbin Durham
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Fedele, Angela
Angela Fedele
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Gum, Nola
Nola Gum
Instructor in Social Work
Howell, Vanessa
Vanessa Howell
Administrative Associate-MSW Program
Inghram, C. Scott
C. Scott Inghram
Associate Professor - Social Work/Director of MSW Program
Key, Nia
Nia Key
Instructor in Social Work
Luff, Tracy
Tracy Luff
Professor of Sociology/Dir. of Honors Program
Mills, Ida A.
Ida A. Mills
Associate Professor of Social Work
Mills, Mark A.
Mark A. Mills
Instructor of Sociology/Criminology
Newcomb-Lewis, Marie
Marie Newcomb-Lewis
Concord University Counselor
Nishimoto, Patricia
Patricia Nishimoto
Associate Professor of Social Work
Nutter-Pridgen, Kathryn
Kathryn Nutter-Pridgen
Assistant Professor of Sociology
O'Field, Steven
Steven O'Field
Pace, Lori
Lori Pace
Instructor of Criminology
Pendergast, Joan M.
Joan M. Pendergast
Associate Professor of Social Work/Chair, Department of Social Work and Sociology
Philpott, Terri
Terri Philpott
Instructor of Social Work
Pridgen, Stephen
Stephen Pridgen
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ross, Courtney
Courtney Ross
Adjunct Instructor in Sociology
Whittaker, Sarah
Sarah Whittaker
Professor of Social Work

Programs of Studies


Course Description