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What Makes Our Department Unique 

aka: Why You Should Major or Minor in Sociology

Social Justice and Public Sociology Orientation

The program is grounded in the discipline of sociology for a human rights perspective emphasizing social, economic, and environmental justice. We seek to train students to use sociological theories and methods to engage in debates about public policy, to organize communities for political activism, to understand the relationship between oppression and resistance, and to operate nonprofit community benefit organizations seeking social change.

Beyond the Classroom Learning

Throughout the curriculum students have the opportunity to be involved in the process of "learning by doing" that goes beyond the textbook and the classroom.  From internships at local nonprofit and public agencies to alternative spring breaks to service learning courses to research projects utilizing interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, students are expected to engage with everyday life through applying sociological methods and theories to their own lives and those who live in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.

Rigorous Research Preparation

Through a two-sequence methods requirement, along with additional elective options in methods, students acquire the skills to conduct quantitative and qualitative social science research, from statistical data collection and analysis to interviewing, participation observation, and content analysis.  Skill sets that prepare students for graduate school or jobs in the fields of social services, politics, communications, public relations, and marketing.

Beyond the BA Orientation

The program emphasizes a multiplicity of ways to engage with a sociological analysis of social life. Be it through a minor or major in sociology, affiliated minors and majors (Women’s Studies, Chicano & Latin American Studies, Criminology, Social Work, Anthropology, and Political Science), in-department certificate programs in Applied Research or Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs), or other certificate programs at Fresno State that specialize in serving at-risk youth, cross-cultural competency, racial understanding, and global awareness. All of these opportunities prepare you for a job right after graduation or for graduate school. Check out where are graduates are now (link to college to career page).

Engaged Faculty with Expertise

Our faculty are known as charismatic, supportive, motivating, and approachable.  They are also nationally recognized in their fields of expertise, ranging from gender and race & ethnicity to environmental sustainability and food justice.  Most importantly they are engaged in bringing their know-how and research skills to improving the quality of life for everyone living, working, and playing in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Students

Join a department where students reflect the diversity of lifeways in the San Joaquin Valley.  This student body creates a unique environment that facilitates robust and captivating in-class debates on racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and inequality, among other topics.  This diversity is a tremendous asset to your education and will push you to cultivate the cultural competency and cultural humility vital to living and working in a multicultural world.