Sociology Major Concentrations

Every Sociology major is required to complete 3 CU's under a concentration. Our eight concentrations allow students to focus on a specific topic (or approach) in Sociology. Students can only select one concentration, although they are free to take courses that fall under other concentrations in order to fulfill other requirements in the major. Having a Sociology Concentration is how you will distinguish your interests in the job market as well as if you choose to further your education. By choosing a Sociology concentration, you are answering the "WHY" you will be beneficial to the area of work you are seeking out or the area in higher education that you wish to pursue.  Take a look here to see the fields of continued education and careers that our graduates have gone on to pursue. 

The concentrations offered by the department are listed below. The courses listed under each concentration can be used to meet the 3 CU requirement for the concentration.

Education and Society

The Education and Society concentration in Sociology gives Penn undergraduates the opportunity to engage the sociological imagination as they consider pertinent issues in education; from its role in stratification and cultural reproduction to its consideration as an engine of social mobility and a marker of privilege. 

Medical Sociology

This concentration enables students to advance their knowledge of the intersection between health, illness, and various sociological aspects such as religion, class, gender, and age.

Applied Research and Data Analysis

In this concentration, students will become familiar with quantitative and/or qualitative methods in sociology, both with respect to how to use them in general and how they are applied for specific topics. Additionally, students will develop the skills to analyze the data from these these methods, whether through primary research or secondary data.

Cities, Markets and the Global Economy

Neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitan areas are communities defined by geographic, economic, legal, political, cultural, and social boundaries. This concentration allows students to advance their knowledge on the intersection of these elements, the impact they have on populations and what is considered a "market," and the resulting economic impact on a global scale. 

Culture and Diversity

This concentration investigates the aspects of human life central to its definition, origins, and development of meaning, as well as how diversity within and resulting from these aspects impacts everday society.

Family, Gender and Society

The family is one of the most important institutions in any society. It is critical to the socialization of each generation and to the stability and functioning of the larger society. Family systems vary across cultures and have changed dramatically in the United States in recent decades. Our understanding of gender plays an important role in this. This concentration enables students to study this intersection between family and gender, and the impacts it has on society through aspects such as fertility, marriage, divorce, migration, and mortality.

Structures of Opportunity and Inequality

This concentration explores the balance of individual self-determination and institutionalized constraint in shaping people’s lives.

Law and Society

*Note: We are no longer placing students in this concentration. Students interested in the intersection of law and society should check out our new Law and Society major.