The Department of Sociology and Criminology at Merrimack College strives to provide students with an understanding of social life that recognizes the complex relationship and dynamic interplay between society and its members. A primary goal of the program is to help students cultivate the sociological perspective as a type of critical thinking and informed analysis. The course of study that the department offers equips students with the means to understand the nature of complexity that characterizes our post-modern, global world so that they become more informed, engaged, and contributing members of civil society. The education that Merrimack’s sociology majors receive makes for a more enlightened person who will be well prepared for either a wide variety of employment opportunities or the pursuit of graduate education.
Students are urged to discuss their career goals and aspirations with their advisors early in their academic experience at Merrimack College so that timely and adequate planning can be made to guide students in the appropriate direction to realize their career goals. An important part of advisement is for the student and faculty advisor to work together toward the design of an academic course of study that prepares the student to take advantage of the specific avenue of opportunity in which the student is interested.
Because of its focus on people, human relations, and social programs, sociology majors who seek employment opportunities following graduation from Merrimack College are strong candidates for positions in human service organizations, government, or business. A quick perusal of the employment page of any major newspaper finds an array of positions that sociology majors are qualified to fill, such as: research assistant, resident service coordinator, program coordinator, youth worker, training associate, case manager, operations assistant, property manager, customer service representative, sales support associate, or sales manager trainee. The Student Association for Sociology (SAS) at Merrimack College holds an annual career night where students meet alumni and people in careers that are available to sociology majors.
While employment opportunities are available to those who graduate from Merrimack College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, the program of study at Merrimack also prepares students to pursue a graduate education in sociology and in a variety of other related professions such as social work, law, criminal justice, public administration, public health, human services, human resources, journalism, or business.
Students who are interested in applying to graduate school after graduating from Merrimack College are encouraged to discuss this interest with their advisor or the department chair, and to seek guidance and advice from faculty members in the department who students think may be especially helpful with this matter.
Admission to graduate programs typically requires that applicants earn a high grade point average (GPA), take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), write a personal statement, and provide letters of recommendation. When asking faculty members to write letters of recommendation, it is necessary that the faculty member knows information about the student both academically and personally. Therefore, when asking for letters of recommendation, it is helpful to provide the faculty member with the following:
- A current resume
- A copy of your transcript
- Names and dates of courses you took with the faculty writing the recommendation<
- Any other pertinent information
Students interested in attending graduate school are urged to check out the Department of Sociology’s bulletin board which is located outside Sullivan 307. Posters are available on the bulletin board of various graduate programs in professional areas related to sociology. Students are encouraged to visit the Web sites of graduate programs that interest them and learn the admission requirements, the faculty’s interests, and other pertinent information. Discuss your interest with either the chair of the department or your advisor. If a student has a particular career interest, the advisor can help the student design a course of study that best prepares the student for acceptance into the graduate program of their choice. Several career goals have been identified below, and a course of study is recommended for sociology majors.