Sociology, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you curious about what drives social change? Do you think about how relationships and organizations affect people’s everyday decision-making? Is it important for you to support and advocate for causes that promote the greater good? If so, a degree in sociology is an excellent choice for you, and can lead to a wide variety of meaningful career options.

Sociology helps us better understand human society and social behavior. When you study sociology in PLNU's Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences, you will explore how groups, institutions, and societies function. Through action-oriented learning opportunities — both inside and outside the classroom — you will become prepared to work with a diverse group of people and issues in the U.S. and elsewhere. You will graduate with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make an immediate impact in a variety of careers or to confidently pursue an advanced degree.

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Jamie Gates, Ph.D.

A groundbreaking study examining the relationship between gangs, the community, and sex trafficking in San Diego County was published in 2016 by Dr. Jamie Gates, PLNU director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, and Dr. Ami Carpenter, professor of peace and conflict resolution from USD.

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PLNU’s major in sociology offers two concentrations: general sociology and criminal justice. You can pursue the study of general sociology and choose to take upper division classes that focus on many important issues we as a society are dealing with today. For example, one class looks at our schooling systems in the U.S. and how they compare worldwide, and another class considers what makes certain social movements more successful than others. Or, you can pursue the criminal justice concentration and take classes that focus on criminal law, race and ethnicity, as well as classes that look at restorative justice in communities. Whichever concentration you choose, you will have opportunities to apply what you learn in the classroom in the real world through internships, student ministries, and campus institutes like the Center for Justice & Reconciliation.


  • General Sociology
  • Criminal Justice 
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Course List


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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

Students with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology leave PLNU equipped for graduate schools or careers within social justice, education, business, nonprofits, immigration, politics, and the criminal justice system. Alumni are sought after for their ability to critically evaluate social and cultural patterns, while also constructively engaging as agents of hope.

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Student Profile

Gwen Gleason-Rohrer

After two and a half years in the pre-med program at PLNU, Gwen Gleason-Rohrer took a step back and thought about changing her career path, which had been focused on medicine. She then changed her major to sociology, and graduated with a B.A. in sociology in 2003.

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Some of the career options that are available to you with a major in sociology include:

  • Business Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
  • Hospital or Adult Care Facility Worker
  • Child Welfare Facility Counselor
  • Public Administrator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Drug Rehabilitation Facility Worker
  • Nonprofit Organization Operator
  • Social Services Coordinator
  • Probation and Criminal Justice Worker
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Police and Law Enforcement
  • Attorney
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