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Department of Sociology

(440) 826-2161


The complexities of terrorism, racial inequality, economic disparity and changing family dynamics can be evaluated through the multiple lenses of sociology.

Baldwin Wallace's sociology program is a comprehensive, versatile major. It offers outstanding preparation for professional and graduate school studies, as well as workplace opportunities.

It combines rigorous coursework with practical experiences. You'll study both broad and narrow social phenomena, issues and problems.

Current topics bring relevance to your studies and foster multi-dimensional perspectives for understanding evolving social patterns.

You'll delve into economics, political science, psychology and history as you study factors influencing human behavior, social organization, culture and social change.

Strong academics, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of the program. Scientific research, field experiences and internships offer additional benefits.

Through your studies, you'll learn to apply principles of scientific inquiry and produce research that incorporates real-world components. Over the years, BW sociology students have been presenters at national conferences and published scholarly works.

If your career interest includes social work, BW offers a 3/2 Social Work Affiliated Program. Participants earn a bachelor's degree from Baldwin Wallace and a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.


  • Social worker
  • Business leader
  • Urban planner
  • Criminologist
  • Survey researcher
  • Marketing consultant
  • Data analyst
  • Attorney
  • Counselor


BW's Social Work Affiliated Program leads to a bachelor's degree from Baldwin Wallace and a master's degree in social service administration from Case Western Reserve University in just five years. Persons holding the master's degree in social service administration and the LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker) certification are fully qualified to supervise social service casework, manage social service agencies and establish their own private practice in counseling.


Sociology is the study of social institutions, interactions and human behavior. Whereas psychology is the study of what goes on inside individuals, sociology addresses what goes on between them. Sociologists seek to understand a range of human relationships, including:

  • Changing forms of the family
  • Socio-economic and social class stratification
  • Racial and ethnic group relations
  • Changing gender roles
  • Causes of crime and the treatment of criminals
  • Patterns of drug and alcohol use
  • Social change
  • Workings of complex organizations
  • Functioning of modern society as a whole, both on an internal and a cross-cultural basis


If you would like to become a social studies teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program


Offered as a major and minor, sociology combines strong theoretical knowledge with dynamic experiential learning.

BW's flexible program enables you to tailor studies to your areas of interest. Students majoring in sociology generally select one of four broad career paths:

  • Business – sales, marketing, human relations
  • Government agency and urban planning
  • Social services in the private sector that includes work with children and the elderly
  • Professional sociologist – who teaches at a university level, conducts research or consults for business and nonprofit organizations

Sociology can be an excellent companion field of study. It often is chosen as a second major or minor for students interested in criminal justice, psychology, business, economics, public health, biology and others.

An optional five-year Social Work Affiliated Program enables you to earn a bachelor's degree from BW and a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:


BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, medical centers, research facilities, businesses and more.


Independent study offers students enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom for individualized and advanced study. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member.


BW's sociology department offers an impressive computer lab where you can analyze data and test out hypotheses, in addition to doing other types of academic work.


Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster skills in leadership and teamwork. Opportunities include:

Sociology/Criminal Justice/Forensic Science Club
Through educational and social activities, this organization provides opportunities for students to gain experience in and exposure to the criminal justice and sociology fields.

At the annual Honors Ceremony in the spring, student scholastic recognitions include:

Alpha Kappa Delta
The International Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta acknowledges and promotes excellence in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and other social and intellectual activities leading to improvement in the human condition.

Pi Gamma Mu
The International Social Science Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu encourages and recognizes superior scholarship in social science disciplines and fosters cooperation and social service among its members.


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Graduates of the sociology program are employed in guidance and counseling, sales and management positions and government agencies as diverse as Job and Family Services and the CIA.

Other individuals have been accepted to top graduate schools in the country. Alumni with master's degrees and doctorates can be found in research and teaching positions at businesses and universities and working as licensed social workers and counselors.

Heather BessHeather Bess '16 is veteran clerk at Parma Vet Center in Ohio. A student in BW’s social work affiliated program, she earned a B.A. in sociology from BW in 2016 and is on track to earn an M.S.S.A from Case Western Reserve University in 2017. Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, Heather is a U.S. Army veteran.

Brooke HradiskyBrooke Hradisky ’14 is associate at Carleton McKenna in Cleveland. Studying sociology honed her quantitative skills and ability to analyze ideas on a macro- and micro-level, preparing the Aurora, Ohio, native for the financial industry. Interning at the BW Center for Innovation and Growth landed her the job.

Lisa IsaacsonLisa Isaacson ’08 is special assistant to the president and CEO of Breaking Ground, a social service agency providing permanent, supportive housing to the formerly homeless in New York City. From Cleveland, she holds a Master of Public Administration with a focus on environmental science and policy from Columbia University.

Jenny KellyJenny Kelley ’08 is vice president and COO of Prosper for Purpose, an impact-focused strategic PR firm in Cleveland. An innovative entrepreneur, Jenny merged her 7-year-old business with Prosper for Purpose in 2015. From Lakewood, Ohio, she is also an active community member, volunteering with several northeast Ohio nonprofits.

Jared RosenbergerJared S. Rosenberger ’08 is assistant professor and director of the sociology program at Murray State University in Murray, Ky. His research focuses on the relationship between media consumption and public understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. The Tiffin, Ohio, native holds a Ph.D. from The University of Akron.


Full-Time Faculty

Theron Quist
Chair, Sociology Department
Assistant Director, Criminal Justice Program
Ph.D., University of Arizona

Jill Stephens Fleisher
Co-Director, Sustainability Major
Coordinator, Social Work Affiliated Program
Ph.D., Purdue University

Carol Gregory
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Delaware

Julie Newcamp
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Purdue University

Elizabeth Ross
Assistant Professor

Liya Wang
Co-Director, Discovering China
Ph.D., University of Utah