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Majors and Minors

Sociology Major

As a Sociology major at Otterbein University students have the opportunity to investigate diverse areas within sociology such as poverty, inequality, criminology, global and community development, family studies, social movements, and race and ethnicity. As they design and develop their curriculum in the program, our courses enable the development of the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience necessary for diverse careers or continued studies.

A major in Sociology is uniquely flexible in that students can easily complement this major with another major and/or minor offered at Otterbein University. The study of sociology and cultural anthropology guarantees the kind of broad knowledge and skill set that enables students to prepare for a number of careers in a rapidly changing job market.

Our Sociology majors can elect to study the field broadly or choose among our four areas of concentration: Global Sociology and Anthropology, Criminology, Human and Community Services, and Family Studies.

Criminology and Justice Studies Major

The field of criminology is an exciting field with a long history within the field of sociology.  Students majoring in criminology widely explore the historical and societal origins and roles of deviance and crime, its effects on society as well as  the systems established to control to investigate, deter, punish, treat, rehabilitate and generally respond to crime and deviance. The field examines the societal implications of crime, deviance and social justice/injustice and their varying effects on diverse populations. Our courses explore the field of criminology and justice studies from an interdisciplinary perspective while our curriculum affords students a variety of applied and service learning “hands on” experiences to support the development of skills necessary to meet the demand of a variety of professions in criminal justice, law, government and public and nonprofit human services.  We encourage students to work with their advisors to select electives that complement their career goals, whether they are in the field of criminal justice, counseling, human services, or community and global activism.

Check the course catalog for more details about the requirements, as well as course descriptions.


A minor in Sociology at Otterbein University allows students to enhance their undergraduate experience through a variety of courses that complement many other majors. A Sociology minor can help students who seek to investigate topics in further depth such as family, criminology, human and community service or global justice. Acquiring a background in this field can help students to better prepare for graduate studies or a career in a related field.

A minor in Sociology consists of 4 Sociology (or SOAN) courses (4-4 credit hour courses) in Sociology that includes SOCL 1000, at least 8 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level and at least one course at the 4000 level.

A minor in criminology can be combined with majors in sociology or other disciplines to complement and enhance their degrees.  It is an ideal minor for students who are interested in pursuing occupations that may bring them into contact with the topics and issues discussed in the field of criminology.

A minor in Criminology consists of SOCL 1000, SOCL 3050, and two other courses from the remaining Criminology and Justice Studies core courses (SOCL 2050, 3070, 4010, ANTH 4020).

Cultural Anthropology
A minor in Cultural Anthropology at Otterbein University provides a cross-cultural perspective on social life and social issues, as well as training students with the analytical tools to understand issues of cultural perspective, ethnicity, global change, and inequality. This minor will complement not only the sociology major, but majors in many other fields including health professions, psychology, and education.

A minor in Cultural Anthropology consists of 4 Cultural Anthropology (or SOAN) courses (4-4 credit hour courses) that includes ANTH 1000, and a minimum of 8 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level.


Global Sociology and Anthropology
Students with an interest in global issues, including diversity and cultural change, political conflict, and structures of global inequality, development and poverty, can fulfill a concentration in Global Sociology and Anthropology.

The Global Sociology/Global Anthropology concentration is a supported by a wide variety of courses in both disciplines. Students in this course of study will look closely at critical global issues such as transnational migration, race and ethnicity, economic globalization and growing inequality, environmental danger and sustainability, as well as social movements and social change.

This concentration involves hands-on learning as well as intellectual challenges as students apply theories and readings to current events and problems. Students may select four courses from a variety of class room based, service learning and travel offerings that provide deeper understanding of - and engagement with - the challenges and forces of change faced by our globalizing world in the 21st century. Students can pursue a course of study tailored to their specific interests.

A concentration in this area requires an interdisciplinary approach. Students must take at least two cultural anthropology classes (ANTH) and at least two sociology courses (SOCL). Check the course catalog for more details about the requirements, as well as course descriptions.

Human and Community Services
Those interested in a career in human services, whether in the public, private, or non-profit sectors, may consider a concentration in Human and Community Services.

The Human and Community Service concentration (HACS) is a practical course of study that immerses students in the study of human services to analyze issues and strategize solutions for the challenges faced by communities locally and globally.

This three-course concentration allows students first to familiarize themselves with the challenges communities face, as well as the myriad of ways groups and organizations attempt to meet those challenges.

Next, students enter a service learning setting to work in the community or with an organization on specific issues of interest to the student.

Lastly, the focus shifts to study service provision management and administration from the business perspective. With the limited commitment required, this concentration is designed not only as a stand-alone concentration but also as an easy combination with other concentrations in the department. It can also enhance the social and cultural skills of Sociology majors who are double majoring in other departments, pursuing certification programs or working in interdisciplinary programs.

Check the course catalog for more details about the requirements, as well as course descriptions.

Family Studies
Students with an interest in gender studies and the sociology and anthropology of the family can elect Family Studies.

Family forms are changing rapidly while remaining the basic institution of societies worldwide.Our family studies concentration provides a sociological perspective for understanding the global diversity of family life. We examine contemporary and traditional U.S. families from different cultures including but not limited to African American, Asian American, Arab American, Jewish American and Latino families. A cross cultural, global and dynamic point of view utilizing culturally oriented theoretical frameworks help examine issues related to gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Students work independently with the guidance of their professors on major research projects, internships and service learning projects. This three-course concentration requires that students take two core courses and choose one electives.

Check the course catalog for more details about the requirements, as well as course descriptions.

/ Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Heidi Ballard
Towers Hall 212
p / 614.823.1367
e / hballard@otterbein.edu


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