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Message from the Department

the sociology & social work facultyWelcome to the Department of Sociology and Social Work. Have you been curious about why social groups behave the way they do? Have you always been a good listener, someone your peers turn to for support? Are you a social problem solver, motivator of your friends, or leader of your community? If so, then a major in sociology or social work may be an ideal one for you.

Sociology majors study to understand how human beings relate to each other. Using theoretical models and carefully gathered data, sociologists seek to explain how and why we create families, build communities, engage in work, develop places to worship, and bring about social and cultural change.

Social work majors also study human behavior, but their emphasis is on changing and improving lives so that people can reach their full potential. The social work major is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the principal accrediting agency in social work education. Accreditation means that our graduates are prepared for entry-level social work practice, and it qualifies some students for advanced standing in graduate social work programs.

Students who major in sociology or social work have the opportunity to participate in many hands-on learning experiences. Every social work major will engage in internship experiences in community social service organizations where they will use their classroom-learned skills to work with professional social work mentors. Many sociology and social work majors engage in summer research opportunities which lead to presentation of research findings at professional meetings.

The professors of the Department of Sociology and Social Work are committed to Hope College and to their students. They are intent upon building the most meaningful educational experience possible for their students, whether majors, minors, or interested fellow-travelers. So, as you reflect on your college life, pick a disciplinary major, or plan for your future career, please feel free to stop by our offices or call one of us for advice or reflection. We’re here to help you have the best college experience you can have, and to help prepare you for a lifetime of learning and growing after Hope.