Mercer University
College of Liberal Arts


The Department of Sociology offers a wide variety of courses in sociology and criminal justice.  Courses help students understand the unique approaches to human behavior of these disciplines, while complementing and strengthening a liberal arts education.   Courses within the department prepare students for graduate school and professional degree programs in law, medicine, criminal justice, social work, public health, and other fields as well as careers in such areas as human services, marketing, public administration, and human resources.  The critical thinking and communication skills students develop can be applied in many sectors of employment including nonprofits, government, and business.

Through the sociology major and minor, students gain an understanding of the social world and how to bring about social change.  Sociology students learn about important sociological concepts such as racial, gender and social class inequality, the influence of culture and social structure on individual and group behavior, globalization, and social institutions including religion, medicine, and the family.  Students receive a strong foundation in sociological theory, research methods, and data analysis.  Sociology courses provide students with the tools necessary for a scientific understanding of social forces and how they impact our lives. 

Click here for information about careers in Sociology.

The minor and individualized major in criminal justice helps students learn about criminal law, law enforcement, judicial processes, and other aspects of the criminal justice system.  Courses are grounded in social theory and research, yet provide a distinctive and very helpful interdisciplinary approach to criminal behavior, the relationship between crime and society, and ways to most effectively address this social problem.

Sociology Major

The major in sociology consists of SOC 101, 303, 304, and 405 and one course from each of the following:

1. Social Problems (SOC 210, 225, 295, 310, 313, 315, 345, 360) 

2. Social Structures (SOC 320, 321, 322, 323, 325, 330, 334, 340, 367)

3. Special Areas (SOC 390, 395, 490, ANT 101, CRJ 260, GEO 111)

Students also choose two additional electives from any of the courses in the three categories listed above.  At least 15 hours towards the 27 hours for the major must be from courses numbered 300 or higher.

Sociology Minor

A minor in sociology consists of a 15 hours, including SOC 101, 303, and 304.

Individualized Major in Criminal Justice

The individualized major in criminal justice is interdisciplinary and consists of a minimum of 27 hours.  Students complete CRJ 260, SOC 304 and choose additional courses in Criminal Justice and in areas such as Psychology, Political Science, and Philosophy. Please contact Dr. Winston for more details about the criminal justice major (

Minor in Criminal Justice 

The minor in criminal justice consists of 15 hours, including SOC 101 and CRJ 260.  Six of these hours must be from courses numbered 300 or higher.