MajorMinor3YRBachelor of Arts
Photo of sociology students in class

Social Life. Social Issues. Social Change.

Butler’s Sociology program explores human interactions, giving you an understanding of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Grounded in three central themes—community, social diversity, and global awareness—Butler’s Sociology major offers small class sizes, close interaction with faculty on research projects, and access to internship and service-learning opportunities within a large metropolitan setting.

Through the use of theory and methods, you will address challenging social issues, engage in critical thinking, and interact with the Indianapolis community, allowing you to further deepen your understanding and extend the practical applications of your studies.

Program Information


The Sociology program is designed to give students a grasp on the general concepts of sociology. Sample courses in this program include:

  • SW 200SO – Understanding Society
  • SO 205 – Contemporary Social Issues
  • SO 301 – Families and Gender Roles
  • SO 339 – Violence, Media, and Culture
  • SO 391W – Social Theory Seminar
  • SO 393 – Research Methods Seminar

See all Sociology major curriculum information


Students can choose to add a specialization in Social Work and Social Policy to their major. This entails a three-course sequence of classes in social work (substituting for electives) taught by faculty with experience in social work practice.

Additionally, students have the option to a declare a concentration within the Sociology major in one of two areas – Community, Health, and Wellbeing or Inequality, Power, and Resistance. Students must take three courses within the chosen concentration in order to opt-in.

Three-Year Programs

The Sociology major can be completed in a total of three years. More information can be found here.

The Butler Advantage

The core values of the Department are to foster critical reflection, social awareness and responsibility, sociocultural diversity, and a global perspective. The department’s central mission is to:

Foster a knowledge of social and cultural issues, theories, and research methods.

Cultivate students’ abilities to succinctly and clearly express this knowledge in oral and written form.

Provide opportunities for students to utilize these acquired skills in an applied context.

Develop perspectives that emphasize critical inquiry and reasoning to address challenging social problems.

Meet Your Faculty

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Headshot of Stephen Barnard
Stephen Barnard
Associate Professor – Chair of Sociology & Criminology
Sociology and Criminology – LAS
Dr. Stephen (Steve) Barnard is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology.  Before joining the faculty at Butler, he was Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at St. Lawrence University, where he…
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Headshot of Krista Cline
Krista Cline
Associate Professor – Sociology
Sociology and Criminology – LAS
I am Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Butler University. Before coming to Butler, I earned a dual-title Ph.D. from Purdue University in sociology and gerontology. I then spent at year at the University of Missouri as a postdoctoral…
View more about Krista Cline
Headshot of Katherine Novak
Katherine Novak
Professor – Sociology
Sociology and Criminology – LAS
Dr. Katherine (Kate) Novak is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology where she teaches courses in criminology, mental illness, social psychology, research methods and statistics. She holds a B.A  in sociology and in psychology, and…
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learn more about the sociology program


Whatever path you’re interested in pursuing, there’s a place for you at Butler.


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