Why study sociology?

Students who study sociology will understand the complex intersection of economic, political and cultural structures of the social system with individual experiences. 

  • Sociology curriculum enables students to identify, understand and critically explore connections between individuals and society.
  • Classroom learning and research applies “systems level” thinking as an analytic tool and values continued partnerships and collaboration within the local community.
  • Students learn how social systems influence individual behavior, as well as understand how changes in the structure of society influence the whole.
Stock Photo Sociology

Academics at AU

Related Program of Study


Course Descriptions

Major Map




Latest News

In the fall, Augustana University brought back its criminal justice major after nearly 35 years — adding to the list of interdisciplinary academic programs being developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.

Augustana University has added a gender, sexuality & women’s studies (GSWS) minor as of Aug. 30. The minor is another offering within the university’s list of interdisciplinary academic programs developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.


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Graduates establish diverse career paths that include community development, human services and social work, law, criminal justice, health and ministry.

Hands-On Learning  

Internship opportunities include:

  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Children's Home Society
  • DakotAbilities
  • Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls
  • Sequel Transition Academy
  • Minnehaha County State's Attorney
  • Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD)
  • South Dakota Department of Corrections

Many sociology students choose to research through the Augustana Research Institute (ARI) and ongoing faculty projects. Students in this major often present their research at Augustana’s Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium.

Sociology students study away in:

  • Northern Ireland — focusing on the United Kingdom and reconciliation with AU faculty
  • London, England — focusing on Brexit with AU faculty
  • Barcelona, Spain — focusing on colonialism, identity and modernism with AU faculty
  • Australia — focusing on the global economy
  • Washington, D.C. — with the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS)

Courses & Organizations

Students can choose an emphasis in these areas:

  • Criminology & deviance — criminological theory, the criminal justice system, and connections between legal, judicial and enforcement practices
  • Family & community services — eviction and homelessness, domestic violence, marriage and parenting and family life
  • Medicine & health care systems — social patterning of health, experience of illness and production of medical and health-related knowledge
  • Sociology (society) — how individuals, institutions and structures are systematically connected in another discipline of the student’s choice, such as communication/business, marketing or computer information systems

Classes explore a broad range of social systemic forces, including family, religion, health care, gender, gerontology, deviance, crime and social inequality.

The sociology major pairs well with a minor in aging studies, gender studies or children & youth.

Sociology students often participate in:

  • Serving and Learning Together (SALT)
  • Lost & Found
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Augie Green
  • Peace Club
  • Encompass Humanity
  • Augie Feminist Equality Movement (FEM)