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Programs / Arts / Sociology

Program Summary

The Sociology program at Carleton brings together elements of the social sciences and humanities as it examines human social behaviour and organization in the context of post-industrial societies and economic and cultural globalization. You will explore social phenomena such as youth and crime, war and state violence, anti-capitalist social movements, the changing nature of families, the meanings of popular culture in the digital age, transformations in the organization of work, the changing place of women in social institutions, the reemergence of religion as a cultural force, and many other topics designed to enhance your understanding of the forces shaping the modern world. At the same time, the study of sociology develops skills in statistical and interview-based research, data analysis, synthesis of knowledge, and written and oral communication, and also teaches you some of the central theoretical ideas that have shaped our understandings of human society.

Strong academic programs

Carleton’s undergraduate programs in Sociology and Anthropology are comprehensive in scope. Our faculty include leading national figures in both disciplines and young scholars doing innovative work. This is a great place to learn both sociology and anthropology.

Applied work experience

Students in the final year of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours (Sociology) or a BA Honours (Anthropology) may obtain departmental permission to enrol in a half credit field placement (SOCI 4820 or ANTH 4000). This is a unique opportunity to gain research experience in a professional research setting such as Statistics Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, or an international development organization based in Ottawa. Instead of attending classes, you will spend up to one day a week working in an organization.

Co-op opportunities

A co-op option is available to Honours students in Sociology or Anthropology and allows you to combine work placements with academic study. Work placements exist in a variety of public and private sector fields, and give you the opportunity to apply information and skills obtained in class, such as social survey design and quantitative and qualitative data analyses, to practical social issues and problems. Students in co-op can gain the experience and develop the skills needed to acquire marketable areas of expertise. Work placements also offer a perspective on career preferences and interests, with an opportunity to develop job networks.

Ottawa is home to numerous institutions and organizations that can provide unique opportunities for research or work experience, including the Canadian Museum of History, Library and Archives Canada, Statistics Canada and many international development organizations.

Bachelor of Arts (General) in Sociology

The Bachelor of Arts (General) is usually taken over three years.

At least 6.0 of your credits must be in Sociology or Anthropology. You take fewer core courses than in the Honours program and, in consultation with faculty advisors, you are free to tailor your program to suit your interests and career goals.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sociology

The BA (Honours) program provides an intensive and in-depth program of study over a period of four years.

At least 9.0 of your credits must be in Sociology and/or Anthropology. As an Honours student in Sociology, you will be expected to have at least 3.0 credits in one discipline outside Sociology and Anthropology, such as economics, geography, history, philosophy, political science or psychology.

Honours programs can be combined with other disciplines for a Combined Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) degree. Students must complete 7.0 credits in either Sociology or Anthropology and fulfill the requirements for the other discipline.

Stream in Social Justice 

You have the option to pursue a stream in Social Justice as part of the BA Honours or Combined Honours in Sociology. The stream takes a sociological approach to social injustice and social justice struggles, and combines academic learning with hands-on experiential learning. Areas of focus may include poverty; economic polarization and advancing alternative economic orders; racism and anti-racist struggles; colonialism and Indigenous movements; and struggles around gender inequality, gender identity and sexuality.

The workplace

Sociology and Anthropology prepare you for a variety of careers. Some graduates apply their social sciences knowledge directly in research, teaching, policy development, or in personnel or correctional services. Others go on to careers in federal government departments such as Industry Canada and Statistics Canada.

Many other graduates work in the fields of international development and community development, as researchers and analysts. At the municipal and regional levels, social sciences graduates are found in areas such as consultation, research, policy planning and administration.

Graduate studies

BA (Honours) graduates may also be eligible to go on to graduate studies in Sociology or Anthropology as well as a variety of fields including:

  • Canadian studies;
  • political economy;
  • international affairs;
  • environmental studies; and
  • resource management.

Professional programs

Many professions encourage well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds to apply. Sociology and Anthropology provide a strong foundation for a number of professional programs such as urban planning, medicine, teaching and law and you are encouraged to pursue your interest in these fields.