Sociology

Sociologists investigate how societies work. We study social life at every level, from personal relationships to the functioning of institutions and nations, right up to global interconnections. Our department is widely known for its strengths in criminology and the law, media (informational and surveillance), and social justice. Studying Sociology at Queen’s will help you understand the structures and dynamics of societies and the complex effects they have on human behaviour, public issues, everyday life, politics, and culture. It examines how various social forces produce social order and social change and in so doing influence what we do and how we think.

With courses as diverse as Surveillance and Visibility to the Sociology of Crime and Delinquency to Consumer Culture, the Sociology department is reputed for its emphases in Criminology and the Law, Media, Information and Surveillance, and Inequalities and Social Justice.

Top 5 Reasons to study Sociology:

  1. Engage with cutting-edge research in criminology, media, data, and a range of contemporary inequalities.
  2. Learn to critically evaluate commonsense assumptions about the societies you live in.
  3. Gain transferable skills, from critical analysis to problem solving, to leadership, research, and communication.
  4. A flexible plan: take advantage of one of the many opportunities for international exchange.
  5. A small, collegial department, off ering lively discussion and committed mentorship.

“The Sociology degree at Queen’s prepared me for success in both graduate school and in the workforce, as the program provided a solid foundation for my research, presentation, and organization skills. The Sociology department gave me the confidence to reach both my academic and professional goals.”
                                                                                                                                       -Taylor Halpern, BAH

Location: 
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room number: 
D-431
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
Annette Burfoot
Departmental Assistant: 
Wendy Schuler
Graduate Chair: 
Martin Hand
Graduate Assistant: 
Celina Caswell
Undergraduate Chair: 
Fiona Kay
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Michelle Underhill

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in Sociology
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Sociology
A dual course of study in Sociology and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Sociology
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Intership option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Sociology - PhD
Sociology - MA

Job and Career Opportunities for Sociology Grads

Alumni Career Statistics

  • 7% of alumni work in LAW & CONSULTING
  • 8% of alumni work in HEALTH CARE
  • 16% of alumni work in GOVERNMENT & NON-PROFIT
  • 31% of alumni work in EDUCATION

Sociologists critically assess ’common sense’ answers to all questions about social relationships, and undertake research that contributes to more adequate, thoughtful and systematic understandings of all aspects of the social world. Sociology offers a broad range of courses that equip students theoretically, methodologically and substantively for graduate work, professional programs, and careers in media, management, the non-profit sector including international development and social, health and personal services. For example, the Surveillance Project is an exciting, multi-disciplinary research project that explores why information about people has become so important in the 21st century and examines the social, political and economic consequences of this trend.

Where could Sociology students go after graduation?

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Child and youth care
  • Communications
  • Consulting 
  • Consumer services
  • Corporate training and development
  • Corrections
  • Counselling 
  • Demography
  • Editing
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Fundraising
  • Gerontology
  • Human research
  • Human resources
  • Human rights
  • Immigration services
  • Informatics
  • International development
  • Investment and pensions
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Professor
  • Program evaluation
  • Public administration
  • Public relations
  • Publishing
  • Social policy and social services
  • Social work
  • Statistician
  • Urban and regional planning

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation. Note: Some of these careers may require additional training.

Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen's

Surveillance of many kinds is growing rapidly throughout the world and the Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) at Queen’s University is committed to high quality research to follow such developments. Current active research explores camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls – indeed on many aspects of contemporary monitoring, tracking, management and control. While much research happens on the Queen’s University campus, the SSC is also part of a broad network of surveillance research that is both multi-disciplinary and international.

Read more about the Surveillance Studies Centre >

Alumni Profile

Recipient of the Governor-General’s Academic Gold Medal Award, Nicole Watson graduated from Queen’s University in 2010 with her Masters in Sociology. She is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture where she manages a network of over 150 representatives from more than 60 different organizations to identify regional priorities, cultivate partnerships and lead collaborative initiatives to improve service delivery to vulnerable newcomer populations within the City of Toronto.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Sociology offers a diverse and exciting range of courses that focus on contemporary social changes that are shaping the world in which you live such as Consumer Culture, Deviance and Social Control, and Social Psychology. Some popular courses within Sociology include Crime and Delinquency, Information and Communications Technologies, Cities: Urban Societies, Space, and Culture, and Race, Sex and the Body.

Course Spotlight

SOCY 300: Sociology of Cities
More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and most of the biggest sociological issues are urban in location and character. Understanding cities is therefore crucial to understanding contemporary societies. This course is an intensive introduction to urban sociology with a particular emphasis on world cities.

Undergraduate Admission to Sociology

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit queensu.ca/admission for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Sociology (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)
QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIA (The Castle)
QIB (Concurrent Education, The Castle)

See full admission requirements 

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2017-18 thresholds for Sociology are: 2.0 Cumulative GPA with minimum C in SOCY 122 or BISC 101 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE, PENDING LIST is open, so long as one is in good academic standing. 

Information on plan selection

Research in Sociology at Queen's

The Sociology Department at Queen's University provides a dynamic research environment with internationally renowned faculty. Our faculty specialize in various research areas including  our four major streams:

  • CIT - Communication and Information Technology
  • Feminist Sociology
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Sociological Theory Research

Special Research Project

The Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) is a multi-disciplinary and international research initiative based at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. The SSC at Queen's University is committed to high quality research focusing on current surveillance developments such as camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls.

Graduate Studies in Sociology

The Graduate Program in the Department of Sociology is a collegial, well-resourced and highly successful program. We offer rigorous academic degree programs at the MA and PhD levels. Our dedicated faculty members make every effort to provide comprehensive support to each and every graduate student. The department has an excellent record of securing external funding for students and providing additional teaching and research opportunities. Graduates of our PhD program have an outstanding record of securing full-time academic positions and successful professional careers. 

The Master's and Doctoral Programs in the Department of Sociology focus primarily on three streams: 

All applications for graduate study at Queen's University must be submitted online at the School of Graduate Studies admissions page. The deadline for receipt of all applications, including transcripts, letters of reference, writing sample and the statement of interest is January 1st. Doctoral applicants must identify and contact a potential supervisor about their research interests before applying to the program.