The sociocultural studies major merges the fields of anthropology and sociology to give students a holistic understanding of human social and cultural life. We’ve designed the program so students can specialize in an emphasis of their choice.
Why should I study sociocultural studies?Students who major in sociocultural studies become socially conscious, empathetic Christians who live and work in cross-cultural and urban settings all over the world. You'll learn about a wide range of cultures and societies and develop useful skills for community settings, missions and nongovernmental agencies, and corporations and businesses.
What can I do with this degree?
The versatility of the sociocultural studies major allows students to pursue a variety of vocations. Our graduates have worked with refugees in Kenya, acted as anthropological consultants with missions agencies in Southeast Asia, mentored at-risk children in Minneapolis, and worked as human resources specialists in American corporations. Some of the most common career paths include:
- Education, including teaching, educational research, and administration
- Human services, including social work, counseling, recreation, community work, public administration, and environmental planning
- Criminal justice, including police service, juvenile and adult corrections, and service to the courts
- Communication, including journalism, information management, library work, and public relations
- Research and data management, including public and private research positions, programming, and systems analyses
Besides employment, the sociocultural studies major also prepares student well for further studies. Examples are graduate work in sociology or anthropology, professional degrees in social work, urban planning, or health administration, or fields such as law, epidemiology, or film studies. The research skills, exposure to social theory, and international experience have made graduates very attractive to both potential employers and graduate schools.
What skills will I develop?
Sociology students learn to understand and make sense of social relationships. They begin to understand how organizations and power structures work, and learn to create, interpret, and manipulate data sets that describe various social processes. They also learn to live and work effectively in highly diverse settings. You’ll develop competencies in:
- Research methods
- Community collaboration
- Social and cultural analysis
- Written communication
- Oral communication
- Research methods
- Interviewing skills
- Data management and analysis
- Program evaluation
- Social survey techniques
- Report writing
What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?
Students have the opportunity to pursue an emphasis in global and urban missions or sociology. No matter which emphasis you choose, you'll learn through hands-on experience in the culturally diverse communities and neighborhoods in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. You'll also have the opportunity to:
- Study abroad
- Present papers at professional conferences under the supervision of a faculty member
- Complete an internship
- Participate in social activities with professors to get to know them personally outside the classroom
- Join student clubs on campus, especially those that focus on diversity issues
125-150 students in our majors
0% faculty of color who provide a diverse perspective
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The faculty taught me to think critically, interrogate social phenomenon, and apply my learning for improving communities. I was prepared professionally and academically from the immense academic, intellectual, and personal support from faculty, with whom I developed lasting friendships.Ryan Steel '12
Current job: Research Associate
My experience was great preparation for living abroad after graduation. I learned the value of cultural exchange and the importance of examining my own privilege as I interact with people of different backgrounds.Benjamin Umhoefer '13
Current job: 2nd grade teacher, Escuela Bilingue Amigos de Jesus
Bethel's Christ-centered values coupled with academic excellence must not be overlooked. My professors were personal with students while spiritually and intellectually challenging. My degree has wide applications and is uniquely equipping me in long-lasting ways for my M.Div. training.Jessica Garske '12
Grad school: Talbot School of Theology (Biola University)
My professors at Bethel were not only influential during my time as a student, but they remain voices of inspiration, encouragement, and guidance fiver years later. Their friendship has been one of the greatest gifts of my education at Bethel.Maren Telsey '09
Grad school: Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology