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 students in class
Sociology students studying at desks in classroom.
Sociology is for those who want to be engaged citizens locally and globally. Sociology is a science that reveals the true mechanics of human action. Charles Dickinson, Sociology Faculty

Deciding to major in Sociology at College of Western Idaho (CWI) will provide you the opportunity to lay a foundation of understanding for human interaction and group behaviors. Your knowledge in this discipline will give you the ability to conduct research, as well as analyze and solve problems. Specific courses in the Sociology degree program will expose you to cultures, social change, social problems, and race and ethnic relations from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

This program is a first step toward a bachelor’s degree, preparing you to enter careers such as social work, urban planning, law, public health, and government service.


The Sociology program is intended to serve several purposes. The primary mission of the Sociology program is to provide Sociology majors with the first two years of course work generally associated with a four year bachelor's degree in the discipline. The Sociology program will provide students with the academic foundation to excel in these programs when they transfer to a four year college or university. Additionally, the Sociology program contributes to a well-rounded education by providing options to non-majors to fulfill the Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing (GEM 6) component of the general education requirements for all degrees and some certificates offered at CWI. Regardless of the students' path, the Sociology program engages students with concepts and ideas that will provide useful insights into the relationships between the social organization of group life and its subsequent impacts upon the thinking, acting, and interaction patterns of individuals.

Why This Program

A Sociology degree prepares students to transfer into a variety of social science programs at the four-year college and university level. While primarily geared toward transferring into other sociology programs, this degree can also lead to majors in social work, criminal justice, anthropology, psychology, or political science. Sociology majors gain a general background in social science and complete the first two years of course work toward a four year bachelor's degree.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Define sociology, identify the basic components of the sociological perspective, and understand the major sociological theories.
  • Become familiar with the historical development of sociology.
  • Understand the normative systems and the impact of culture upon human behavior.
  • Identify the importance of a global perspective and the interdependence of our world’s nations and peoples.
  • Understand the major features of social stratification systems.
  • Define various forms of social organizations and understand the relationship between social structure and human behavior.

Additional Opportunities

In addition to learning in the classroom, the Sociology program provides students with opportunities such as:

  • The Sociology Club, a student group that works to serve the community while offering its members the ability to gain deeper insight into the discipline. Membership is open to all students and there is no fee to join.
  • Presentations by Guest Speakers
  • Networking with Community Agencies
  • Participation in Annual SHR Department Symposium
  • Service Learning
  • Additional opportunities to engage in civic and cultural development are available and can be accessed through Sociology faculty members

Respectful Community

The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Charles Dickinson, Professor of Sociology and College of Western Idaho's Faculty of Distinction for May 2022

Congratulations to Professor of Sociology, Charles Dickinson, College of Western Idaho’s Faculty of Distinction for May 2022.

Charles Dickinson, Professor of Sociology

Professor of Sociology, Charles Dickinson, is recognized for the transformative and life-changing nature of his teaching.

Seven College of Western Idaho (CWI) faculty members who now hold the faculty rank title of full Professor.

Congratulations to the inaugural group of CWI faculty who now hold the rank title of Professor.

Anna Gamboa, top left, Cathy Carson, Joel Gladd, Liza Long, bottom left, Charles Dickinson, and Hollie Leavitt

Congratulations to CWI instructors, Liza Long, Anna Gamboa, Cathy Carson, Hollie Leavitt, Joel Gladd, and Charles Dickinson!

CWI student, Kaw Paw

CWI student, Kaw Paw, who came to America from a Thailand refugee camp, is pursuing an education to help herself, her family, and others.

Kim Scheffer, CWI faculty

“Regardless of age, background, or past experiences, CWI gives people an opportunity to be successful in college, become educated, and flourish.”