The University of Dubuque Sociology major enables students to understand the complexities of social life and to develop an awareness of the connections among themselves, their communities, society at large, and the global environment. By analyzing human behavior at these multiple levels, students are challenged to deepen their appreciation of cross-cultural perspectives, increase their understanding of patterns of inequality, and explore possible forces for social change.

What You Will Learn

  • Students will develop analytical and critical thinking skills appropriate to evaluating the theoretical perspectives that comprise the disciplinary framework of sociology.
  • Students gain insights into their own personal experiences as a positioned member of social institutions.
  • Students will learn to practice appropriate and effective communication, in both oral and written form, that expresses their understanding and appreciation of diversity at multiple levels.
  • Students will develop the skills necessary to contribute positively to their communities, society, and the global context through professional leadership and sociological insight.
  • Students will learn to critically evaluate their sense of vocation and their ethical values in relation to social problems at the local, national, and global levels.

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque degree in sociology prepares students by offering courses that provide students with a scientific and systematic approach for evaluating social issues in their personal and professional lives. The Sociology Program provides opportunities for students to explore, critique, and evaluate issues of difference in their daily lives and opportunities for students to form alliances and to create solutions for social problems. This program of study further allows students the opportunity to explore their own political beliefs, personal convictions, cultural and faith traditions in the context of the classroom, community, and global diversity.

What Our Students Do

University of Dubuque sociology students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal program to plan additional courses, internships, undergraduate research, and other experiences. Many sociology majors consider double majoring or minoring in the following programs of study: criminal justice, gender studies, psychology, history, communication, English, languages (such as Spanish), or religion/philosophy. 

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque sociology graduates seek careers as researchers and/or university teachers by continuing their study at the graduate level. The Sociology Program also provides an excellent background for graduate programs in social work, law, criminal justice, and other related disciplines. Additionally, the study of sociology or criminal justice prepares students for effective participation in a variety of careers in diverse fields such as education, government, criminology and corrections, community service, mental health services, business, and media and information systems. 

News from the Department

Consider joining the Du Bois Community: A psychology and sociology student-founded organization that is a multi-racial action group dedicated to racial and gender dialogue, authentic friendship, support, and equity at the University of Dubuque. 

Sociology - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
SOC 111: Introduction to Sociology (3)
SCJ 120: Writing Proficiency in CJ (3)

Spring Semester
WVS 102: World View Seminar Two (3)
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3) or other course in Judeo Christian Traditions category
History 121: World Civilization I (3) or other course in History/Philosophy/Politics category
SOC 202: Inequalities of Race, Class and Gender (3)
Social Service Elective (3)

Year Two

Fall Semester
ENG 112 or 260: or other course in the Literature category (3)
Quantitative Literacy - Mathematics (3)
RES 104: Introduction to Research Writing (3)
SOC 218: Women and Men in Contemporary Society (3)
Social Service Elective (3)

Spring Semester
BIO 110: Human Biology (4) or other 4 credit course in the Natural Science Course category
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other course in the Fine and Performing Arts category
PRF 201: Career Development Strategies (1)
SOC 331: Social Stratification (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1) or other offering in the Physical Wellness Category Two

Year Three

Fall Semester

SPAN 111: Elementary Spanish I (3) or other course in the Intercultural Engagement category
BIO 125: Population, Resources and Environment (3) or other course in the Environmental Stewardship category
SOC 335: Social Research (3) 
Social Identity Elective (3)

Spring Semester
HWS 248: Wellness & Healthy Lifestyle (2)
SOC 336: Social Theory (3)
PRF 200: Personal Empowerment (3) or one course in the Personal/Financial Stewardship category
Social Change Elective (3)
Social Identity Elective (3)

Year Four

Fall Semester
SOC 495: Sociology Senior Seminar
SOC Elective (3)

Spring Semester
SOC Practicum: SOC 485 Internship or approved substitute (3)

John Shook (2018)


John Shook

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Head
Associate Professor
MPA, Ohio State University
BS, Pennsylvania State University

Phone: 563.589.3452
Office: 323 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Ben Bartels (2018)


Ben Bartels

Assistant Professor
JD, Loyola University
MAE, University of Iowa

Phone: 563.589.3562
Office: 317 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Phil Baskerville (2018)


Phil Baskerville

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
MA, University of Northern Iowa
BA, Upper Iowa University
AA, Hawkeye Institute of Technology

Phone: 563.589.3457
Office: 315 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Kim Hilby (2018)


Kim Hilby

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
MSW, St. Ambrose University
BA, Loras College

Phone: 563.589.3718
Office: 320 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Alice Oleson (2018)


Alice Oleson

Associate Professor of Sociology
PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison
MA, University of Wisconsin - Madison
BA, University of Iowa

Phone: 563.589.3307
Office: 318 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Mark Dalsing (2018)


Mark Dalsing

Adjunct Instructor
MBA, University of Dubuque
Graduate FBI National Academy - Session 245                  
BS, UW-Platteville


Kelly Francois (2018)


Kelly Francois

Adjunct Instructor


Leisa Graves (2018)


Leisa Graves

Adjunct Instructor


Stefani Weber (2018)


Stefani Weber

Adjunct Instructor


No Picture


Abby Wessel

Adjunct Instructor
JD, Roger Williams University
BS, Lewis University


Heidi Zull (Date Unknown)


Heidi Zull

Adjunct Instructor of Sociology
BA, University of Dubuque



Careers in Sociology

Many careers which stem from the Sociology Program provide entry into a wide range of human services careers. These careers serve varying populations including: youth, elderly, juvenile and adult offenders, differently abled, women, and families.

BA Opportunities

A sociology degree provides entry into the following careers and/or entry to the graduate study necessary to pursue the following careers:

  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Mental Health Services
  • Programming
  • Administration

Post-graduate Opportunities

Many students with sociology and criminal justice majors have gone on to graduate school to prepare for careers in social science fields such as anthropology, criminal justice, education, ethnic studies, history, international human rights, law, non-profit management, public policy, psychology, sociology, social justice, and social work.

Successful Outcomes

Kelsy Gruhn BS, 2013 Sociology

Through my education in the sociology program, I learned how to evaluate inequalities as they relate to race, class, and gender, and how it affects people’s choices and beliefs. I gained understanding on how to assess social and cultural issues within our society. The sociology courses at the University of Dubuque encouraged me to utilize the different theories and concepts while in the field. In addition to sociology, I also studied criminal justice and psychology, and was an active member in the Justice League and the Psychology Club.

Upon graduation, I began serving as a juvenile detention specialist in the Youth Services Center in Rock County, WI. Currently, I am a member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), advocating for neglected and abused children in Illinois for Lee, Ogle, and Carroll counties, and I am furthering my degree in clinical psychology. The sociology courses at the University of Dubuque have equipped me to help others overcome their lack of opportunity and to encourage positive outcomes.