• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Requirements
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study



Ripon College offers a major and minor in sociology.

Sociology focuses on the structure of technologically advanced societies, their related social problems and the many ways these problems affect the individual. As societies continually grow more complex and ethnic and cultural differences collide within the modern world, understanding social behavior becomes essential for the business executive, professional and citizen alike.

All sociology courses deal with current social issues and feature regular discussion and debate. The courses are chosen carefully to represent diverse aspects of the field; no one theory or doctrine is emphasized at the expense of others. All courses make extensive use of visual media.

Program Spotlight


Molly Margaretten

Emily “Molly” Margaretten

Associate Professor of Anthropology

[email protected]
Jackie Clark

Jacqueline Clark

Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology Department

[email protected]
Marc Eaton

Marc Eaton

Assistant Professor of Sociology

[email protected]
Randy Salm

Randall Salm

Visiting Professor of Sociology

[email protected]


Requirements for a major in sociology (36 credits): Required (20 credits): SOC 110, ANT 215, SOC 315, 401 and 502. Electives (16 credits): 12 other credits in sociology and four required credits in anthropology to be selected from ANT 222, 224, 275, 327 or 335. Up to eight credits from these anthropology courses may count toward the major.

Requirements for a minor in sociology: SOC 110 and 16 other credits in sociology to be selected in consultation with the sociology advisor.


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

Sociology can lead to careers in research and teaching in university and collegiate settings. It also provides a background for further work in other disciplines of the social sciences, humanities and biological sciences, as well as for professional careers in government, business, law, medicine, social services and other fields.

Recent graduates have taken many paths, including graduate school programs in public health, sociology, psychology, social work and servant/ethical leadership; and careers as teachers, lawyers, therapists, professors and social workers.

Recent graduates of our program work for:

  • Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety
  • Menasha Public Works
  • Mount Royal College
  • Peace Corps
  • Saint Norbert College
  • St. Andrew’s School
  • The Nielsen Co.
  • Wisconsin Early Autism Project

Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Autism line therapist
  • Case manager
  • Director of Kids Club
  • Law clerk
  • Grant manager
  • Assistant professor of sociology
  • Admissions counselor
  • Homeless shelter manager
  • Residential youth counselor
  • Police officer
  • Radiologic technologist

“The sociology courses were great preparation for graduate school and for working on social-justice issues. I think it is important to really understand social problems in order to do something about them and make a positive difference in the world.”

Christina Schwengel ’97

Cedarburg (Wisconsin) High School; MPA – Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, 1999; currently development director for Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Washington, D.C., focusing on poverty and social-justice issues

Off-Campus Study

Students are encouraged to extend themselves off-campus. Internships in a variety of social service and criminal justice agencies give advanced students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in the real world and gain job experience at the same time. Many sociology students also participate in such off-campus programs as the ACM Chicago Program’s Urban Studies Emphasis, making experiential education an important part of their Ripon sociology studies.

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.