Sociologists and social workers dedicate themselves to understanding and helping people.
Sociology and social work complement each other: Sociology majors study to understand how human beings relate to each other, while social work majors emphasize changing and improving lives so that people can reach their full potential.
Are you fascinated by human behavior and society, and want to understand what drives people? Sociology majors are curious about the world — and its people — around us. With a sociology degree, you’re able to initiate change from a top-down level, and by understanding policy issues and the ways they affect individuals and societies as a whole, you’re better able to understand yourself.
We study to understand how human beings relate to each other. Using theoretical models and carefully gathered data, sociologists seek to explain how and why we create families, build communities, engage in work, develop places to worship and bring about social and cultural change.
When you see others struggling, is your first thought, “How can I help?” If so, a social work degree may be for you. Perhaps you’ll practice on a macro level — where you’ll initiate change from the top, working on policy and with communities, cities or major institutions. Or you might choose to work directly with individuals, families or groups. In any level of practice, you’re getting the chance to establish meaningful change. At Hope College, students learn to work with all levels through our generalist-practice course of study.
Like sociology, we study human behavior, but our emphasis is on changing and improving lives so that people can reach their full potential. The social work major is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the principal accrediting agency in social work education. Accreditation means that our graduates are prepared for entry-level social work practice, and it qualifies some students for advanced standing in graduate social work programs.
We offer a major and minor in sociology, a major in sociology with a criminal justice focus, and a CSWE-accredited social work major.
Sociology studies human society, seeking to understand what influences human behavior for different groups across periods of time. Social work applies principles of sociology to the art and science of helping people. At many institutions, these are two separate departments. At Hope, our faculty work alongside each other, sharing resources and knowledge between these closely-related disciplines.
Our sociology courses teach you to understand how human beings relate to each other, using theoretical models and carefully gathered data. In social work courses, we also study human behavior but focus on changing and improving lives so people can reach their full potential.
We provide students with a variety of courses in our two disciplines, which act as separate degree programs but share a lot of similar ideologies. And we see a lot of Hope’s students — Sociology 101 fulfills the Social Science I, global learning domestic and cultural diversity requirement of general education. Since there is no anthropology department at Hope, our programs offer a chance to study the theory of human behavior in our societies and practically apply our understanding to make real change.
Our sociology graduates are well prepared for a variety of fields and careers right after graduation, and our social work students go on to pursue their MSWs at many top programs around the country.
Whether you choose to start work in your field directly after graduating or pursue a graduate degree, our programs give you the tools and knowledge to do well.
About the School
Hope College is a private, Christian liberal arts college in Holland, Michigan. It opened in 1851 as the Pioneer School by Dutch immigrants four years after the community was first settled.