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.

Social Work

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. Find additional information about our program’s accreditation and student outcomes

Our Shared Ideals

At Hope, these separate but intimately related disciplines share a department, giving you access to faculty who understand the breadth of the human condition and work together to equip you for leadership and service.

Across our majors and minor we:

  • Incorporate inquiry-based research into our courses and programs
  • Provide hands-on learning experiences through internships and field placements
  • Get you out of the classroom and off-campus, studying in Philadelphia and around the world
  • Prepare you to step right into a career
  • Equip you for success in graduate school