The Sociology (BS) – Sociology of Health and Aging concentration offers students the opportunity to explore how social, cultural and historical forces shape individual health access and experiences, the structure of health and medicine, the experiences of older people in our society and the opportunities and challenges they face, as well as inequalities in health and illness. Graduates of the concentration may find work opportunities in the growing aging and health service industries, health policy and advocacy organizations, or health promotion sales and marketing companies.
Employment: This degree provides a strong foundation for those seeking jobs in health and aging service industries and organizations that aim to promote health. The broad liberal arts foundation of the Sociology major combined with the specific focus of health and aging provides a strong base of knowledge in the social sciences with which to enter graduate studies or employment in a variety of fields.
Graduate School: This degree provides a strong foundation for graduate studies in programs that are directly related to health and aging as well as others. The Department of Sociology at Appalachian State University also offers an online graduate certificate in Gerontology.
Students must complete 30 hours of core sociology classes, 18 hours of electives within the concentration, and 12 hours of required concentration classes including an internship. Options include:
- Managing Health Care Organizations
- Lifestyle Disease & Risk Reduction
- Leisure and Aging
- Medical Sociology
- Death, Dying and Living
- Biology of Aging
- Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
- Health Inequalities
A minor is not required. Popular minors include:
- Social Work
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Sociology Club - a student-led organization devoted to service learning, fundraising and hosting events for the betterment of students inspired by the discipline of sociology.
Alpha Kappa Delta - an international sociology honors society, formed with the intent to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.
The North Carolina Sociological Association - open to all practicing sociologists (whether in academic, government or applied settings) as well as to sociology students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Southern Sociological Society - open to all sociology students and professionals across the southern United States.
American Sociological Association - a national organization dedicated to sociology and its pursuit of investigating human behavior, social interaction and social structures.
Southern Gerontological Society - a 13-state regional organization of academic, private sector and public sector gerontologists with a strong focus on helping undergraduate and graduate students develop into the gerontologists of the future.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Department of Sociology faculty lead summer study abroad opportunities. Past program titles have included Studying War in Europe, and Religious and Ethnic Conflict in Ireland and Spain.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University. In order to progress through this degree program, students must receive a grade of C or higher in the following classes:
- SOC 1000 The Sociological Perspective
- SOC 3885 Research Methods I
- SOC 3895 Research Methods II
- SOC 3950 Sociological Theory I
- SOC 3960 Sociological Theory II
- SOC 4450 Senior Seminar
- In addition to the Sociology (BS) – Sociology of Health and Aging degree, Appalachian offers an online graduate certificate in Gerontology.
- Sociology majors have the option to work with a faculty mentor who can provide professional advice, intellectual development in terms of a specific substantive area in sociology, and involvement in research projects. Learn about faculty research specialties here.
- Students are encouraged to assist with faculty research projects and can stay up-to-date on current research projects via the department’s web page for research opportunities.
- The Department of Sociology offers scholarships.
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Aging Specialist
- Case Aid Worker
- Community Relations Director
- Consumer Advocate
- Consumer Survey Advisor
- Demographic Analyst
- Family Guidance Clinic Worker
- Family Services Specialist
- Group Home Counselor
- Group Therapist
- Independent Living Trainer
- Long-term care administrator
- Population Specialist
- Public Health Educator
- Senior Center director
- Wellness/fitness director on cruise ships or retirement communities
- Veterans Affairs Specialist
Dr. David Russell
Dr. Anastacia Schulhoff
Dr. Cameron Lippard