Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair

The sociology department at VCU provides an engaged, learner-centered experience for our undergraduate and graduate students through active involvement in faculty research and community development. Through cutting-edge research, excellent undergraduate and graduate teaching focused on critical thinking, exciting applied opportunities, vital service and community outreach both nationally and internationally, and preparation of students for a wide range of jobs, sociology plays a central role in quality liberal arts education. Sociology is a “social science”; it is a discipline grounded in using sociological theory and the scientific method to create the knowledge necessary for understanding and improving social life. Using theory as a foundation for analysis, sociologists collect and analyze empirical data useful in making decisions related to public life, such as social and economic policy, and private life, such as family and interpersonal health. It is this relationship between sociological theory, as the foundation of critical thinking, and the scientific method, as the guiding principles of analysis, which makes sociology a rapidly expanding field with expertise increasingly sought after by those who craft policies and create programs.

The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Science in Sociology at the undergraduate level, as well as a Master of Science at the graduate level.