Why Sociology at Albright?

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Internships are designed to provide informed students the opportunity to participate meaningfully in an off-campus setting related to their academic interests. While you may complete tasks that benefit the agency with which you’re placed, the primary goal of the internship experience is for you to develop an understanding of how the agency is organized, how it fits into the larger social institution of which it is a part, and how the “work” of the agency is related to the overall operation of the social system.  

The internships are meant to benefit both you and your placement site. You will benefit through your interaction with, and questioning of, the professionals and staff at the agency. The sites where you and your fellow students intern benefit from your talents and energy. It’s your responsibility to take advantage of the opportunity provided to you.

The internship experiences we provide students are the result of cooperation between the College and internship site, but you are responsible for identifying and setting up your own internship. This means that you should make the initial contact with the site and set up a schedule for your internship activities. You must clear your choice of internship with a member of the sociology faculty before making initial contact.


You are expected to work onsite for a minimum of 145 hours and write a major paper analyzing your placement and experience there. Guidelines for the paper can be downloaded by clicking here or at the link below under "Forms."

Although there are no formal tests or examinations associated with internship experience, the paper and the internship evaluation will be the basis for your grade. Internship experiences are intended to provide you with the opportunity to participate in the workplace environment. The same norms for punctuality, dress and behavior that apply to employees of the internship site are assumed to also apply to interns. Failure to comply with the agency’s norms or the College’s requirements will result in dismissal from the internship site and course failure.



Field Studies

The Albright College sociology and anthropology department hosts a variety of opportunities for field study.  The sociology department takes advantage of the potential for hands-on learning within the City of Reading, and the city, in a way, becomes a socio-anthropological laboratory.  Students have worked with faculty to assess local social service agencies, study changes in neighborhoods experiencing reinvestment, explore the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on communities, measure gang involvement and risk factors for gang membership, interview community members on town-gown relations, and compare religious services, among others. 

Some of the field studies in which students have engaged took place in:

  • Barber shops
  • Pet stores
  • Roller rinks
  • Childcare facilities
  • Nightclubs
  • Homeless shelters
  • Agricultural animal auctions
  • Abortion clinics

Some of these have been completed as independent studies with faculty members. Other independent studies have examined:

  • How international students are perceived by American-born students and vice versa
  • The degree to which humans favor friends or family
  • The dynamics of allegiance to members of athletic versus social groups
  • An ethnographic study of present day Ainu hunter-gatherers of Japan
  • Gender roles through an online survey that gives respondents immediate feedback on how they compare to others and seeks to identify patterns across demographics groups

The Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) program allows students to conduct an in-depth research or creative project while working closely with a faculty member. The College-wide program has approved and funded sociology projects including:

  • A study of students whose primary friendship group is of a different race than themselves
  • A study of alcohol consumption patterns by undergraduate students
  • A study of the degree to which humans extend ethics to non-humans
  • A study of why humans develop unwarranted certainty about their political opinions
  • An attempt to model crime “hot spots” in the City of Reading and identify variables that would allow predictions of the location of future crimes

Traveling farther afield, courses and our interest groups have the ability to make day trips not just to Harrisburg and Philadelphia, but also New York City and Washington, D.C.  So, the state capital, the nation’s capital and two of the nation’s largest cities are available to help you grow to your full potential.   

If you are looking for even more adventure, study abroad programs include courses taught by faculty in the department that regularly travel to Peru and Ecuador (every other year, if not every year).  You might also take advantage of study abroad courses taught by other Albright faculty, taken as part of our general studies curriculum.  Or, perhaps, the most intense opportunity in experiential learning is spending a semester, or even a year, abroad in one of the college’s numerous partnerships with colleges/universities across the globe.

Our degrees are all about the “real world,” so why not experience it?  There is no reason to spend your college years trapped in the library or computer lab!

For more information about the sociology department, contact us at sociologychair@albright.edu. For more information on our study abroad programs, please contact the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center