About Our Department

Sociology at Washington University strives to understand the origins and reproduction of social inequality and apply that knowledge to address issues of pressing public concern. As a new and growing department, we adopt an approach rooted in the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, focused on undertaking rigorous empirical research to identify and suggest solutions to social problems. Our faculty and students engage core questions through diverse cutting-edge methodological approaches, from interview-based and historical analyses to large-scale quantitative experimental designs. Our location in St. Louis provides an ideal vantage to engage the complex interplay of inequity and policy, along with the vibrant social movements that have emerged to address entrenched injustices in the city and region.

Our faculty occupy positions of leadership both in the discipline and within associations and networks at the forefront of social change efforts. We invite you to explore their research programs, the attention their work has garnered in media and policy circles, the many exciting courses that they have to offer, and the focus of our newly-inaugurated graduate program.

background image of featured news

WUSTL Sociology

A Place of Belonging

In just a few years, students have come to think of the sociology department as a home, as their own special place at the university.

New Institute will eliminate ‘data science divide’ in grant-making

The Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM) has been established at Washington University in St. Louis, thanks to a $500,559 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Odis Johnson, professor of sociology and of education, both in Arts & Sciences.

Rallying point

In 2015, Washington University re-established the Department of Sociology in Arts & Sciences. Concentrating on the origins and impacts of inequality, faculty and students are investigating some of the nation’s most critical and urgent social challenges.

read more about wustl sociology
Professor Harvey Wingfield

Gender & Work Symposium 2018

In this interview at the 2018 Gender and Work Symposium, Adia Harvey Wingfield, Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, shares about the history of the color line and the distinction between social progress and the ultimate goal: equity.

student testimonial

Getting Lost & Found in Peru

In this video feature, recent graduate Mariel Ehrlich, who double majored in sociology and Latin American studies, talks about her time abroad in Lima, Peru and how studying Spanish has changed her perspective on what it means to be a global citizen.

"Sociology asks us to be aware of systems of power and it also forces us to be critical of ourselves, our biases, how we contribute to negative systems of oppression. how we can turn away from our complicity, and how we can be active in disrupting systems".

―Hanna Ruth DurrellClass of 2020