SociologyWelcome to Sociology at Nipissing

We offer the following Sociology degree options:

​Have you ever stopped to think about the society in which you live—how it’s organized, how its institutions began, and how being part of a society affects your life? And what about all the different societies around the world?

If you choose to study Sociology—the study of human societies—you’ll be entering into a fascinatingly broad discipline. You’ll explore the sociological influences of many topics like the family, workplace, education, medicine, demographics, and the criminal justice system. For a taste of that diversity, consider this: some of our professors study areas ranging from mental health issues in older offenders in the criminal justice system, to contraception and family planning in Iran, to Dokis First Nations, to palliative care!​

Certificate in Health Studies and Gerontology

The Certificate in Health Studies in Gerontology is a great option for those considering the health care field. Many of our faculty have expertise in gerontology, so you’ll be taught by the best!

The Certificate in Health Studies and Gerontology is offered by the Department of Sociology and is available to any graduating student.

Certificates available to all Nipissing students

Sociology at Nipissing University offers a range of methodological and theoretical approaches, but our areas of specialization focus on the following key areas:

  • Health, Demography and Aging: fertility and family planning; social gerontology; illness & mental disorder; palliative care; social determinants of health; retirement and pensions; age discrimination; human sexuality
  • Social Stratification, Work and Labour Markets: social origins and educational outcomes; hiring and retirement discrimination; gender inequality; school-to-work transitions; postsecondary access; employment outcomes; alternative forms of education
  • Science, Technology and Society: knowledge exchange, mobilization and commercialization; water reuse technologies; sociology of the environment; sociology of risk; indigenous knowledges; mass media and culture
  • Globalization, Development and Organizations: aboriginal communities and resource development; the global south; institutional analysis; sociology of organizations; sustainability and political processes

These substantive areas of interest are combined with expertise in contemporary and classical theories, program and policy evaluation, survey methods, quantitative research methods and statistics, and qualitative methods.

Nipissing University Research Data Centre (RDC)

The Statistics Canada Research Data Centre at Nipissing University, provides access to detailed data for research, promotes the use of data through associated training, and assists in the dissemination of research results.

Avery Beall, RDC Statistical Assistant explains the steps involved to access the RDC data, and highlights some of the new COVID-19 data sets available for researchers in the RDC.

Further information about other RDC data sets available and application procedures can also be found on the Nipissing RDC website.

Professional, Non-profit Associations:​


Thesis and Independent Study Applications

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Scholarships, awards, and bursaries for students in the Sociology program

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The Sociology-Anthropology Student Society

There are tons of ways to get involved in campus life, but one way is through the Sociology Club, which organizes events and guest speakers throughout the year.

Inaugural public lecture

In the summer of 2016, Nipissing University students Isaac Bender and Gab Lavoie had the opportunity to travel to the Republic of Ireland to participate in the excavation of a 13th century Dominican Friary, uncovering a variety of material artifacts and human burials. Their talk, titled "An Mainistir Dubh: a lecture on Irish archaeology at the Blackfriary," will share their experiences in excavating the medieval site, and outline how their findings help the community of Trim understand the context of the Friary within the city. Light refreshments will be served.

The lecture can be viewed here.

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Full-time Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

“I will be forever grateful for my experience at Nipissing. The ability to complete both my undergraduate and graduate degree at the same university has led to many advantages. During my undergraduate degree, one of my professors — Dr. Amir Erfani — took me “under his wing” and helped guide me in the right direction to achieve both my academic and professional goals. This mentorship led to completing an undergraduate thesis in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, on the implementation of the amber-red advanced warning light system on school buses in Ontario. As a result, I had the opportunity to present my research to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. During my graduate degree, I once again had the opportunity to work under the supervision of Dr. Erfani on my Master’s thesis research project. The smaller class sizes at Nipissing allow for students to build these relationships with their professors, that would likely not occur at other universities.

Nipissing offers undergraduate level advanced statistical methods, and survey research courses. These courses adequately prepare students and ensure they have a well rounded understanding of various research and statistical analysis methodologies. This is extremely beneficial when taking the graduate level courses. I have noticed that some of my fellow classmates who did not take the research courses during undergrad, were less prepared and further had a more difficult time comprehending the material being delivered to us. I highly recommend the Sociology: Applied Social Research program to anyone who is considering a career in a research-based field.”

Megan Odd, BA (Hon.) '20, MA Sociology: Applied Social Research '22
Housing and Homelessness Planner and Analyst, DNSSAB

"Nipissing University's Sociology program distinguishes itself through its small class sizes and the approachable nature of many of the professors within the department. The research I conducted with my previous advisor (Dr. David Zarifa) provided the foundation for my current studies at the graduate level. Further, this experience fostered a long-lasting connection, as he continues to act as one of my mentors."

Brittany Etmanski, - BA (Hon.) ‘13, MA ‘15, PhD candidate

"My experience at Nipissing University is one I am forever grateful for. Aside from meeting amazing people, I was able form special relationships with the faculty. The small class sizes allowed for a better learning environment. I went to a much larger university prior to attending Nipissing and the amount of knowledge gained in the courses and hands on experience, and the amount of care the faculty has towards their students is unbelievable at Nipissing. I was learning how to properly read theoretical and epistemological literature in my second year and sophisticated survey methodology and quantitative analyses in my fourth year: something that my fellow peers at graduate school were learning for the first time. I am still able to maintain these relationships with these Professors today and it is amazing to see how much they care about where you are now. My educational experience at Nipissing within the Sociology department is one that I hope other students will some day experience. I believe I would not be where I am today as a Research Assistant for the Women's College Hospital for violence against women if it wasn't for the care and passion for teaching within this institution."

Cassandra Hill - BA (Hon.) ‘11, MA ‘16
Research Assistant for the Women's College Hospital

"I had a fantastic experience at Nipissing University. The small class sizes ensure that every student has the opportunity to get to know their fellow classmates, and everyone gets a lot of hands-on attention from the professors. I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant and a teaching assistant alongside my thesis supervisor, Dr. Amir Erfani--experience that it unheard of at the undergraduate level in other universities, which I feel was a great advantage to me in grad school. I was also fortunate enough to learn advanced statistical methods during my undergrad, which have greatly helped me both academically and professionally."

Victoria Spofford, - BA (Hon.) '11, MA '16, PhD candidate
​Research/Data Manager at Health Canada

"The availability and helpfulness of professors provided for an excellent experience during my time as a student at Nipissing University. When I had academic challenges, my professors were always available to assist, but beyond that, I received their constant encouragement. My sociology professor Dr. Amir Erfani, for instance, encouraged me to enroll in an upper year statistics course, something I did not think I could do. He assured me that he knew that I was capable, and he was right. I excelled in the course and he then supported me in completing my thesis, which I had up until that point no plans of pursuing. After graduating, he and other professors went out of their way to assist with recommendations for scholarships and graduate school applications and I appreciated that each was able to speak to me as a student, and not just a grade point average."

Katie Bedard - BA ‘11
Client Service Administrator at ListenUP! Canada

A degree in Sociology will give you many skills that you can use in different careers. You might launch a career in areas as diverse as social services, corrections, demographic research, or social psychology, to name just a few.

You might also continue on into a Master’s degree or Doctorate in graduate school, or a professional program like teaching or law. One of our former students is now a Supreme Court Justice!

Master of Arts in Sociology

The Master of Arts in Sociology program focuses on the application of social theories and research methodologies that assist with understanding and addressing social problems and development challenges in northern and rural communities, including First Nations and other Indigenous communities. Students can elect to complete the one-year Major Research Paper (MRP) or the two-year Thesis Research Project (TRP). Both MRP and TRP students have the option of completing a 96-hour practicum component with a placement in a government, not-for-profit, or private agency.

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, MBA, MPA)
  • Careers in government, labour relations, human resources, healthcare, social services, corrections, policing, community development, minister/clergy, consulting and research