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Sociology department sees most growth in concentrators among social sciences

The sociology department saw the greatest increase in concentrators among all the social science departments, with 12 more students entering the department this year than last year.

The department had 42 sophomores declare as sociology concentrators this year, compared to the 22 sophomores who joined the department last year. Currently there are 30 juniors in the department.

Paul Willis, the department representative for the sociology department, explained that while the department was pleasantly surprised with the increase in concentrators, the numbers are still consistent with what the department normally gets.

Willis credited the liberal arts system for allowing students to be exposed to more fields, fields in which they could end up majoring.

“In England, students have to declare their major at 18, but here, students have a lot more time to really think about their major,” he said. “Some people arrive at college having never heard of sociology, but because of the liberal arts system, they have to take classes in different fields like social analysis, which includes sociology, and they get exposed to the field.”

Willis explained that the department typically has 70 to 80 majors combining the junior and senior classes, so this year’s number is somewhat in the high range, but he added that no major changes would be made to deal with the increased size.

“We’re a small-to-medium size department, and the numbers are within our expected range and are generally consistent with recent years. We’re pleasantly surprised, but we normally get around 30 to 40 new sociology majors per year,” he said.

The Wilson School and the economics department both saw a slight decline in the number of concentrators from last year, however.

The number of students who joined the Wilson School dropped from 162 concentrators in the Class of 2015 to 155 concentrators in the Class of 2016. Despite the drop, the Wilson School was the most popular department for the second year in a row.

The Class of 2015 was the first class that was able to join the department without applying. The Wilson School accepted 90 students during its last year of selectivity.

One hundred twelve sophomores joined the economics department, down from the 120 who joined the department last year. The Wilson School saw a significant increase in concentrators last year in its first year of nonselective admissions.

The politics department, however, saw a slight increase in concentrators as compared to last year. While 62 members of the Class of 2015 joined the department last year, unofficial numbers from College Facebook show that 70 members of the Class of 2016 have joined this year.

Both numbers show a decrease from the 115 members of the Class of 2014 who joined the department as sophomores in 2012, which was the last year before the Wilson School opened admission to all students.

According to unofficial numbers for both the Classes of 2015 and 2016 from College Facebook, the anthropology department saw 21 sophomores enter the department this year, up from 14 last year.

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