In Ethiopia, the number of higher learning institutions has been limited for long, and this has limited the contribution of the sector to nation building. Cognizant of this, the government of Ethiopia took practical measures during the 2000s to increase the number of universities by upgrading the existing colleges/institutes and establishing new ones. In view of this, Gondar College of Medical Sciences was upgraded to the status of a university in 2003/04. This gave rise to the establishment of a number of additional faculties, including the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities comprising four departments: Sociology, Psychology, Geography and Environmental Studies, and English Language. Thus, the Department of Sociology started its training program in December 2003 by enrolling 110 students for the first time.
Since its inception, the department, in addition to its regular program, has expanded its scope by launching projects in night, summer and distance learning and trained the capable sections of the society, but with various reasons that inconspicuously affect their attendance in regular classes. After a national curriculum workshop, that invited experts from various fields of studies, a three year undergraduate program in sociology commenced in the year 2003 by enrolling 110 students. Taking into account the fact that curriculum is dynamic by its very nature, the faculty at the department has been vigilant to keep it up-to-date and standardized by incorporating various elements recommended in regional and national workshops or review of relevant documents. Besides, the department has been building its institutional capacity and human resources through various projects and trainings which made it one of the better positioned to open postgraduate program. The establishment of a postgraduate program in sociology has been deemed necessary as our nation has embarked in a nation-wide endeavor to bring about a substantial level of an overall development for the citizens of the country. And the graduate program in sociology was launched in the year 2010, seven years after the commencement of the undergraduate program. And seven years latter a PhD program was launched in 2017.