Undergraduate Studies in Sociology

The field of sociology studies virtually every aspect of human society: the family, gender, race and ethnic relations, aging, education, work, population, and many others. Its principle goal as a discipline is to understand the workings of human society and to explain social behavior. Although sociologists do study what are commonly regarded as social problems—crime, drug addiction, and poverty, for example—they also examine fundamental social processes present in any society: social change, conflict, and inequality.

Studying sociology as an undergraduate major is an excellent way to prepare for entry-level work or graduate school in various fields. New graduates have found opportunities in the fields of social policy, law, criminal justice, social science research, human resources, education, environmental policy and research, advocacy, and social work to name a few. Students interested in continuing their education at the graduate level have successfully enrolled in law school, business school, social work and public policy graduate programs, as well as continuing on to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology. The Sociology degree offers a multitude of opportunities and offers an excellent introduction to American society, social science research and demography, and international issues.

Each fall, the sociology department offers a one-credit Career Seminar to help Juniors and Seniors prepare for life after college. The department sponsors interdisciplinary certificates in Criminal Justice, Population StudiesSocial Work/Social Welfare and Social Research Analysis. Participation in these programs is open to majors and non-majors alike.

What Skills Will I Develop with a Sociology Degree?

Taken from the American Sociological Association report, Sociology, A 21st Century Major:

As a Sociology major you will have the tools to critically analyze the changing world around you. Sociology not only can prepare you for the 21st century labor market that is increasingly global and technology-driven but also give you the practical skills you need to succeed such as how to:

  • Conduct research and analyze data: Use both qualitative and quantitative research methods to recognize trends and patterns to produce social statistics (i.e. market research, opinion polling, program evaluation, etc.)
  • Communicate skillfully: Convey ideas effectively in writing and in presentations, which is essential for success
  • Practice Critical Thinking: Solve problems and identify opportunities by looking beyond the surface of issues
  • Gain a Global Perspective: Use a global and historical perspective to learn about different cultures
  • Prepare for Graduate School: Consider a wide range of fields for graduate study (i.e. law, business, social work, medicine, public health, public administration, and sociology)