Department of Sociology

Undergraduate Program

What is Sociology?

[Photo]: Undergraduate ProgramHuman beings are social animals. They live in groups and do most things with other people. Much of what we think, say, and do is influenced by what others expect of us and by how others treat us. Sociologists study the patterns of interaction between people in all sorts of settings: at work, at play, at home, etc. They try to clarify what is going on, what lies behind it, what is likely to come from it, and what might be done differently. Their theories and research findings can provide insights into processes and events that affect us in our everyday lives.

Perhaps you have wondered why some families get along fine while others seem mired in problems, why some people get involved in criminal careers while others resist temptations, why some companies are much more productive than others, why some government programs succeed while others backfire. These are the kinds of issues sociologists look into in systematic ways.

Why Study Sociology?

The Sociology Department offers a wide variety of exciting courses so that students can tailor their course work to fit their educational and career goals. Students have opportunities to study important social problems such as crime, poverty, race relations, and political change. Students also learn how social institutions like the family, sexuality, religion, and education shape people’s behavior and life experiences.