Why Study Sociology?

What unites sociologists is our commitment to developing a rigorous, systematic, and evidence-based understanding of how our social context affects our behavior and how our collective behavior creates social institutions and patterns within society.

We offer exciting courses for you to tailor your course work to fit your education and career goals. Study important social problems such as poverty, race relations, and political change. You will learn how social institutions like family, sexuality, religion, and education shape people’s behavior and life experiences.

What can you do with a sociology degree?

Sociology prepares you to work in a number of different fields. Sociology students graduate with excellent critical thinking abilities, skills with analysis and development of arguments, and the capacity for clear, concise written and oral communication. Statistics and methods courses provide background in both qualitative and quantitative research, and the study of sociology promotes an understanding of social organizations and institutions, Knowledge of social inequality, and a concern for social justice that can be extremely useful in any occupation.

Alexis Jarman image“I majored in Sociology because it answers my burning questions about social life and shapes the way I see the world. Sociology shows how we make society and how society makes us. It is relevant to so many things, which is why I love it.”
–Alexis Jarman (2020)

What sets Sociology apart from other majors

Sociology gives you training that other liberal arts education majors do not. Your training will include an introduction to sociology, statistics, methods, and theory, where the basics of human interaction and relationships are taught. Then you can specialize according to your own interests such as, sociology of work, marriage and family, gender and sexuality, and medical sociology. We offer an official concentration in Medical Sociology as both a major and a minor.

Sociology courses provide excellent general preparation for a variety of careers. It can become hard to name an area of employment that sociology does not prepare you for. Sociology courses are part of required training in most professional school. Most students who take one sociology course in college return for more because they find the material is interesting, challenging, and something they can use on a daily basis.

Who are some famous Sociologists?

  • Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights activist
  • Emily Balch, leader of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States and a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families
  • Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States
  • Roy Wilkins, a civil rights activist from the 1930s to 1970s and former Head of the NAACP
  • Barbara Mikulski, US Senator and social worker
  • Richard Barajas, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a sex educator, radio host, and author.
  • Kalpen Suresh Modi, former White House Liaison for Arts and Humanities
  • Cristine Rotenberg, Crime Statistics Analyst for Statistics Canada and YouTuber

Our Mission

The Department of Sociology has a three-fold mission:

  • to facilitate student learning of the field and craft of sociology and to prepare them for advanced study in sociology or for careers in fields which require social scientific background.
  • to contribute through original research to the body of sociological and social science knowledge.
  • to use and apply our sociological expertise for the betterment of society through service to the School, the University, and the community.

Within this three-fold mission, the faculty hold specific goals within the domains of teaching, research, and service:

  • Teaching
    • Attract and retain students for course work in the Department by offering stimulating and relevant opportunities to learn about society, sociology, and social science methods.
    • Assist undergraduate students in developing critical thinking and analytic skills essential for success in higher education and professional careers.
    • Help undergraduate students prepare for advanced studies in sociology or related fields and/or for careers which require social science background and training.
    • Enhance student learning through innovative learning strategies including collaborative learning, independent studies, service learning, and mentoring initiatives.
  • Research
    • Conduct exemplary sociological and interdisciplinary research for our students and peers.
    • Respond to regional needs for applied sociological research.
    • Secure funded research to enhance Department resources and support undergraduate and graduate learning opportunities.
  • Service
    • Strive to expand public and professional awareness and appreciation of the sociological perspective and sociological research.
    • Provide leadership and consultation on social issues and promote the use of sociology for university, professional, and community organizations and agencies.
    • Promote the betterment of society and the amelioration of social problems through involvement in university and community activities.