Sociology is the study of interactions between human groups and institutions and their influences on each other. Among the specialties within sociology are criminology, demography, cultural traditions, family relations, gerontology, social welfare, race relations, social status and social change. Students from around the United States and the world work with a supportive faculty known for strong teaching and high research productivity. Faculty research covers a broad spectrum, including the policing of terrorism, the sociology of science, family and child development, the interplay of spatial and social inequalities, political demography, and the sociology of sports.
Graduates with a degree in sociology apply the sociological perspective to a wide variety of jobs in such sectors as business, health professions, criminal justice system, social services and government. A major in sociology also produces a firm liberal arts foundation for entering professional schools in law, education, medicine, counseling, social work and other fields.
Undergraduate: B.A. and B.S.
Undergraduate sociology students explore complex issues of power, inequality, justice, crime, poverty and conflict. They learn to question common sense, raise significant questions, examine arguments, synthesize information, analyze data, and make conclusions and present information orally and in writing.
Sociology students benefit from outstanding facilities that include the Laboratory for Sociological Research, one of the largest facilities of its type in the world, as well as a demography library, a statistics laboratory and two activity rooms for student research projects and observations.
Graduate: M.A. and Ph.D.
The Sociology Department offers a graduate program that provides students with a thorough grounding in the theories and research methodologies of the discipline in order to conduct empirical inquiry. The research specialties of the faculty span several areas. It is expected that the master's and dissertation research projects of students will be carried out in specialty areas that fall in the purview of the faculty's expertise. Sociology graduates pursue careers in a wide range of academic and non-academic fields. Graduates of the master's program often find employment in government agencies or in private firms that require professionals with research skills and experience in data management. Graduates of the doctoral program also work for government agencies and in private firms, but many accept appointments at universities and colleges.