Sociology Overview

Sociology is the scientific study of society, social institutions and social relationships. A key contribution of the discipline is that social factors matter; our lives are not only shaped by personal psychology, but also by our place in the social world. Sociology’s areas of inquiry range from intimate family relationships to ties between nation states; from divisions by race, class, gender and sexuality to shared ideas of common culture; and from understanding the influence of broad-scale social movements to analyzing how adolescents become productive adults. Sociologists help develop theories to understand how the social world works and also use analytic tools to craft policies and create programs that address important social issues, such as neighborhood and educational inequality. Few disciplines offer such a broad scope of relevance for understanding individual and collective relations in society.

The substantive breadth and skills in conducting and analyzing research that sociology majors obtain can be useful for a range of career paths including: business and marketing, criminal justice, education, environment and technology, graduate school, law, public health, leadership in faith communities, non-profit and social service organizations, public policy, social welfare and social work. Students will leave the major with research skills developed in conjunction with knowledge of substantive material relevant to a variety of social service and non-profit research positions. They also will have an excellent basis for pursuing graduate studies in law, sociology and other social and cultural studies programs.

Areas of Research in Sociology                                Careers

  • Radical, ethnic and gender inequality
    in education
  • Law and Social Policy
  • Hate Crimes, Social Movements,
    Collective Action, Protests
  • Urban inequality, immigration
Criminal Justice
Social Work
Public Policy


Sociology Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, our graduates demonstrate:

  1. Think critically about the causes and consequences of social inequality;
  2. Design and evaluate empirical sociological research;
  3. Explain and apply the major theoretical perspectives in sociology;
  4. Communication orally and in writing about sociology concepts
  5. Use their sociological education outside of the undergraduate classroom, particularly in their careers or further education.

More Information

School of Social Sciences, 
Humanities and Arts Home

Sociology Home

Staff & Faculty