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What is 'Sociology? (SOCI)'

Sociology is the use of the scientific method to study groups, institutions, and societies and the human social behavior of the members of those groups, institutions (e.g., churches, schools, governments, businesses, mass media), and societies (local, national, international): Among other things, it studies scientific research methods, findings of scientific research studies of the nature and causes of human social behavior of the members of those groups/institutions/societies, sociological theories or explanations of the behaviors of the members of those social entities, the structure or ways in which they are organized, the culture or ways they take care of their needs, the ways they interact with each other, the social problems resulting from their interactions, and the changes and solutions to their problems. Sociology is a most dynamic and fascinating field, and any student of sociology should be able to apply the knowledge they acquire in our sociology classes to solve problems more critically, factually, objectively, efficiently, effectively, and independently in any other field of study, group, institution, or society they will be part of.

Is it for you?

Are you interested in Social Policies and Welfare? Are curious about the reasons certain societies are the way they are? Are you curious about how people live and get along together? Are you curious about different cultures and different groups interactions? Are you organized and able to gather meaning from the numbers and facts you collect. Sociology may be for you.

Jobs and Salary Expectations

Sociology Career Paths

There are twelve available options


A professional with a degree in sociology is well prepared for administrative positions, particularly in government and public agencies that administer human services. Sociologists in leadership roles help define policies toward groups of people in need of public assistance. By leading teams of researchers and social work professionals, sociologists can reshape their communities.


A degree in sociology prepares a student for a career in business. Sociologists research consumer trends and work with market researchers to discover new opportunities to meet the public's needs. Some corporations employ sociologists to impact the social effects of major projects like plant relocations or store openings. Sociologists also help product designers understand the overall trends shaping consumer culture in order to inspire tomorrow's hot new products.


As the prison population in our country continues to expand, many local governments hire sociologists to understand the impact of tougher laws on neighborhoods. Sociologists also help corrections officials determine the effects of new programs and regulations on the prison population.


Some counselors and therapists study sociology in order to better understand some of the larger trends they see among patients. By using the kinds of pattern analysis techniques that sociologists are known for, counselors can focus their practices on critical needs in their communities.


A person with a sociology degree may choose to pursue a career in education. A bachelor's degree and teaching certificate are adequate for teaching classes such as political science, history, and social science at the high school level. PhD level graduates may pursue careers at the college and university level.


Sociology professionals play larger roles at major investigative bureaus, especially the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Working with detectives and profilers, sociologists help law enforcement officials anticipate crime by identifying obscure patterns. Targeting areas that are likely to be the focus of criminals allows officials to deploy scarce resources more effectively. Therefore, investigators can close cases more quickly while improving the quality of life in previously dangerous areas.


Sociology majors with a proven ability to communicate well may find a home for their talents in a variety of news gathering organizations. Newspapers and local broadcast news outlets employ sociologists to help understand the kinds of stories that engage readers, viewers, and listeners in a particular region. Sociologists work with editors and market researchers to identify the right balance of news that audience members expect with the stories that need to be reported to uphold civic responsibilities.


Sociology degree holders can play numerous roles in the political community. Campaign managers hire sociology professionals who can identify critical neighborhoods that can make or break an election. By understanding the traditional voting patterns of key districts along with the crucial issues that concern voters, campaigners can deploy volunteers and activists to win over voters.

At numerous government organizations, sociologists analyze patterns that can affect the political and economic balance of the county. Examining the trends in housing construction and measuring the number of citizens who move to new cities can provide lawmakers with a clear picture of the challenges facing Americans today. Sociologists can also help lawmakers predict the success or failure of proposed legislation based on voting patterns and current research findings.

Most importantly, sociologists manage the process of counting citizens in our census program every ten years. Instead of merely counting individuals in the country, as mandated by law, sociologists use the opportunity to conduct deeper interviews that reveal larger trends when compared to past results.

Public Relations

Some sociology majors with an interest in journalism find jobs as public relations officers for major corporations. By reviewing market research data and understanding historic trends, sociologists can anticipate challenges when rolling out new products or building infrastructure. Sociologists who truly understand the motivations of customers, community activists, and journalists can effectively defuse problems in the media by responding to the public's concerns with carefully composed solutions.


Some sociology professionals can carve out careers as independent research consultants who examine trends in human behavior for a variety of clients. By carving out a solid reputation for reliable work, these specialists attract interesting problems without having to pursue grants like their colleagues in the academic sector.

Senior Services

Over the next few decades, the United States will experience an unprecedented explosion in the number of Americans over the age of sixty-five. Numerous outreach organizations and government agencies are hiring sociologists to study the effects of an again population on our culture. In addition, many researchers hope to anticipate the results of the coming contraction of population as baby boomers die off. Sociologists use scenario planning exercises along with a variety of resources to predict the opportunities for future generations to thrive in a country with far fewer residents.

Youth Services

Our society places more value on the lives of children than at any point in our nation's history. A variety of government agencies and nonprofit institutions monitor the impact of policies and parental habits on today's young people. Sociologists examine the challenges that young people face when interacting with people of other generations. They also examine the significant cultural shifts driven by young people's tastes in popular culture.

Program Faculty

  • Kojo Allen
  • Mary Burbach 
  • Carri Dyer 
  • Laura LaMarr

Course Descriptions

  • SOCI 1010 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCI 1050 Sociology of Health Care
  • SOCI 1100 Native American Studies
  • SOCI 1250 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOCI 2050 Current Social Problems
  • SOCI 2060 Multicultural Issues
  • SOCI 2110 Introduction to Gerontology
  • SOCI 2150 Survey of Human Sexuality
  • SOCI 2160 Marriage and the Family
  • SOCI 2310 Criminology
  • SOCI 2311Juvenile Justice
  • SOCI 2450 Social Psychology
  • SOCI 2550 Popular Readings in Social Science
  • SOCI 2650 Research Methods

Credit Classes and Registration

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