Sociology identifies and explains the underlying patterns of social life. Whether it be gender differences in earnings, racial segregation in education or housing, the emergence of social movements, or declining attendance in religious services, sociologists combine theory and data to describe broad social trends/patterns and generate valid explanations of these social phenomena. As a discipline, sociology reveals how societies work, thereby empowering people to transform the social world into one that is more just and humane.
Our department produces innovative and rigorous research that deepens our understanding of social patterns and processes. We teach classes that give undergraduates and graduate students the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to think critically and independently about the social world. Our department has signature strengths in several subfields: cultural sociology, gender and family, international development, race and ethnicity, political sociology and social movements, sociology of education, and sociology of religion.
As researchers, our faculty lead and innovate in their subfields. Our faculty publish their work in high impact journals and with well-regarded university presses. Numerous faculty in the department have won awards for their research contributions, as well as lifetime career achievements. Our faculty have also won prestigious fellowships and external grants to support their ongoing work as scholars. Some of our faculty have served as editors of top journals, such as the American Sociological Review, and the American Educational Research Journal. Finally, several of our faculty have won college- and university-wide awards for their teaching.
We offer three degrees through our undergraduate and graduate programs: a bachelor of arts (B.A.), a master of arts (M.A.), and a doctorate (Ph.D.).
Undergraduate students can either major or minor in sociology. In addition to our excellent course-offerings, our undergraduate students engage in research. Sociology majors can work in faculty-led research teams and sometimes serve as a professor’s research assistant. Many students work with a faculty advisor to conduct their own independent research and write a senior thesis. Our honors track prepares students who plan to attend graduate school. Internships during summer and academic year are available to our students. Our undergraduate majors are very successful in finding careers after graduation.
Our graduate program trains the next generation of scholar-teachers and future leaders in the field. The program is large enough to promote collaboration among students who share common research interests and small enough to ensure that each student can work closely with faculty as mentors and advisors. Our program provides ample resources to support student research, professionalization training, and opportunities to gain valuable teaching experience. This model allows our graduate students to build strong publication records, which makes them highly competitive on the job market upon graduation.