Sociology is the scientific study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists study social interaction and relationships, families and neighborhoods, organizations and institutions, and whole societies, moving beyond the individual to consider how these larger social structures shape individual opportunities, attitudes and behaviors. Sociology students use this lens to study a broad array of topics that include crime, politics, health, inequality, sex, race, and culture. The methods of inquiry are varied, ranging from interviews, participant observation and focus groups to interpretation and content analysis of historical documents and contemporary media to conducting large surveys and statistical analysis. Sociological perspectives and research methods are critical for understanding our increasingly diverse and complex society and its challenges.
A sociology degree provides students with a range of marketable skills. Sociology majors develop strong quantitative and qualitative research skills and improve their writing and oral communication abilities. They hone their analytical and critical thinking skills through courses in social theory, research methods, and a wide variety of substantive topics. Sociology is excellent training for careers in community service organizations and health agencies, public administration, market research, social services, education, public relations, and publishing among others. The degree is also excellent preparation for graduate studies, law or medical school. The Health and Society minor is a terrific option for students interested in pursuing careers in health and medicine while the Criminology minor is suitable for students pursuing a career in law or criminal justice.