The major in sociology offers a career-enhancing, liberal arts curriculum based on the study of the structure of and interactions among and within groups, institutions, and societies, providing an understanding of how individual behavior shapes and is shaped by group membership, with particular emphasis on class, race, gender, and age. Students majoring in sociology are exposed to a comprehensive program of study in one of three concentrations and are prepared for professional employment in a number of occupations in the public or private sector, or for graduate study in sociology, related social sciences, social work, education, or law.
The specialization in social analysis provides the broadest sociological background of the specialization options. Students who choose social analysis often plan to pursue a graduate degree in sociology and to become professional sociologists in an academic setting. The broad nature of this program also means graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for successful employment in a number of related occupations following graduation.
The social services specialization provides students with the sociological training needed for employment in social services agencies and related organizations. It offers optimal preparation for graduate study in the social welfare field for those who aspire to become professional social workers. An internship in any social services setting will enhance each student’s curriculum.
The specialization in gerontology provides an intellectual framework and specific training for students who wish to work with older adults. It also offers excellent preparation for graduate study in social services and related fields. When gerontology students consider their internship options, they should focus on organizations that serve the needs of an aging population.
Sociology and criminology graduates are often employed in the helping professions. The recent trend is for many sociology-related occupations to require a graduate degree, including social work, therapy, counseling and case management.
Students who want to work in the social services field without a graduate degree often land in support positions or quasi-professional roles. One example would be a role like domestic violence counselor, which may require an undergraduate sociology or criminology degree plus completion of an in-house training course.
A sociology degree also serves as excellent preparation for students who want to pursue an advanced degree in business, law, public administration or urban planning.