Sociology is the systematic study of social institutions and human behavior. As a social science, it looks at the way people organize their lives, from family groups and communities to large-scale institutions like government, education, religion and the economy.

At Dominican, sociology majors choose among three distinct specializations. Each specialization provides a comprehensive program of study within the focus area. Students often choose their specialization based on their future career plans.

Social Analysis

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.

Social Services

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.


Criminology is a subfield of sociology that focuses on the scientific study of crime and how it intersects with law and society. Specifically, how do structural factors in society like social inequality and the legal order affect antisocial and deviant behavior?

As a field, criminology is relevant to the fields of legal studies, criminal justice and social justice studies. It has practical application to the work of social control agencies and many community-based organizations focused on protecting civil and human rights.

The criminology major examines important issues like conceptions of justice and social control. It also provides an understanding of the social roots of:

  • Crime
  • Deviance
  • Delinquency
  • Crime control
  • Victimization

Just as importantly, the major also examines how the related social policies related to these problems can improve—or worsen—conditions for all members of society.