(Originally published on the Pardee School of Global Studies website) Susan Eckstein, professor of...
Q: What do Michelle Obama and Ronald Reagan have in common with Regis Philbin and Robin Williams?
A: They all earned a degree in Sociology!
Why Study Sociology?
Coursework in sociology challenges students to “think outside the box” in ways that can lead to many different career options. Sociology majors and minors learn critical analytic skills; broad knowledge of social relations, social systems, and processes; and substantive expert knowledge in a variety of sociological sub-fields, from medical sociology to urban sociology; from global and transnational social relations to gender inequality and organizational forms; from law and social processes to racial and ethnic relations. Sociology graduates work in fields that range from medicine and law to market research, business, journalism, social work, criminal justice, policy analysis, and nonprofit organizations.
Sociology also provides excellent preparation for graduate study. For example, pre-law students may wish to take courses in the sociology of law, criminology and criminal justice, or the sociology of deviance and social control. Students pursuing careers in business may wish to take courses in the sociology of work, formal organizations, or the sociology of technology. Students interested in pursuing graduate study in the social sciences may wish to deepen their experience in the field by working with Department faculty on a research project or investigating a sociological research question in a Work for Distinction.
The variety of paths sociology majors are taking is reported in the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) publication titled, “What are they Doing with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?”. The ASA is the major scholarly association for professional sociologists in the U.S., and students are welcome to join (ASA).
The Department is also proud to have a unique student group, the award-winning Undergraduate Sociology Association (USA). Students majoring and minoring in sociology are encouraged to join this independent organization, which provides a number of services and programs for students including University-wide panel discussions of public interest topics, film showings, service projects, social events, and participation in departmental planning and policy through the Undergraduate Programs Committee.