Message from the Chair

Welcome to Sociology.   This is a great major which may impact your career choice and more importantly your perceptions of the world, ability to think critically and your appreciation of those different from you.

Why do Students major in Sociology?  According the American Sociological Association study students say they major in society for a variety of reasons.

Quotes from sociology majors stating why they chose to major in sociology

  • "After my first sociology course, I was hooked. I was into studying society and how social changes affect us. Sociology offers so many different ways to understand how society works, and it helps us have a greater understanding of why certain things happen in society 
  • "I had a genuine interest in understanding my own social location in the world"
  • "I Chose sociology because I felt that sociology would give me the most freedom to explore multiple career paths. As a rising city planner, I am able to see how my understandings of socio-economic disparities operate in an an urban context. I know that in the future I will be able to effectively create solutions in local distressed communities."
  • "Sociology was a major where I was encouraged to go wherever my mind would take me. I was given the tools to test my ideas and discover actual data to support my theories "

What skills can I gain with a sociology degree? 

The following are all skills that sociology majors can list on their resumes as major skill sets. 

Conduct Research and Analyze Data:  Learn both qualitative and quantitative research methods.  This will allow you to recognize trends and patterns and produce social statistics such as those used in market research, opinion polling, sales, and countless other applications.

Communicate Skillfully:  Learn how to convey your ideas effectively in writing and presentations

Practice Critical Thinking: Learn to look beyond the surface of issues to discover the"why". Build your analytical skills. Solve problems and identify opportunities .

Gain a Global Perspective: Learn about different cultures and how to analyze the interactions of groups and societies through a global and historical perspective.

Prepare for Graduate School :  An undergraduate major in sociology provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in a wide range of fields including law, business, social work, medicine, public health, public administration and, of course, sociology

How are recent sociology graduates using their degree?

Social Services/Public Services
"I am a caseworker for incarcerated mothers and their infants"

Program Support
"I am an immigration specialist for a large company . I write petitions for people to receive their Green Cards."

"I provide management and financial analysis. The work involves forecasting and tracking revenue for large mutli-million dollar efforts as well as labor relations."

"I teach Conversational English and American Studies classes at a secondary school in Southeastern Ukraine."

Sales Marketing
"I am a marketing consultant. I assist with the planning and development of marketing strategies for my organization."

Social Science Researcher
"I am a statistician in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch of the US Census Bureau."

A Long Line of Great Minds
There are thousands of accomplished people with B.A. M.A. and PhD degrees in sociology who are not necessarily Sociologists with a capital "S" Below is a list of just a few, found by Peter Dreier, Occidental College, for his commencement address to the 2001 department of sociology graduating class of the University of Oregon


  • Wellington Webb, mayor of Denver
  • Brett Schundler, mayor of Jersey City
  • Annette Strauss, former mayor of Dallas
  • Rev. Martin Luther King
  • Roy Wilkins, former head of NAACP
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Rev. Ralph Abernathy
  • Shirley Chisholm, former Congresswoman from NY
  • Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from LA
  • Barbara Mikulski, US Senator from Maryland
  • Tim Holden, Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Cardinal Theordore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, DC
  • Saul Alinsky, father of community organizing
  • Saul Bellow, novelist
  • Ronald Reagan (double major in sociology and economics)
  • Emily Balch, 1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner (a social worker and social reformer)
  • Francis Perkins, social reformer and former Secretary of Labor
  • Richard Barajas, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
  • Michelle Obama, Attorney and First Lady of the United States of America 


  • Saul Bellow, novelist
    Regis Philbin, TV host
    Dan Aykroyd, actor
    Robin Williams, actor
    Paul Shaffer, bandleader on David Letterman Show (and before that, Saturday Night Live)
  • Dinah Shore, singer
  • Ruth Westheimer, the “sex doctor” 
  • Kalpen Suresh Modi, White House Liaison for Arts and Humanities


  • Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat
  • Bryant Stith, Boston Celtics
  • Brian Jordan, Atlanta Braves
  • Joe Theisman, NFL quarterback
  • Eric Bjornson, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Taylor, Eagles cornerback
  • Ahmad Rashad, Sportscaster

The content from this page is an excerpt from the brochure "Sociology a 21st Century Major". 

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