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Sociology provides students with a distinctive way of looking at the world and offers unique insights into human behavior. This perspective can then be applied to the analysis of any social issue or social problem, such as family life, street crime, education, war and peace, gender relations, homelessness, poverty, immigration, or substance abuse. Students can then turn their knowledge into a tool for improving the world that they live in.
The Sociology Major provides students with the tools to become keen social analysts. A key aspect of the sociological perspective is the research techniques used to collect and analyze data – and students are given rigorous training in different sociological theories and methods. As part of our program, students learn the theories of social structure (SOCI 312 Theories of Society), the statistical and analytical tools for applying these theories (SOCI 301 Introduction to Sociological Research), and the subjects that these theories help us to better understand.
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A common question!
A degree in sociology prepares students for careers in virtually any field that requires a sound understanding of human behavior. Our majors graduate with the powerful analytical and communication skills that are essential for a wide variety of professions. Sociology majors are found in virtually every possible career -- journalism, criminal justice, public health, politics, human resources, public relations, social welfare, and public administration are among the many fields where our majors now work.
You can learn about what some of our former students are doing here.
The American Sociological Association has an information page about the professional opportunities for sociology graduates. You can access it here.
Students interested in a career in teaching at the middle school or high school levels (grades 7-12) may wish to consider the Sociology Education major offered through the Social Studies Education Program at UD.
Some majors choose advanced degrees in sociology, either MA or Ph.D., which typically leads to careers in college teaching or research.
Students changing to the Sociology major from other programs at UD must have a G.P.A. of 2.0 or better.
A major in Sociology involves a minimum of 31 credits (10 courses), plus related work.
Three courses are required:
SOCI 201 Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 301 Introduction to Sociological Research
SOCI 312 Theories of Society
The remaining courses are electives in Sociology (21 hours).
A maximum of 3 additional courses at the 200 level.
A minimum of 2 courses at the 400 level.
Follow this link if you would like to see a description of the Sociology Courses: Course Descriptions
College Requirements Majors in Sociology must, of course, also satisfy the requirements of the College of Arts and Science. They are described in the Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog.
If you’re interested in more focus in your studies, as a sociology major you may choose a concentration to better prepare for a career in that field. These include Emergency and Environmental Management, Law and Society or Health Services.
Along with taking a focused series of courses, each concentration culminates with a five-week internship or practicum in an organization related to the student's specialization. This may be a hospital, law firm, human services agency, or research unit.
These placements count for four credits and are offered during Winter Session. Students typically devote 20 to 30 hours per week to the experience over the five week period. In addition, students meet in a weekly two-hour seminar on campus to discuss their experiences. Practicum are offered during Winter Session, and are taken on a PASS/FAIL basis. These credits do not count toward the 31 credits required for sociology majors.
This experience provides useful, practical experience that places our students at an advantage in the search for work, and on more than one occasion has led directly to employment.
Interested in becoming a concentration student? Interested in hosting a student for a practicum? Want to learn more? Explore the concentration website and learn about the wonderful things happening at the University of Delaware and the valuable contributions our graduates are making!
The department also offers a minor in Sociology. The requirements are listed as follows:
Eighteen (18) Credit hours of coursework in Sociology, with a grade of C- or above, including a minimum of nine (9) credit hours at 300 level or above.
Sociology 201: Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 301: Introduction to Sociological Research
OR Sociology 312: Theories of Society (or equivalent courses)
An equivalent course in another social science discipline, such as; PSYC 309, 405 ECON 422, 426, MATH 205, POSC 300, 434 OR 435)
If a course is used to substitute Soci 301 or Soci 312, then you MUST take another Sociology 300 level course to fulfill the required number of Sociology credit hours.
Two major research centers are also located within the department. The Center for Drug and Health Studies researches the causes and consequences of substance abuse as well as research on AIDS and other diseases. The Disaster Research Center conducts studies of disaster preparation and responses to catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes.
Students seeking more information about the sociology program may contact Dr. Eric Rise, Associate Chairperson for Sociology, 322 Smith Hall.