Bachelor of Arts Degree
Simply stated, sociology studies social life. Sociologists examine institutions such as the family, the economy, and religion. They look at how couples interact with each other and negotiate household chores. They look at the decline of family farms in rural areas. A sociologist might explore sources of social conflict between social classes, racial or ethnic groups, or between gender groups. They ask questions about the relationships between citizen groups and local governments, or between states and nations in the emerging global arena.
Sociologists use a variety of research tools to do their work. Spirituality and gender may be explored by using in-depth interviews. Researchers may study suicide behavior by looking at national statistical trends or conduct surveys to assess people's attitudes towards welfare reform. They may use participant observation to learn about urban gangs. Research specialties may include families, inequality, race and ethnic relations, gender, sports, culture, crime, delinquency, law, social change, work and economy, medicine and gerontology, religion, and communities.
UCM's degree program requires courses in sociological theory, research methods, social institutions or social inequality. Students are assigned to a sociology faculty member for advisement to ensure timely progress through the requirements for the major and to explore questions students may have about graduate study or employment after earning their degree.
Graduates in sociology are able to find positions in a range of areas because of their educational preparation in the field. Graduates in sociology are prepared with an emphasis on creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills - skills all employers are seeking. Graduates learn about the implications of diversity for the workplace as well as other areas of social action, both nationally and internationally. Their understanding of human relationships within social groups prepares them for employment in various settings. Sociology graduates develop the skills to think abstractly, conduct research on questions of interest, analyze data, organize data, and communicate in both oral and written formats. Employment prospects include:
- human services
- community work
- college settings
- health services
- publishing and public relations
- government research
An undergraduate degree in sociology also prepares students for further graduate studies in sociology or other disciplines, such as law and public administration.
To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree, students must complete the university's General Education Program requirements and the requirements for the sociology major. While a minor is not required, students are strongly encouraged to pursue a minor in an area of interest and/or as preparation for advanced or graduate study.
Two organizations are devoted to the interests and development of students who are pursuing a major or a minor in sociology. The Sociology Club and the Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society present opportunities to interact with faculty and other students and to participate in academic seminars and conferences.
Annually, the C. James Britton Scholarship is awarded to a departmental undergraduate with at least 90 earned semester hours or a graduate student. Students meeting the eligibility criteria are invited to apply during the fall semester; all applications are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee which makes the selection. In addition, there is the Billy Hu Scholarship which is targeted to International Graduate Students. The deadline for this scholarship is in the spring. Finally, Sociology offers the Pittman Outstanding Undergraduate in Sociology and Outstanding Graduate Students in Sociology awards.
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Department of Communication and Sociology