Department of Communication and Sociology
The Sociology Program at the University of Central Missouri offers B.A., B.S., and M.A. degrees as well as a minor. Sociology majors study social life primarily at the group level, by examining societal institutions such as families, the economy and religion, seeking to understand social systems and the relationships between institutions, both locally and globally.
Graduates in sociology can enter the human services field, working with youths at risk, the elderly, people experiencing problems related to poverty, substance abuse, or the justice system. Other graduates pursue careers in business working in sales, marketing, customer relations, or human resources. Graduates can also continue with graduate study in sociology or other disciplines such as law. The appeal of sociology as a degree choice is career diversity. A minor in sociology offers skills for employment in a diverse and global economy.
Sociology as an Academic Discipline
Sociology as an academic discipline studies social life primarily at the group level. 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. They 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, between states and nations, or between industrialized and developing nations in the emerging global arena.
Sociologists use a variety of methodological tools to do their work. They may explore the relationship between gender and spirituality by using in-depth interviews. They may study suicide behavior by looking at national statistical trends. They may conduct surveys to assess people's attitudes towards welfare reform. They may use participant observation to learn about urban gangs.
This combination of sociological insight and research methods prepares students for a variety of professional career options. For example, it provides a general liberal arts preparation for careers in law or business.
Graduates are prepared for entry level positions in public administration, gerontology, or research and planning departments in government agencies. Graduates can continue their education by attaining advanced degrees to become community college or university faculty.