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What is Sociology?

Sociologists study the ways society works (or doesn’t work). They use a variety of research methods to investigate human social interactions and structures, social transformation, and the specific causes and consequences of social behavior. Because every aspect of human life is shaped by social factors, the subject matter of sociology can be as broad as entire global economies or as narrow as intimate romantic relationships. Sociologists are also on the frontlines studying the most pressing social problems confronting societies, including racism, sexism, gender discrimination, economic inequality, health care, environmental degradation, and religious intolerance. Students in OU’s Sociology Department have the opportunity to study all of these issues up close with accomplished faculty who are experts in these areas. 

Department faculty are active researchers in their field and bring a wide variety of interests to their teaching, including children and youth, education, environment, family, gender, global stratification, health, international migration, and religion. Students are invited to participate in faculty research projects in addition to conducting research projects of their own. Students also have opportunities to present their research at such venues as OU’s Undergraduate Research Day and at the Oklahoma Sociological Association Annual Meeting. 

Sociology students interested in applied work can participate in internships. Our undergraduates have interned with a variety of groups and organizations, including the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Crossroads Youth and Family Services, Habitat for Humanity, and Burton Law Group, PC. 

Ultimately, sociology majors develop not only the skills necessary to work as sociologists, but also marketable skills that are crucial to everyday life. Many sociology graduates continue their education and pursue graduate-level studies in sociology, education, human relations, law, public health, and social work.

So, what's my degree?

A sociology undergraduate student completes a traditional Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Students in the sociology department also may pursue a B.A./M.A. degree program in which they earn their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees in five years. The department also offers the M.A. degree as well as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Many sociology students continue their education by pursuing graduate-level studies at OU or other universities.

Do my interests fit?

Sociology students typically have interests in:

  • Inequality
  • Romantic and family relationships
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Racism
  • Sports
  • Injustice
  • Social life
  • Thinking beyond idiosyncratic experience and beliefs
  • Learning from research

How can OU Sociology help me?

The B.A. degree in sociology is excellent preparation for employment in a range of fields in both the public and private sectors. Graduates of our undergraduate program work as business professionals, child welfare specialists, counselors, data analysts, health care workers, law enforcement officials, leaders in the nonprofit sector, statisticians for state and U.S. governments (for example, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the US Census Bureau, US Agency for International Development, and the US Department of Labor), and as teachers. 

What courses will I take?

Sociology courses include:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Social Statistics
  • Methods of Social Research
  • Sociological Theory
  • Additional sociology courses chosen from a selection

How can I study abroad?

OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies. 

What kind of career could I pursue?

Adoption and childcare agencies
Small businesses and large corporations
Court systems
Community organizations
Government agencies
Personnel departments
Policy analysis
Social advocacy

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Department of Sociology
Phone: (405) 325-5972