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The Sociology Major

Welcome to the Sociology Department at University of Oklahoma. Our faculty have a wide variety of expertise across a wide variety of topics of sociological interest and our instructors ranking are near the top of the College of Arts and Sciences teacher evaluations every year. Our department offers an engaging and critical education focusing on understanding social and group behaviors and their impacts on societal institutions like the family, the criminal justice system, religion, education, gender, and the environment. Our program contains two distinct programs: General Sociology and Criminology

What is ...


Sociology studies the consequences of human behavior as they are related to social life and social change. Sociologists understand the depth of the human condition as it relates to the social world. Individuals are not the sole creators of their world, but are co-creators of their personal outcomes. Questions of study include how do issues of race, gender, and social class influence individual outcomes? How do cultures influence the outcomes of individuals? How do individuals respond to social change, social upheaval, and civil unrest? The subject matter for sociology is as diverse as the world itself, making this a complex but fascinating field of study. For more information on sociology, check out the American Sociological Association:



Criminology is a broad field within the department of Sociology.  It promotes a field of study dedicated to understanding crime and criminal behavior. Likewise, Criminology investigates the criminal justice system and how it applies public policy across the population. Some research questions addressed in Criminology include: What are the causes and consequences of deviant and/or criminal behavior? How can we understand the structure and functions of the criminal justice system? What are the societal and individual reactions to crimes and criminal justice processing? How should we understand the dynamics of criminal justice policy making?  Criminologists also study criminal and juvenile justice systems, organized crime, political violence, terrorism, deviance, and the media's representation of crime. 


Why Choose the Sociology-Criminology Program?

There are many practical reasons to study sociology/criminology at University of Oklahoma. 

  • First, sociology/criminology gives you a broad perspective on the world you inhabit. In fact all other disciplines you might study at the University are studied within sociology. Sociology studies all components and complexities of human life.  
  • Secondly, students who study sociology/criminology are repeatedly ranked near the top of all graduating students in many categories including, but not limited to: critical thinking skills, acceptance into their graduate program of choice, and employment procurement after graduation.
  • Finally, our programs are flexible and include oportunities to study abroad, undergraduate research and teaching experiences, unqiue learning experiences of the Inside/Out Program (Check out the Inside/Out program here), and the the possibility to earn both the Bachelors and Masters degrees in 5 years (Check out the BA/MA program here).

What Do these Majors Give Me?


Sociology/Criminology are academic pursuits that train students in a number of important skills, including but not limited to: 

  • Logical critical reasoning - processing critical analytical work, connecting theory to practice, thinking across multiple perspectives.
  • Communication - writing, reading, public speaking, listening and reading.
  • Interpersonal - leadership, supervising, interviewing, and public relations.
  • Informational - organizing, researching, problem solving, and budget management.
  • Analytical - designing research agendas, statistics, computer literacy, and interpreting data.


Student Testimonial

My name is Tiffanie Vo and I am a recent OU alum with a BA in Sociology. The OU Sociology Department was a core part of my undergraduate experience. The faculty and staff are dedicated to seeing their students excel in the classroom and emerge as leaders within their communities. The sociology program challenged me academically and gave me confidence to pursue my personal goals to continue my graduate education in the sociology field.

What can I do with a Degree in Sociology?

Sociology/Criminology degree from University of Oklahoma prepares the student for life outside of college as well as inside the academy. Our BA/MA program enables a student to gain statistical skills that are highly marketable, while preparing you for the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D. and becoming a University Professor.  Many students also complete graduate education in Social Work, Law, Medical School, Education, Physics, and other fields using their undergraduate degree in sociology/criminology.  

Students will be prepared with skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communications, as well as writing skills and the ability to understand and communicate about complex problems. These skills are highly valued by today‚Äôs employers. Many students complete their degree in sociology/criminology and find work in a variety of fields, including social service and nonprofit work, criminal justice, education, and research. The list below contains the array of jobs that are potentially available to graduates of this program.  

  • Professional Writing
  • Statistical Analyses
  • Data Management
  • Data Collection
  • Survey Adminstration
  • Editing 
  • Journalsim


  • Law Enforcement
  • Investigations
  • Probation and Parole Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Judicial Affairs
  • Attorney
  • Paralegal
  • Prison administration/corrections
  • Admissions
  • Advising
  • Alumni Relations
  • Development
  • Administrative Support
  • Public Relations
  • Student Affairs
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Consumer Research
  • Human Resouces/Personnel Management
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Media
Government AgenciesSocial Services
  • Family Planning
  • Substance Abuse Education
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Research
  • Rehabilitation
  • Case Management
  • Youth and Senior Services
  • Recreation
  • Administration
  • Social Work
  • Non-profit Agencies
  • Urban Planning
  • Childcare
  • Hospital Admissions/Insurance


For those interested in Majoring or Minoring in sociology/criminology, follow the below link to the requirements for these degrees:


More Information

For more information, please contact either:

Chair of Undergraduate Program Committee:
Prof. Chris Hill