Sociology is one of the first academic programs established at UMBC.
The first Sociology courses were offered at UMBC in 1966. In 1969, our program was formally established. Sociology at UMBC reflects a focus on addressing social inequality, which is a foundational focus of Sociology as a discipline.
We are so proud to have among our graduates, Sociology-Biology double major, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, “lead scientist of the research team that developed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).”
What is Sociology?:
Sociology is the study of society, social behavior, groups and social institutions, and social inequality through qualitative and quantitative data. The field of sociology offers a range of distinctive theoretical perspectives and research techniques to investigate all aspects of the social world. This video provides an excellent summary of sociologists describing the field of sociology.
For more information about sociology as a discipline, please visit:
- American Sociological Association (Major in Sociology)
- Sociological Literacy Framework
What topics and skills does a B.A. in sociology from UMBC include?
Students who obtain a B.A. in sociology will have specific training in data analysis and data literacy via courses in social science research methodology and basic statistical analysis of secondary data using statistical software (example: SPSS).
Topics of sociological research by current faculty at UMBC include social inequality (by race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, and other characteristics), social determinants of mental and physical health, social dynamics in communities and neighborhoods, and the social aspects of crime and law. Faculty at UMBC study these topics locally in Baltimore, at the national level in the United States, and cross-nationally in regions across the globe. Faculty use their expertise in these areas to offer coursework in health and illness, gender and race/ethnicity, social networks, aging populations, crime and criminal justice policy, law and society, and other topics.
Table 2 from: Ferguson, Susan J. (2016). “The Center Does Hold: The Sociological Literacy Framework.” Teaching Sociology 44(3): 163-176.
For specific UMBC Sociology B.A. program requirements, please visit: https://saph.umbc.edu/academic-program-requirements-socy/
Undergraduate majors in sociology at UMBC take courses in the introduction to sociology (SOCY 101), substantive areas of sociology (various lower level and upper level electives), methods (SOCY 300), statistics (SOCY 301), and theory (SOCY 409). Students should plan to take SOCY 300, 301, and 409 at UMBC in order to obtain their B.A. in sociology from UMBC.
Unfortunately, the sociology program is not able to offer an online or evening major. Although we currently offer a few courses online and hybrid to provide options for our students during the COVID-19 pandemic, most courses have an in-person component. Our summer and winter sessions include electives only (SOCY 300, 301, and 409 are not offered summer/winter), and our summer/winter elective offerings are always 100% online. Please refer to the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for further information about the academic program and course descriptions.
Sociological training yields a skillset that is particularly relevant to career opportunities in public, non-profit, and private organizations such as employment in health, social service, educational organizations, personnel and human resources, and marketing departments.
FAQ: What can I do with a degree in Sociology? Check out this wonderful resource on career opportunities!
Although a B.A. in sociology provides important skills for a wide range of career opportunities, students who want to get a job specifically as a sociologist should pursue a master’s degree in sociology to obtain more detailed training in specific topics and research methods. At UMBC, students can pursue graduate training in sociology, such as in the Master of Arts in Applied Sociology or in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program, which students can apply for as undergraduate juniors and seniors. Sociology also provides appropriate training for graduate study in other social science disciplines and professional fields, including business, public and health administration, law, social work, medicine, and education.
View a copy of our department brochure here.