Broadly speaking, sociology is the study of society, social behavior, groups and social institutions. The field of sociology offers a range of distinctive theoretical perspectives and research techniques to investigate all aspects of the social world. Sociologists examine the patterns and structures of, and processes involved in human interaction from small groups to larger organizations, and societies. Topics of sociological research include social problems, social norms and deviance, social diversity, social change and inequality. Examples include the effects of divisions along ethnic, gender, age, and social class lines on access to health care, educational achievement, work and other social opportunities. Others focus on the analysis of the care of elders and children, human sexuality, medical care, poverty, crime, and social movements.

Undergraduate majors in sociology take courses in substantive areas of sociology, methods of sociological research, and sociological theory. This training equips them to understand the content and process of sociological research and to work in public, non-profit, and private organizations where those skills are useful. The knowledge of sociology is most useful for employment in health, social service, and educational organizations, and in personnel, human resources, and marketing departments of private businesses and public agencies. Sociology also provides appropriate training for graduate study in social sciences and many professional fields, including business, public and health administration, law, social work, medicine and education. 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.

The department offers various advanced courses in the evening every semester but does not offer an evening major. Students who are able to take some courses during the day can complete the degree on a part-time basis.

You can also refer to the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for further information about the academic program and course descriptions for the Sociology Major, Minor, Bachelor’s/Master’s or Master’s program.

What can I do with a degree in Sociology?


View a copy of our brochure here.