Department of Sociology

BA in Sociology

Sociology is the study of social life and the social origins and consequences of human behavior. Sociology's subject matter ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from crime to religion, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, from the sociology of work to the sociology of sport. Sociology is a liberal arts major with particular emphasis on developing students' abilities to think critically about complex issues, to analyze social phenomena, to design and carry out research, and to write with clarity and economy. An undergraduate major in sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in social work, social research, politics, public administration, law, business, and education.

The major also provides an excellent basis for graduate study in sociology, law, criminology, social work, and education.

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

All students are reminded that, in addition to meeting Departmental requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, they must also meet the requirements of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the University's Core curriculum.

Major Credit and Grade Policy

The prerequisites for all 300-level sociology courses are SOC 100 and SOC 210 with grades of C or better. Courses to be taken for major credit at other institutions must be approved in advance. Grades of C or better must be achieved in all courses for major or minor credit. Courses taken pass/fail are not acceptable.

The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core curriculum) required for the major: 38.

Required Prerequisites for all advanced sociology courses (6 credit hours)
     SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
     SOC 210 Critical Thinking About Social Issues

Required Courses (11 credit hours)
     SOC 300 Sociological Theory
     SOC 301 Qualitative Research Methods
     SOC 307 Quantitative Research Methods

Required Courses in Class Processes–choose one course from the following (3 credit hours):
     SOC 348 Sociology of Work
     SOC 358 Sociology of Women's Work
     SOC 359 Leisure and Consumption under Global Capitalism
     SOC 392 Poverty: Policy, and Perspectives
     SOC 393 Women, Welfare, and the State

Elective Courses–choose from among the following (18 credit hours)      
     SOC 315 Self and Society
     SOC 316 Sociology of Gender
     SOC 318 Childhood and Society
     SOC 323 Sociology of Death and Dying
     SOC 327 Social Movements
     SOC 330 Sociology of the Family
     SOC 331 School and Society
     SOC 333 Medical Sociology
     SOC 334 Sociology of Religion
     SOC 343 Social Psychology
     SOC 348 Sociology of Work
     SOC 352 Demography
     SOC 355 Politics and Society
     SOC 357 Organization: Individual and Society
     SOC 358 Sociology of Women's Work
     SOC 359 Leisure and Consumption under Global Capitalism
     SOC 363 Food, Culture and Society
     SOC 365 Sociology of the Body
     SOC 370 Sociology of the Environment
     SOC 371 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
     SOC 374 Mental Health and Mental Illness
     SOC 380 Topics in Sociology
     SOC 390 Individualized Instruction I
     SOC 391 Individualized Instruction II
     SOC 392 Poverty: Policy and Perspectives
     SOC 393 Women, Welfare, and the State
     SOC 395 Internship
     SOC 450 Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship

Opening for Fixed-Length Lecturer in Sociology

Lecturer in Sociology

Department of Criminology, Economics and Sociology


The University of Southern Maine invites applications for a one-year, fixed-length Lecturer position in Sociology to begin September 2016.  Applicants must document successful teaching and a commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.  The length of the initial appointment will be for one academic year with possibility of an extension for up to two additional years.


The successful candidate will teach four courses per semester, including Introduction to Sociology and upper-division elective courses in the candidate’s area(s) of expertise.  Preference will be given to candidates whose courses contribute to Criminology and/or Economics and who have experience teaching Quantitative Research Methods. The successful candidate will be expected to teach on both our Portland and Gorham campuses and online, and to engage in departmental service. The Department of Criminology, Economics and Sociology offers four majors; more information about the Sociology program can be found at


The University of Southern Maine (USM) is Maine’s Metropolitan University, dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education.  USM’s strategic focus is in alignment with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and we are seeking to become a Carnegie Engaged University by the year 2020.  USM offers Baccalaureate, Master's, and Doctoral programs, providing students with rich learning and community engagement opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology.  Further information on USM can be found at     


USM’s three environmentally friendly campuses are unique, yet all share the extensive resources of the university — and all are energized through strong community partnerships.  Offering easy access to Boston, plus the ocean, mountains and forests of coastal, inland and northern Maine, USM is at the heart of Maine's most exciting metropolitan region:

  • Our Portland campus is located in "one of America’s most livable cities," according to Forbes magazine, which also ranks Portland among the top 10 for job prospects.  A creative and diverse community on Maine’s scenic coast, Portland is nationally known as a "foodie" hot spot!
  • USM’s beautiful residential Gorham campus  supports and celebrates excellence in academics, athletics, music and the arts and is home to ten Living Learning Communities and six Residential Communities.
  • Our Lewiston campus is home to USM’s innovative and richly diverse Lewiston-Auburn College. This Central Maine campus integrates classroom, community and workplace, and provides a small college experience with the resources of a large university.




  • ABD in Sociology or closely related field



  • PhD in Sociology


Apply online at: You will need to create an applicant profile and complete an application (which includes contact information for three professional references).  You will need to upload a cover letter, a resume/curriculum vitae which fully describes your qualifications and experiences with specific reference to the required and preferred qualifications. You will also need to complete the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status form.  


Review of applications will begin immediately.  To ensure full consideration, materials should be submitted by May 1, 2016.  Materials received on or after that date will be considered at the discretion of the university.  We are not able to consider applicants who require Visa sponsorship support.


USM is an EEO/AA employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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