Department of Sociology


Sociology HouseWelcome to the USM Sociology Department website! You can learn a lot about us by exploring the links you'll find throughout our site, or stop by the office on the Portland Campus!

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 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 issues and organizations, to design and carry out research, and to write with clarity and economy.

The undergraduate major in sociology at USM offers valuable preparation for careers in social work, social research, criminal justice, politics, public administration, law, business, and education. The major also provides an excellent basis for graduate study in sociology, law, criminology, public policy, and social work. You can learn more about the major by visiting the Sociology section of the USM Undergraduate Catalog.

Sociology Department faculty are deeply committed to excellent undergraduate teaching. We try to maintain a student centered environment which emphasizes collaboration between faculty and students to enrich the learning experience. Students appreciate our involvement with their academic lives and the interaction between students and faculty which characterizes our Department. You can learn more about faculty by visiting the people page.

The Sociology Students' Association is an active, independent student organization of sociology majors and other students who are interested in sociology. The Association sponsors various events during the year including social activities, films, lectures, and service projects. Many SSA members and alumni keep in touch through the SSA Facebook page. You can learn more about the SSA by visiting the SSA page of this site.

The USM Department of Sociology is affiliated with the international sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta. Juniors and seniors who are officially declared majors or minors, or who have demonstrated an interest and involvement in sociology, have accumulated at least a 3.3 overall grade point average, and completed four or more sociology courses at USM with a sociology grade point average of at least 3.0 are eligible for nomination to Alpha Kappa Delta.

The Department of Sociology offers internship opportunities and encourages other off campus learning experiences including service learning as well as national and international exchanges and international courses. These programs provide an opportunity to bring together academic work and community involvement and provide students with the opportunity to tailor the major to personal interests and/or career goals.

In putting sociology to work, you will not only learn about the broad issues behind the social problems you see as a volunteer or employee. Your sociological training will provide you with the skills to research, report on, and organize solutions to these problems. Thus, you can transform your social awareness into social change. People with undergraduate degrees in sociology work in the justice system as juvenile court workers and correctional counselors; in the community as substance abuse counselors and child development technicians; in the government as affirmative action workers and urban planners; and in many other research and social service positions.

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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