Department of Sociology

Overview

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.