Sociology Program

Undergraduate Program

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious traditions; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture.

What can I do with a degree in sociology?

A sociology major is uniquely suited to help you develop the skills you need for a successful 21st century career. Sociologists study social change, they study diverse communities and their interactions, and they use scientific methods to find empirical answers to complex social questions. Studying sociology can help you foster your creativity, innovation, critical thinking, analytical problem-solving and communication skills. Sociology will challenge you to see the world through the lens of different cultures and communities and give you opportunities to collaborate with others in developing multi-cultural and global understandings. Sociological methods can help you build strong math and science skills. Preparing papers about social problems, and the theories and evidence that can help us solve them, will foster the strong writing and presentation skills you need to succeed. Sociology graduates find jobs in social services and counseling, administrative support and management, education, sales and marketing, and social science research.

A bachelor’s degree in sociology could open doors to work with various social agencies. If you are interested in working with children, child protective agencies and child adopting agencies could be potential employers. As the demographics of America change, sociologists will be needed in agencies concerned with older Americans. Our curriculum offers opportunities to learn about these issues. Training in research and survey methodology could prepare you for a job with the Census Bureau. There are opportunities in health services as well. With a degree in sociology, you could work in a hospital as registrar of vital events. Sociologists and demographers utilize this information to study infant mortality rates and life expectancies, with implications for policy makers. Agencies like Planned Parenthood also look for sociologists to guide their programs. Law enforcement agencies show interest in hiring sociology graduates as well. With a degree in sociology, you could become a parole officer, corrections officer, or public safety officer. If you are interested in working at a college or university, a bachelor’s degree in sociology could prepare you to work in academic advisement, alumni relations, and more. For more information on careers for sociology majors, visit this page.

Mission Statement (Bachelor of Arts)

The mission of the undergraduate program in sociology is to provide students with the educational experience to intellectually and critically analyze human behaviors and the society using sociological perspectives. To add to this base of knowledge and skills, the program is committed to high-quality research and teaching and to the utilization of the knowledge and skills to serve the local and professional communities of South Texas and the nation as a whole. Our mission is consistent with the mission of the university.

Intended Student Learning Outcomes

Students who have completed the bachelor’s degree in sociology are expected to:

Goal 1: Demonstrate knowledge of basic sociological concepts and sociological perspectives
Goal 2: Understand basic procedures of sociological research and be able to analyze sociological data.
Goal 3: Apply sociological perspectives and methodology to community service and research projects.

For more information on the sociology program at UTPA, see our degree requirements, course descriptions, and student organizations.

For more information on jobs for sociology majors, check out the following resources on the American Sociological Association website: