Why Sociology?

What is Sociology?

According to the American Sociological Association External Link, Sociology is:

  • the study of society
  • a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies
  • the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes
  • the scientific study of social aggregations, the entities through which humans move throughout their lives'
  • an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology, and economics

Major or Minor in Sociology

Sociology students at Humboldt State University find an active and supportive departmental culture that surrounds coursework in sociological theory, methods and current social issues. Department faculty members have a strong commitment to social justice that shapes course offerings and content. Students prepare themselves for sociology-related careers as well as graduate studies. Service learning is integrated into the curriculum through the social issues and action course that includes volunteering with local community-based organizations.

Sociology students at Humboldt State have access to a variety of hands-on learning and research experiences. While most universities save these opportunities for grad students, our students are working alongside their professors from the undergraduate level.

The Sociology and Criminology Club creates additional opportunities for students to connect with each other, faculty and local community organizations. Because of the breadth, adaptability and practical applications of Sociology, students with a BA in Sociology choose to work in many different sectors: non-profit, private business, social services, education, health services, public relations, criminal justice and government.

The Sociology major requires 28/29 units in core classes, four courses (16 units) in three different knowledge areas, and a Capstone Experience. Learn more about the major requirements by downloading the Sociology Major Contract, linked on the right.

The Sociology minor has two required courses, plus students must successfully take twelve units of upper division sociology coursework.

SOC 201S (4) Social Issues & Action
SOC 382 (4) Intro to Social Research

How can I prepare to major/minor in Sociology?

In high school, take math, writing and any available social science courses (such as history, psychology, or sociology).

What can I do with a B.A. in Sociology?

Graduates with a B.A. in Sociology from Humboldt State University have solid skills that look good on a resume, but also have the critical thinking skills to be successful in a wide variety of careers. By the time you complete your degree, you will have experience with designing and conducting your own research, performing data analysis, making presentations, and reading and writing at a high level. You will be well prepared to enter a Master’s or Ph.D. program, or enter the work force with the ability to think critically about social forces and how they impact our daily lives.

Former Sociology graduates from Humboldt State University have gone on to be social workers, to work for non-profit agencies, to work in law enforcement, and to work in various academic jobs—just to name a few!

Career Possibilities
Admissions Counselor
Attorney/Mediator
Clinical Research Associate
Community Organizer
Criminologist
Diplomat
Director
Drug Counselor
Employment Counselor
Executive Director
Facility Manager
Fundraiser
Government Administrator
Grant Writer
Health Services Consultant
Human Resource Manager
Industrial Sociologist
Interviewer/Researcher
Labor Relations Specialist
Law Enforcement Officer
Managing Member, Law Firm
Population Analyst
Probation/Parole Officer
Professor
Program Coordinator
Public Opinion Analyst
Public Relations Consultant
Rehabilitation Counseling
Researcher
School Counselor
Social Ecologist
Social Worker
Statistician
University Administrator
Urban Planner
Youth Counselor

Master's Degree in Sociology

The HSU Master’s Program in Public Sociology fosters a network of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who are committed to Public Sociology, ecological justice and social action. Public Sociology represents work that takes sociological knowledge and skills beyond the confines of the academy into the communities where these resources are much needed. Whether speaking to girls and boys about media, gender and violence or consulting with a non-profit on a community survey on corporatization and locally owned business, the work of our faculty and students is tightly interwoven with our local communities.

How can I prepare for an M.A. in Public Sociology?

Students accepted into the Public Sociology Master's Program generally have a strong foundation in sociological theory, research methods, and statistics (SPSS preferred, but not required). If you have not taken those courses, there is a chance you could be conditionally admitted, but you would be required to take those courses before you could enroll in graduate courses.

What can I do with an M.A. in Sociology?

The Master’s Degree in Public Sociology from Humboldt State University opens up a diverse and powerful array of resources to you to cater your experience to your interests and goals. In the Public Sociology program, you become part of a network of activists and scholars that are passionate about helping you turn your sociological imagination into social action. The Department, and the University can support your goals if you want to learn more about community organizing, performing evaluative research, grant writing, social movements, teaching at the college level, environmental stewardship, academic research, criminology and much, much more. Look through the list of faculty and staff for our department, and around the university, to see how we can support your goals.

Preparation for graduate school: Graduates with an M.A. in Public Sociology from Humboldt State University will have the solid background in sociological theory, research methods, and quantitative analysis that one needs to be successful in a Ph.D. program. You will have the opportunity to write a thesis, which should transfer to research-based Ph.D. programs.

Preparation for the work force: Graduates with an M.A. in Public Sociology from Humboldt State University have solid skills will make a resume stand out in the crowd, but also have the critical thinking skills to be successful in a wide variety of careers. By the time you complete your degree, you will have experience with designing and conducting your own research, performing high-level data analysis, making academic presentations, and reading and writing at a high level. You will be well prepared to enter the non-profit, public or private work force with the ability to think critically about social forces, and how to solve social problems through research and/or action.

Former HSU Public Sociology Graduates have gone on to work in the non-profit sector, to work for HSU, to further study at PhD programs, and much more!

Learn more about what you can do with a degree in Sociology:

From the American Sociological Association:

Other Sociology Career Resources: