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About Sociology

Ever wonder why people behave a certain way towards other members of their own community? Why is it that some behaviors persist regardless of targeted outreach programs and new legislature? How do personal value systems impact the way humans behave in the larger society? Sociology is the study of human behaviors and the interaction between human groups and institutions. Sociologists take an in depth look at social inequities, including race, gender, class, rural societies, cultural traditions, family relations and criminal deviance. At UK, sociology students encounter these topics in the academic classroom but are also encouraged to get involved in the field. Participation in internships, research, volunteering in the community, and attending campus lectures and events are all strongly encouraged. The sociology major and minor can compliment many other areas of academic interest.

What skills does studying sociology develop?

  • theoretical and practical approaches for improving cross-cultural understanding  
  • critical thinking in recognition of social trends and patterns
  • ability to gather information through a variety of means and synthesize the findings into a coherent and persuasive argument
  • flexibility of thought and tolerance of others’ values
  • effectively work in a collaborative environment

Undergraduate education requirements

Graduate education requirements

Career Opportunities

Due to the breadth of the sociology discipline, the careers sociology majors choose are incredibly diverse and depend largely on individual student interests. Although teaching and research are the largest areas of employment for sociologists, students may find careers in applied or clinical sociology including government administration, social services, non-profit organizations, private business, education, health care and correctional institutions. Sociology majors are prepared to continue their education by pursuing graduate education in area studies, business, or law. Occupations include but are not limited to the following:

  • city planning boards
  • health service agencies
  • corporate organizational development
  • social service agencies
  • professor
  • conflict resolution (families, communities, social groups)
  • market research and advertising
  • human resources manager
  • social and environment assessment 
  • rehabilitation centers
  • public opinion research
  • correctional institutions
  • journalism
  • education research and administration 
  • social researcher  
  • customer service
  • community and educational counseling 
  • social work

For more information about careers, go to the following:


American Sociology Association

University of Kentucky – Sociology Links of Interest

For more information about career opportunities, contact career counselor Nicole Keenan at or (859) 257-4023.

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