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Undergraduate Studies in Sociology

Sociology is the systematic study of society, exploring the ways in which the social world influences our individual lives. If you would like to increase your understanding of how the larger social context in which we live affects our everyday lives, sociology is for you! Ask yourself: Am I curious about the reasons for social problems? Do I have ideas about what could be done at local, national, and international levels to improve society? Have I ever envisioned my ideal society? Am I interested in social policies and how they affect people? Do I wonder what it would take to make this world a better place? Am I curious about what makes organizations tick?

The Department

The University of Kansas Department of Sociology is the oldest sociology department in the country and enjoys an international reputation. The department offers a unique, wide-ranging approach to the study of society and gives its students the freedom to shape challenging personal degree programs. Strong advising, teaching, and mentoring help keep students on track and ensure personal attention. The Faculty. The department’s faculty have earned outstanding reputations in diverse areas of research. Faculty specialties include social theory, race and ethnicity, social movements, sex and gender, work and organizations, the Third World, law and criminal justice, and medical sociology. Many faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching. If you would like further information about the Department of Sociology and for answers to questions about career opportunities and advising, contact Professor Brian Donovan, Undergraduate Director, Department of Sociology, University of Kansas, Fraser Hall, Room 716, Lawrence, KS.




A Sociology Major

A sociology major can give you the knowledge of social relations and society that will enhance your career opportunities. Depending on your interests, the sociology courses you’ve taken, and your second major, this degree opens doors to entry-level positions. The department’s graduates work in personnel administration, social service agencies, and business. They are journalists, researchers, social workers, and statisticians. Your sociology degree is excellent preparation for graduate studies in sociology as well as in areas such as social welfare, public administration.

Recommended Path through the Major:

Year 1 & 2: Take SOC 104, Math 101, and at least one other SOC course.
Year 2:

When qualified, declare intent to major.  Take SOC 310 (Methods) and 1-2 other courses at the 300 level or above.

Year 3:

Take SOC 510 (Methods) and 1-2 other courses at the 300 level or above.

Discuss options for independent work (readings, internship, honors research) with your advisor.  If planning an internship apply for approval (see Department website for process).

Year 4:

Take SOC 500 (Theory) and 1-2 other courses at the 300 level or above; do internship, if pursing Honors in Major, begin work on thesis under direction of your advisor. Complete required credits by pursuing special interests; if pursuing honors: complete research.  


Research Experience Certification

As part of satisfying a Sociology major, you take at least two courses in research skills – Sociology 310 and Sociology 510. If you find out that you like doing research, you may want to pursue Research Experience Certification. The only additional requirement to earn certification is to participate in an actual research project, either by working with a faculty member on their research or by doing your own project under faculty supervision. If you are interested in this, be sure to arrange your schedule so that you finish your second methods course no later than the semester before you plan to graduate (and two semesters would be even better). Also talk with a faculty advisor as soon as possible.



A Sociology Minor

Students majoring in a wide range of disciplines will find a minor in Sociology enhances their perspective on their field. Sociology is often the minor of choice for students majoring in Psychology, Anthropology, American Studies, Economics, Applied Behavioral Science, History, Political Science, and Global and International Studies and those in professional schools such as Journalism, Business, or Education.  Students considering careers in Law or Medicine will find Sociology relevant and useful.

The minor consists of 18 credit hours of course work which includes SOC 104 and at least 12 hours of Sociology courses at the Junior/Senior level, including 9 taken in residence here at KU. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. To declare a minor, begin by meeting with our Advising Specialist. Call 785-864-3500 to schedule an appointment.   

Faculty Advising

After meeting with the Advising Specialist Laura Leonard, you can meet with a faculty member on the Undergraduate Studies Committee:

Fall 2013 Undergraduate Studies Committee Advising Schedule:

Monday 2:00-3:00......Prof. Jarron M. Saint Onge

Tuesday 10:00-11:00......Prof. Emily Rauscher

Wednesday 12:00-1:00.....Prof. Brian Donovan


During fall and spring enrollment periods, all sociology faculty offer extended advising hours.

To begin Graduation Certification paperwork, or to release a NDC or ND6 hold, please see our Advising Specialist, Laura Leonard before meeting with a Undergraduate Studies Committee Member. If you have a FAH hold, please call the Undergraduate Advising Center at 785-864-2834 to make an appointment with an UAC Advisor.

Awards and Scholarships

Each academic year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers some competitive undergraduate awards. Click these links for information and advice on how to create a strong application, such as writing a personal statement, creating an effective resume, and requesting recommendation letters. For information about scholarships based on academic merit, diversity, major, and residence contact the University of Kansas, Office of Admissions and Scholarships, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa Street, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-3911. For information about grants, loans, and other need-based financial aid, contact KU’s Office of Student Financial Aid

Alpha Kappa Delta Beta Chapter of Kansas

International Sociology Honor Society

In 1920, University of Southern California sociologist, Dr. Emory S. Bogardus, founded Alpha Kappa Delta for the purposes of stimulating scholarship and promoting the scientific study of society. Bogardus’ impetus in establishing this organization was to provide a forum for student and faculty interchange. His endeavor paved the way for what has become an international organization dedicated to promoting, facilitating, and recognizing academic scholarship. As we enter the 21st century, Alpha Kappa Delta is an integral part of many Sociology programs and is proud to acknowledge that in the past eight decades, over 80,000 scholars have been initiated into the Society. More than 490 chapters have been chartered in the United States, Canada, China, Finland, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Singapore


For undergraduates who are officially declared sociology majors, the following specific requirements must have been met prior to the time of initiation:

  1. Must be at least a junior (third year) by KU standards.
  2. Must have accumulated the equivalent of an overall G.P.A. of 3.25 and rank in the top 20% of their class in general scholarship
  3. Must have maintained the equivalent of a 3.25 G.P.A. in sociology courses taken at the KU prior to initiation.
  4. Must have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation (exclusive of extension or courses graded pass/fail).
  5. Each year Alpha Kappa Delta sponsors an undergraduate student paper competition. For more information, please visit the AKD website.

Clcik here for more information on Undergraduate Admissions



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