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The study of sociology focuses on the social relationships and institutions that comprise social life in our own and other societies.
Sociologists study many different subjects: race and ethnicity, social policy, gender and sexuality, family and kinship, the nature of industrial capitalism, the effect of technology on modern society and interpersonal relationships. These are just a few of the many areas sociologists are interested in understanding. What draws these different areas together is the emphasis on understanding social life, both in our own society and cross-culturally.
The sociology major offers students the opportunity to learn about our social world. Courses cover a wide range of fields. As part of their program, students are encouraged to work in the Lowell community. Many students complete corporate or agency internships in which they work within a field setting to gain needed job experience.
Department members value the search for meaningful social change. Students who are interested in working in human services, social work, personnel management, urban planning, elder services, communications, law, education, research, community activism or full-time academic work might consider a major in sociology.
Students may choose a concentration in Policy and Social Problems, which provides a pathway for those who want to focus specifically on applying analytical tools of sociological thinking to social problems and their solutions.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
The Sociology Department has integrated a skill sequence into their courses that all major students will master by the time of their graduation. The skills developed will help major students succeed throughout all elements of their academic career, as well as provide to be beneficial for their career development. Throughout each level of courses, our students' skills will incrementally improve in the following areas:
Read more about the program's specifics in the undergraduate catalog.
The thesis option involves advanced reading, research and analysis in selected topics in sociology. Students taking this option are strongly advised to do so in the fall semester of the senior year. No more than six credits can be taken for thesis. There will be two readers for the thesis, one of whom will be the thesis adviser. Students will be asked to defend the thesis.
For admissions information, visit the UMass Lowell Admissions and Aid website:
A sociology minor can complement a number of majors, including psychology, criminal justice and business administration.
To complete the minor, students must take 18-24 credits of coursework in sociology. At least six credits must be taken at the 300 level or above. Students interested in completing a sociology minor should consult with the Sociology Department chairperson or another sociology adviser to plan an individual course of study.
Recent sociology graduates work as research assistants, peer mentors and project managers in companies and not-for-profit organizations. Learn more about their work and their advice for current students.