As a sociology major, you will gain a rigorous understanding of the social forces and institutions that affect human behavior.

What courses will you take?

Two students seated in front of a computer

Our B.A. in Sociology curriculum is designed to help you understand society's effect on people and people's effect on society, based on a social justice perspective. 

You will take courses that explore our social world and examine issues surrounding class, gender, sexuality, race, and physical ability, with a focus on inequalities. Across your coursework, you will develop career-ready skills in writing, research and quantitative literacy.

As a sociology major, you can choose between three degree concentrations, which lead to a wide range of career opportunities. 

  • General Concentration — Gain a critical perspective based in social justice through courses about the dynamics of social problems and policy, gender and race inequalities, immigrant communities, the social inclusion of people with disabilities, families and youth, and homelessness and food insecurity. You will graduate prepared to enter careers in policy, government, human services, social work, law and teaching.
  • Policy and Social Problems Concentration— Learn how to apply the analytical tools of sociological thinking to social problems and their solutions. Courses combine practice in analysis of specific social problems with examining the responses to these problems by both government and community actors. You will gain experience working with community organizations and local leaders across a range of fields, including immigrant services, environmental policy, youth services, gender-based organizations, education, and more.
  • Racial Equity and Inclusion Concentration — Deepen your understanding of racial oppression and intersectionality and acquire the tools to facilitate racial equity and inclusion. Courses cover how racial oppression functions at the institutional level and how people of color and allies have mobilized to identify, alleviate and eradicate structural racism. You’ll graduate equipped to analyze how race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, citizenship and other inequalities intersect in distinct ways that shape one’s racialized experiences and access to valuable resources in American society. 

Throughout your courses, you can choose service-learning and internship opportunities to explore careers and practice professional skills while serving the local community. In your senior year, you may also choose the thesis option that involves advanced reading, research and analysis in selected topics in sociology. 

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the sociology minor.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathways are:

    Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • Sociology majors upon completing the program of studies will be able to:

    1. Use a sociological perspective to understand the world around them and locate the interplay between structure, culture and human agency.
    2. Explain and critically evaluate the relevance of important sociological concepts to social phenomenon such as poverty and inequalities of class, race, ethnicity and gender.
    3. Demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical traditions in the field and their impact on empirical inquiry.
    4. Develop competency in the use of methods and tools in sociological research.
    5. Conduct independent sociological inquiry using sociological perspective.
    6. Demonstrate critical thinking, communication (verbal and written) and analytical skills.
    7. Critically assess information about the social world we live in for formulating constructive programs of social change.

Why study sociology at UMass Lowell?

Students in front of a banner that says "Their Stories: Lowell's Youth and the Refugee Experience"

Real-World Learning

Apply sociological principles and concepts through field work and research within community organizations, especially in the Lowell community.

UMass Lowell sociology professor and student talk while seated at a table

Expert Faculty

Engage with our faculty through small class sizes and highly personalized advising.

Rafaela Gonzalez headshot

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined bachelor's-to-master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in sociology?

Graduates of UMass Lowell's sociology program are prepared for careers in diverse fields, including social work, education, human resources, government, business, law, criminal justice, research, community activism and elder and youth services. 

Sociology- student Rosmery Medrano headshot

Alumni of our program have worked in a variety of job roles, including:

  • Adoption worker
  • Behavior therapist
  • Case worker
  • English teacher
  • Human resources manager
  • Intensive care coordinator
  • Program director
  • Research assistant
  • Residential counselor
  • Special education teacher

Meet Our Students and Alumni

UMass Lowell student Debby Fernand stands next to RHSA Director Matthew Hurwitz
Debby Fernand '22
Psychology, Sociology and Race and Ethnic Studies

Debby Fernand says the River Hawk Scholars Academy has introduced her to friends and faculty mentors – and turned her into a leader herself.

The RHSA was the first aspect of college I got to know and love.
Read More About Debby Fernand 
Michelle Garcia reads aloud in front of a class
Michelle Garcia '21
English, Sociology

Michelle Garcia, a rising spoken word poet, is also learning how to write poetry for the page.

Writing keeps me sane. It keeps me grounded.
Read More About Michelle Garcia 
UMass Lowell student Rosmery Medrano sits at a table with an open book
Rosmery Medrano '22
Sociology

Rosmery Medrano analyzed her culture and hometown in a field research class.

It was really interesting to analyze my city from a sociological perspective.
Read More About Rosmery Medrano 
Ben Jeter and others stand around a table a meeting
Ben Jeter '21
Sociology

Ben Jeter’s experiences at UMass Lowell, including participating in the professional co-op program and his job as a resident advisor, turned him into a student leader.

My roles as an RA and within the Black Student Union really changed my life and informed who I am today.
Read More About Ben Jeter 
UMass Lowell student Rafaela Gonzalez poses with some of her GloryScent products
Rafaela Gonzalez '18
Sociology

Rafaela Gonzalez wants to care for people as individuals and in communities, so she's majoring in sociology and minoring in psychology. She's also started her own business.

I like to encourage people and give them hope - especially teenagers when they have problems and people aren't actually listening.
Read More About Rafaela Gonzalez