What is Sociology?

Sign that has "Jayhawks" spelled out in metal and has clouds and the sky behind it
  • Sociology: the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.  

  • Since all human behavior is social, few fields have such broad scope and relevance both personally and professionally. 

  • We're the oldest sociology department in the United States - we have a long history of rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative study.
  • Monday February 3, 1890:  
    • KU History and Sociology Professor Frank Wilson Blackmar taught a handful of students into KU's first "Elements of Sociology," class, a popular course still to this day.
  • Around 1915
    • Albion Small received letters from colleagues for his analysis of Sociology’s "first fifty years," and confirmed that KU was the first time and place the word “sociology” was used in connection with the name of a university department in the United States.  

Given the range of topics covered and transferable skills, there are many career options: 

  • Potential careers:

    • Politician

    • Counselor

    • Law Enforcement Officer

    • Public Relations Specialist

    • Human Resource Manager

    • Data Analyst

    • Epidemiologist

    • Screenwriter

    • For more potential careers, visit the Career Center website.

Sociology also provides great preparation for going on to law school, medical school, business school, and for graduate degree programs in sociology and complimentary disciplines like social work, education, public policy, public health, and communication studies. 

  • Immigration

  • Family

  • Deviance

  • Criminology

  • Gender Roles

  • Media

  • Religion

  • Sexuality

  • Work Roles

  • Public Policy

  • Aging

  • Health Care

  • Education

  • Social Inequality

  • Surveillance

  • Social Movements

  • Attitude Development

National Recognition

  • Our Sociology program ranks 64th among all universities, per U.S. News and World Report (2021).

students on campus