Learn How the World Works With a Sociology Degree

If you’re the sort of person who revels in investigating and understanding the hidden forces that shape our lives, then sociology might be a good fit for you. At its most basic, sociology is the study of how people interact. More specifically, it’s the study of the groups, power structures, and institutions that affect human behavior. As a discipline, sociology combines theoretical frameworks with research and analysis. For that reason, it’s also a great major for people who enjoy both science and the humanities.

As a sociologist, you’ll learn how factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, inequality, and criminal justice systems contribute to people’s individual lived experiences, as well as how they fuel wide-scale social problems. You’ll also become familiar with the components of social change, and what drives broad social behaviors and movements. You’ll become equipped to not only better understand the world around you, but also to enact positive change.

Group shot of Bethune Cookman University students listening during classroom lecture

Bethune-Cookman University

The Importance of Diverse Voices in Sociology

It’s imperative that the field of sociology embraces diversity in order to provide a comprehensive and accurate representation of the multifaceted nature of human societies. Diversity in sociology ensures that a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds are taken into account, leading to richer analyses and more nuanced understandings of social phenomena. Without diversity, sociology runs the risk of being myopic, overlooking critical aspects of society and perpetuating biases that can skew research findings and interpretations.

Black voices are indispensable to the field of sociology — for the present and for the future. Historically, Black communities have faced systemic oppression, discrimination, and marginalization, which has shaped unique experiences and perspectives. By including Black voices in sociological discourse, we gain insights into the complexities of race, power dynamics, resilience, and cultural heritage. Moreover, Black scholars and thinkers have consistently challenged prevailing narratives, introduced groundbreaking theories, and expanded the boundaries of sociological thought.

In the current global climate, where issues of racial justice and equity are at the forefront, the contributions of Black voices are not just valuable, but essential. Black perspectives offer a lens through which we can better understand the intricacies of racial relations, the legacy of colonialism, and the ongoing struggle for equality. As we look to the future, ensuring that Black voices remain central to sociological discussions will be key to fostering a more inclusive, equitable, and just society.

As a sociologist, you’ll be uniquely prepared to provide a unique perspective and posit creative solutions to complex, centuries-long social problems. Read on to find out more about sociology and see how you can pursue a future in the field. Or, donate today to help support student achievement in sociology and beyond.

After the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, diversity is more crucial than ever in every field, from sociology to computer science. Click here to donate to UNCF to support our vital work and the future of American students.

Careers in Sociology

A sociology degree is an extremely versatile one that provides a lot of room for specialization and graduate education. In essence, sociology is relevant to any industry or field that deals prominently with people and interpersonal interactions. Here are a few of the careers you might consider with a sociology major:

  • Teacher or professor
  • Research assistant
  • Attorney
  • Human resource specialist 
  • Policy analyst
  • Public relations consultant
  • Advocacy professional
  • Urban development consultant
  • Social worker
  • Guidance counselor

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How to Prepare for Success

Strong communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills will be crucial if you want to succeed as a sociology major. To ensure that you’re prepared when you get to college, make sure that you’ve gained experience in the following areas:

  • Mathematics: Particularly if you intend to do research, you’ll need at least a working knowledge of quantitative and statistical analysis methods. 
  • English: Sociology is a text-heavy field, requiring a lot of reading and the ability to interpret large volumes of information. Courses in English will help students adequately develop their critical thinking and writing skills.
  • History and Government: Studying history, social institutions, and public policy will help develop your understanding of social issues and tensions. It’ll also hone your critical thinking, reasoning, and writing skills.
  • Psychology: If sociology is the study of people on a broad scale, psychology is the study on a smaller scale. While not essential, having a basic familiarity with psychology may prove helpful.


4 Shaw University students smiling outside on campus

Shaw University

UNCF Schools to Consider

Multiple UNCF-member schools offer degrees in sociology, including: 

Professional Organizations

If you’re thinking about majoring in sociology, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the programs, membership options, and resources offered by professional sociology organizations. Exploring these will also give you a good idea of the scope and professional opportunities the field has to offer. 


Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path to a successful career in sociology than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for sociology majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study sociology.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in sociology. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!

You can also show your support for students pursuing careers and furthering equity in the field of sociology by making a contribution to UNCF member schools. Education is the greatest tool we have in creating a just and equitable society in which economic mobility is available to all. Help us achieve this future by donating today!