You’re fascinated by issues surrounding concepts like race, gender, and sexual orientation. You’re driven by the pursuit of equality and justice. You want to make a true difference in the world—but first, you need to understand the systems that make the world the way it is. Sound like you? You may be ready to pursue the Sociology Program at Buffalo State College.
Sociology is the study of human relationships. At the personal level, sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of things like romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, religious faith, and more. On a larger level, sociology investigates issues such as crime, poverty, discrimination, education, population growth, war, and social reform. Sociologists use what they learn to understand why the world is the way it is and how it can be shaped for the better.
“It was an eye-opener to see how badly Detroit has been affected by the economy,” said Courtney Counts, '16, sociology major following a campus-sponsored trip to Detroit, Michigan. “I was able to compare Detroit’s downfall to Buffalo, seeking the social issues as to why this is happening.”
In 2012, Gary Welborn, associate professor of sociology, was selected as one of four finalists for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award sponsored by Campus Compact.
"This is a validation of the kind of work that I’ve been doing since I came to Buffalo State in 1993," Welborn said. "Community engagement is something that is meaningful to me, and I think the campus is moving toward enhancing engagement with the community."
Buffalo State offers a bachelor of arts in sociology, which prepares students for a wide variety of positions in business, industry, government, research, health-related services, or social services.
Students who major in sociology at Buffalo State will understand the language and role of the discipline in contributing to our knowledge of the world; understand the role of theory in describing and explaining social phenomena; and understand the methods and procedures used to conduct sociological inquiry. Some of the reasons Buffalo State’s sociology is a uniquely good choice include:
Buffalo State is proud to offer its social work students a program that combines academic learning with hands-on experiences. Opportunities open to sociology students beyond the classroom include:
Students have the chance to present projects at conferences off campus as well as at Buffalo State’s annual Student Research and Creativity Celebration.
Students can work with the college’s associated research centers including the Center for Health and Social Research (CHSR), which facilitates the initiation, implementation, and continuation of research and education at Buffalo State on health and social problems, especially alcohol and drug abuse, and the Center for China Studies, which promotes China programs to the campus and the community through public lectures, exhibitions, newsletters, and a website.
A wide variety of internships are available for sociology students; some may coincide with employment. Recent sociology students have interned at organizations such as:
Sociology majors are prepared for careers in community organizations, criminal justice units, and government agencies as advisers, internal or external consultants, and counselors. The bachelor of arts in sociology also is a designed to prepare undergraduate students for graduate work in business, law, public administration, media studies, demography, crime/deviance, or other social science disciplines.
Like other social sciences, sociology has a wide variety of applications. Some job titles commonly obtained by sociology graduates include:
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