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Department of



The degree program in sociology provides students with the analytical tools to help them understand the links between individual experiences and the larger society. In examining social life and social change, the department focuses on questions of power, culture, and inequality in the U.S. and at the global level, combining a comparative-historical perspective with the scientific and humanistic vantage points of the social sciences. All students are exposed to classical and contemporary sociological theories and learn to apply both quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociological research.

The complexity of the field of sociology is reflected in the wide range of courses offered in the department, and in the varied interests and backgrounds of the faculty. Students may elect to pursue a generalist approach to the discipline or to specialize in one of the complementary areas of concentration. These concentrations include: Communities, Urbanization, and Culture; Power and Inequality in Global Perspective; and Crime, Justice, and Law and Society.

We share in USD’s mission to work towards peace and social justice, with a special emphasis on the Catholic intellectual and social tradition. Strong community service-learning components and field experience placements in community agencies provide an opportunity for students to link abstract sociological concepts to concrete social issues in the search for solutions to pressing societal problems.