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Undergraduate Students

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of people, groups, social causes, and the consequences of human behavior; the discipline seeks to understand and account for the complexities of human interaction & patterns of social life. Sociology focuses on relations among organizations, classes, cultures, institutions, and social structures. Sociologists scientifically explore and analyze issues vital to our personal lives, our communities, our society, and the world. 

The study of sociology provides fascinating and distinctive perspectives. The field offers a range of research techniques – including quantitative data analysis, survey research, in-depth interviews, ethnography, and historical analysis – that can be applied to areas of social life such as crime and justice, family dynamics, health disparities, race and ethnic relations, urban inequality, bioethics, welfare and education reform, as well as global issues of immigration, peace, and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field with broad implications.

Department Goals

The Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan is one of the premier sociology departments in the country. The undergraduate program and our renowned faculty aim to instruct students on the value of recognizing & understanding social differences and acquiring various ways of thinking critically & creatively about the world. Department goals for the undergraduate program:

  1. Develop "societal questions" and answer them in systematic ways using scientific method 
  2. Collect & analyze data; connect findings to theories and broader society
  3. Speak up! Make evidence and fact-based arguments
  4. Offer courses that challenge injustice and explore topics vital to our society
  5. Present experiential learning opportunities such as community engagement, dialog facilitation, and sociological research 

Major and Minor Options