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Students sitting on the lawn at homecoming game.


“No man is an island.” That phrase seems as true today as when it was first written in the 17th century. Humans are inherently social creatures, and how we behave individually and collectively—in families, politics, religions—involves a vast web of cause and effect.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Graduate Program Opportunity
M.S. in Counseling

As a Sociology major, you’ll study social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. At McDaniel, Sociology coursework takes a scientific, humanistic, and cross-cultural approach when investigating the structure of groups, organizations, and societies. It also analyzes the relationships that unite societies in the world system. Topics of interest to Sociology include community life, family patterns and relationships, social change, social movements, intergroup relations, race, gender, social class, the environment, and technology.

Preparation For Everything

The Sociology major provides a good foundation for students wishing to pursue professional degrees in social work, education, public health, business administration, and community planning, in addition to law, medicine, and divinity school.

Future Career Paths

Recent graduates of the Sociology department are:

  • Law Enforcement Specialists at all levels
  • Teachers
  • Account Executives
  • Financial Advisors
  • Global Client Operations Supervisors
  • Human Resources Administrators

Current Employers include:

  • The FBI
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Social Security
  • Armed Forces (all branches)

Distinctive Courses

SOC 1104 - Introduction to Sociology: A Global Perspective

This course offers an overview of the discipline of Sociology from a global perspective, focusing particularly on cross-cultural examples of social, economic and political relationships. It explores how social forces impact the structure of society and its social institutions as well as cultural patterns, crime, groups, personality, and human interactions.

SOC 2231 - Love and Marriage: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

This course will primarily study the diversity of love, marriage and families across cultures and over time from a Sociological perspective. Using a multinational and multicultural approach, the course will examine intimate relationships in Western and non-Western cultures on global, national and regional levels in order to appreciate diverse cultures and learn that an understanding of human relationships requires sensitivity to the role of culture and socio-economic context. As such, special emphasis will be placed on topics related to: love, forming relationships, mate selection, dating, marriage, non-marital lifestyles, divorce, remarriage and families over time. The course will also examine love and marriage in contemporary American society and the intersection of marriages and families with other social institutions such as politics, religion, race, class, and gender in shaping personal and family experiences.

SOC 3105 - Research Methods in Sociology

This course is an introduction to how sociologists generate knowledge. Students will be introduced to the most common methods of sociological research including survey, experimental, field, and content analytical methods. Philosophical, theoretical, and ethical issues that support sociological practice, as well as the more technical aspects of the research craft including measurement and sampling will be considered. Students will be provided with ample opportunities to engage in hands-on activities designed to acquaint them with the challenges of carrying out social science research. This course also serves to prepare students for both the Senior Seminar and the Department’s quantitative data analysis course.

SOC 3429 - Race and Ethnic Relations in the U.S.

A comparative approach to race and ethnic relations in the United States. The course compares and contrasts the experiences of multiple racial and ethnic groups. Special attention is paid to issues of privilege and power and the underlying historical and contemporary symbolic and structural factors affecting both intra and inter-group interactions.

Senior Capstone

Sociology major Jasmine Knight talks about her senior capstone — her study on how one's level of trust impacts whether one believes casual sex is okay, as the culmination of her Sociology training at McDaniel. 

Special Opportunities

An employer talks to students at a job and internship fair.


Internships can spark a passion you’ll pursue for a lifetime, which is why we strongly encourage Sociology students to pursue one in their time here at McDaniel. Recent internship placements include:

  • Maryland State Police Forensic Lab
  • National Security Scholarship Program
  • Baltimore City Police
  • Carroll County Detention Center Pre-Trial Services
  • Emergency Management Homeland Security Prince Georges County Youth
  • Voices for Children Carroll County, MD
  • Abused Persons Program, Montgomery County

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Sara Raley

Professor Spotlight Sara Raley Associate Professor

Professor Raley, whose research and teaching interests include family, gender, sexuality, demography, and child well-being, regularly teaches Introduction To Global Societies and the Sociology Of Sexuality, Gender and Society, and helped develop the popular sophomore interdisciplinary studies course, South Park and Contemporary Issues, which she team teaches with Philosophy senior lecturer Josh Baron.

Rodney Fisher '19 majored in Criminal Justice

Meet Our Students Class of 2019: Rodney Fisher Jr. Get to Know a Green Terror

Criminal Justice major and first-generation college student Rodney Fisher's legacy is "to show all first-generation college students that you can do it. You can be successful and achieve anything that you set your mind to. Do not let self-doubt keep you from reaching your full potential."

Linda L. Semu

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT Linda Semu Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of Africana Studies

Professor and Comparative International Sociologist Linda Semu has published significant scholarship in the social sciences, public health, the intersections of gender, and more. An advocate as well as an educator, Semu had conducted outreach in Malawi and other parts of Africa. She was recognized in 2022 with the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award.