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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.

Alexis Dudley Class of 2023

Meet a Sociology Alum Class of 2023: Alexis Dudley Get to Know a Green Terror

As soon as Alexis Dudley transferred to McDaniel, they were elated to ring in on Old Main Bell and become part of campus community traditions. As a Sociology major, Alexis collaborated with Professor Lauren Dundes on research for their senior capstone, “In Sickness and In Health, I Do.” 

Ella Tomkins Class of 2023

Senior Spotlight Class of 2023: Ella Tomkins Get to Know a Green Terror

International student Ella Tomkins is leaving her footprints in the Psychology classrooms in Merritt Hall, the Writing Center where she tutored students, and on the record board in Harlow Pool. "Professor Sarah Lippy M.S. '09 has most influenced who I have become because of her kindness and encouragement. She was my advisor and was always there when I needed her help."