Sociology, BA | University of Portland

Sociology, BA

Sociology looks beyond individualistic perspectives to larger social patterns and processes. You will receive training in the methods of social research and theories of social organizations and social change and be prepared for graduate studies, leadership, and service in areas such as criminal justice, law, education, industry, human services, government, journalism, and non-profit organizations. Our criminology track allows you to explore the causes and controls of crime, deviance, and delinquency.

 The curriculum imparts to students an understanding of society and culture as it is organized in various social institutions and provides training in the methods and theories of social research. Faculty work with students on research in such areas as globalization, social mapping, gender issues, culture and diversity, and various types of criminal and deviant behavior.

Sociology majors graduate with a variety of capacities that are valuable in today’s world, including: 

  • The ability to see larger social processes and be aware of social change;
  • The ability to think critically about social life, to question assumptions, and to consider alternatives;
  • An understanding of the social forces that shape individuals and the way that these forces limit or enable us;
  • The ability to understand, interpret, and design social research;
  • The ability to express themselves through the written and spoken word;
  • An understanding of culture and the way it shapes our perception of the world.

Career Paths

You will frequently find people with sociology degrees employed in the helping professions, in business, and in various public sector positions, especially those dealing with social programs and their implementation. 

Employment opportunities for those with Bachelor's degrees in sociology include entry-level positions in the following areas: administration, advertising, banking, counseling (family planning, career, substance abuse, and so forth), community planning, health services, journalism, group and recreation work, marketing and market research, sales, teaching (if certified), human resources/personnel work, social services, and social research.

  • Administration
  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Case Management
  • Community Planning
  • Counseling
  • Criminal Justice
  • Group and Recreational Services
  • Health Services
  • Human Resources
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Social Services
  • Social Research
  • Teaching
  • Urban Planning
  • Youth and Elderly Services


Sociology majors take 39 credits in the University Core Curriculum, 21-33 hours in the College of Arts and Sciences core, 30 hours of sociology courses for the major, and 18-30 hours of electives. 

Sociology majors in the criminology track take 39 credits in the University Core Curriculum, 21-33 hours in the College of Arts and Sciences core, 39 hours of sociology courses for the major, and 9-21 hours of electives. 

Sample Courses

  • Social Class and Inequality
  • Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Sociology of Deviant Behavior