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Dive into Human Social Behavior with OHIO’s Sociology Majors

Sociology is the study of human behavior in the context of populations, and Ohio University’s sociology program prepares students to tackle complex social problems such as poverty, inequality, crime, law and justice.

OHIO’s sociology degrees, including criminology and pre-law, provide a unique lens for understanding and analyzing social issues, social relationships, and institutions. Students learn about diverse cultures, social norms and values, and historical and contemporary social trends, which can deepen their empathy, appreciation, and understanding of the world around them. This knowledge and perspective is valuable for students interested in pursuing careers in public service, education, advocacy, social work, law, or any field where understanding people and society is essential. Explore how a sociology degree can help you shape the future:

Choose What You Want to Learn

  • Sociology B.A.

    The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program prepares you for graduate school or careers in business, government, social service and advocacy organizations, education and more.

  • Sociology-Criminology B.A.

    The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology-Criminology program prepares you for graduate study and for careers in criminal justice ranging from substance abuse counseling to juvenile probation to federal law enforcement.

  • Sociology Pre-Law B.A.

    The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Pre-Law program helps you develop the analytical, writing and oral expression skills needed for law school and law-related professions.​ Students may also optionally pursue a Law, Justice & Culture Certificate.

Choose Where You Want to Learn

  • Athens, OH Residential Campus

    Immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful campus towns for a residential living and learning experience that extends beyond the classroom.



    Sociology Pre-Law

  • OHIO Online

    Maximize your work-life balance by taking fully online courses taught by OHIO’s top faculty accompanied by the support you need to earn your degree online.

    Online Sociology-Criminology & Pre-law 

  • On a Regional Campus

    Take classes near where you work and live in a hybrid format that fits your schedule, with some courses on your regional campus and some online for the Sociology-Criminology and Sociology Pre-Law programs.






All students in our Athens, regional, and online programs have access to the same nationally recognized faculty scholars in sociology, sociology-criminology, and law in society.

All three of OHIO’s sociology degrees provide students with a comprehensive understanding of society and the human experience.

Develop Skills for a Range of Sociology Careers

Since sociology graduates emerge with skills in data analysis, research, and how institutions function, they find themselves suited for work around the world and in almost any industry. No matter what sociology degree you choose, you'll have a diverse, valuable skillset to leverage in your career.

Sociology isn’t a major that funnels graduates toward a single outcome. It’s a diversifying major that facilitates exploration, self-discovery, and professional freedom – making it one of the most engaging majors at Ohio UniversityWith a bachelor’s degree in sociology, graduates are well-equipped to start tackling big challenges at social work organizations, law offices and research firms, law enforcement agencies, prisoner reentry programs, court and probation offices, victim advocate agencies, and much more.

Where Do Sociology Degree Graduates Advance after OHIO?

In some cases, they don’t leave! Many students head straight to graduate school after earning their bachelor’s degrees in sociology. Some choose to acquire a Master of Arts degree in Sociology here at OHIO to better research and solve problems with inequality, crime, and more. Others pursue an M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture.

How to Prepare for Graduate School

Get Hands-on Experience with your Sociology Degree

Our sociology programs provide important experiential learning opportunities for students. What you learn in the class is also valuable and applicable in the field, so you’ll get the chance to participate in research projects, collect data, and give back.

  • Intern for Experience and Credit

    Take an internship class for credit (SOC 4910) to get valuable, applicable work experience as you use the knowledge and techniques from classroom instruction to make the world a better place.

  • Conduct Research for your Capstone

    Combine hands-on research elements in your Capstone course by creating white papers or projects that will enhance your resume and your hiring potential straight out of school.

  • Volunteer in an Appalachian Community

    Tackle a community project for a Southeast Ohio community in the Appalachian Teaching Project, a multi-state research training program dedicated to economic development throughout Appalachia.

  • Join a Sociology Student Club

    Take advantage of opportunities to get involved in organizations such as the Sociology-Criminology Club or Students for Law, Justice & Culture. 

  • Take Advantage of a Global Opportunity

    Search our global menu by where or when you want to go. Find sociology-related opportunities under Academic Focus and Humanities & Social Sciences.

Imagine the Impact You Can Make…with Tools to Solve 21st Century Problems

Earn a degree in sociology because the world doesn’t need you to just navigate change, it needs you to lead it.

Imagine studying access to justice and gaining the knowledge and skills to address justice inequality in underserved and underrepresented communities. Or untangling the values, norms, institutions, and social forces that shape society and people's lives. Or working toward solving social problems like crime, discrimination, poverty, and inequality.

Many students choose sociology at Ohio University because they want to make a difference. That’s why our sociology program gives you the experience you need to do just that.

Franchesca Rife and two fellow students

Alumni Changemaker Feature

At OHIO's College of Arts & Sciences, we're not just equipping professionals for a career: We're building versatile agents of change.


Alumna Bryttani Debro is a perinatal support doula for families in need during their pregnancy. Previously she worked as an Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, helping to provide supportive client-centered services to men, women and children who have been victims of sex and labor trafficking.


See more alumni Thinkers. Leaders. And Changemakers.

Bryttani Debro standing in front of a fence

How do Sociology Degrees Focus on Inequality and Empathy?

Though our three distinct sociology programs have their unique focuses, each incorporates fundamental sociology courses and topics, and all students must complete a class on inequality to graduate. Over each degree program, students are trained in ethics, data analysis, and sociological theory. Other topics covered in the sociology major degree programs include:

  • Sociology of Appalachia
  • Poverty & its relation to race
  • Violence against women
  • Sociological research methods
  • Mental health

Above all else, the sociology majors at Ohio University impart a deep understanding of the legal system – and give students the tools they need to deal with both justice and injustice as they progress in their careers. Through OHIO’s sociology offerings, you’ll become capable of solving the biggest problems in society at the local level and beyond. 

How OHIO Offers a Powerful Experience for Sociology Majors

In sociology, we learn that empathy is everything – which is why students will find capable, qualified educators ready to help guide them on the path to success. Many students form long-term professional relationships and friendships with their professors, a hallmark of the overall Ohio experience.

Many faculty members also invite sociology majors to join them with research projects, offering valuable learning opportunities for future graduate school students and researchers. All sociology students can work with faculty mentors for career planning and further help – at every step of the way, learners find professors ready to help them succeed.

At OHIO, faculty members are further committed to welcoming first-generation students. In fact, many sociology teachers are first-generation faculty themselves. They intimately understand the challenges many new students face, so they're more than prepared to guide students and lend a helping hand when needed. Support and solidarity are at the forefront of the OHIO experience for sociology majors.