Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. In other words, sociological concepts can be applied to any future you can imagine for yourself. Sociology majors have been presidents, first ladies, professional athletes, civil rights leaders, lawyers – all making a huge impact on the world.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice offers course work leading to a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or a minor in sociology. Sociology graduates will understand and demonstrate:

  • General knowledge of sociology
  • Research methods in sociology
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Application of sociology to pressing social issues
  • Sociological and professional values
  • Information technology skills
  • Communication skills
  • Personal and career development

With a sociology degree, you will understand how social institutions, communities, and organizations work and change. You’ll know how to examine the causes and consequences of conformity, deviance, and inequality. You’ll apply sociological understanding of human behavior to practical work situations and everyday life. You will read critically, think independently, and communicate effectively about social issues and social policy.

Matthew Fully

My education helped me learn how to use important statistical information/data to present facts both in and out of the classroom, and I gained a good insight in the introductory aspects of the law and government.

Matthew Fully, ’17 criminal justice and sociology

Career ready

Graduates of the sociology program go directly into successful careers in activism, education, marketing, business – just to name a few – or continue their education at both the master’s and Ph.D. levels. Curious as to what jobs sociology majors take? Here are just some examples:

  • Legislative aid
  • Urban planner
  • Public health educator
  • Admissions counselor
  • Teacher
  • Human resources manager
  • Consumer relations specialist
  • Technical writer
  • Program supervisor
  • Employment specialist

Get to know the LAS career services team to help you explore the many career opportunities a degree in sociology can open for you.


members of the sociology clubStudents at Iowa State University can tailor their experience to gain valuable skills for the future. Department events provide the opportunity to network with students and faculty so you can stay connected.

You can also find an internship that will help you hone your skills and add to your resume to make you a more marketable candidate for the kind of job you want.

A wide variety of student organizations and clubs are available for students to join—including academic, honor societies, political and activism, intramural sports and Greek life. And be sure to check out the Sociology Club! Whether you’re a sociology major or minor, or you’re simply intrigued by the topic, the Sociology Club will introduce you to a variety of sociological concepts through fun group activities and a host of guest speakers.

Gain leadership and service experience through the Student Activities Center, go to one of the many fun campus events like the Cyclone Carnival or learn more about clubs and activities at the annual ClubFest to learn how to involved during your time at Iowa State.

Students from every background can apply for departmental scholarships once a year to fund their education and better focus on what’s important—the student experience.