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Sociology

Cultivate the skills needed to address challenges in our interconnected social world. Learn more about social dynamics and develop a sociological perspective that will help you succeed in many fields.

Why Study Sociology?

Have you ever tried to understand why people in a room, neighborhood or city behave the way they do? That’s your job as a sociologist — to explore human behavior, societies and social change. As a sociology major at USD, you will develop the quantitative, qualitative and problem-solving skills needed to critically think about and address society's challenges. Through classes that encourage you to be reflective and analytical, research opportunities mentored by our faculty, and off-campus experiences like internships, you will come to better understand complex social dynamics in a wide variety of areas: family and marital change, religion, education, globalization, health care, crime, mass media, social movements and belief systems. You'll graduate from our program prepared for success in human and social services, public service and government, marketing, nonprofit development, law, journalism and business, among other fields. Also, the field of health care has increasingly focused on the social aspects of health and medicine, making an undergraduate sociology degree an excellent complement to pre-professional programs for medicine, public health, nursing and other health care fields.

Discover answers to your questions about our increasingly interconnected and complex social world as a sociology major.


Degrees & Offerings

Sociology (B.A., B.S.)

Major
  Vermillion Main Campus, Sioux Falls and Online

Explore modern society, human behavior, social patterns and cultures as a sociology major. As a sociology major, you will develop the ability to be analytical and reflective about social patterns, while cultivating knowledge and skills that are attractive to employers. Our program strengthens your critical thinking, problem solving, research and communication skills as you learn about our social world, preparing you for a variety of careers and educational paths.

Sociology

Minor
  Vermillion Main Campus, Sioux Falls and Online

Expand your understanding of our globalized world by learning about cultures and complex social dynamics. With a sociology minor, you'll develop critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills that will serve you well in your career. This program is a great complement to a variety of majors, including anthropology, political science, criminal justice, psychology, communication studies, social work, medical biology, business and legal studies.

Program Details

Undergraduate

College

Department

Contact

Admissions

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a sociology student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

Our sociology graduates go on to jobs in a variety of fields. In addition to the skills and research methods you learn in the classroom, the opportunities you experience beyond the classroom will help set you up for success.

In the Department of Anthropology & Sociology, faculty work to connect you with internships that  amplify your professional experience and prepare you for job opportunities. You'll gain real-world experiences that will equip you with valuable skills and set you apart after graduation. Many of our past success stories have come from students who have been involved in one or more internships.

USD has more than 170 student organizations, including a club specifically related to sociology. Whether you attend USD in Vermillion or Sioux Falls, you can get involved outside the classroom through Sociology Club. This is an opportunity for you to connect with other sociology majors and explore sociology beyond the textbook.

Explore Student Organizations

Connect with your peers and expand your professional network through honors societies and professional associations. The USD sociology program is connected to many societies and associations that are dedicated to promoting sociology among university students and providing you with opportunities. The sociology honors societies and associations associated with the university include the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honors Society, Great Plains Sociology Association, Midwest Sociological Society and Pi Gamma Mu.

As a sociology student at USD, you have the opportunity to engage in unique, hands-on research as you explore questions about our social world, learn about theories and methods of sociological research and develop your global perspective. 

Each year, the sociology program hosts an interdisciplinary conference where students are encouraged to present their research. This gives you an opportunity to gain professional presentation and networking experience that will serve you well post-graduation. 

Departments & Facilities

Our faculty have expertise in medical anthropology, medical sociology, epidemiology, forensic anthropology, religiosity, globalization, archaeology and more.
USD students conducting dig site research.

Anthropology & Sociology

Human behavior. Biology. Culture. Societies. Social change. Explore what brings us together and what makes us unique on biological and social levels through the Department of Anthropology & Sociology.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Karen Koster

Karen Koster

Chair, Anthro & Sociology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Isaiah Cohen

Isaiah Cohen

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cheryl Hartman

Cheryl Hartman

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Saige Kelmelis

Saige Kelmelis

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tony Krus

Tony Krus

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Louisa Roberts

Louisa Roberts

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Stephanie Spars

Stephanie Spars

Senior Lecturer
Faculty member helping a student at a computer

Mentorship and Professional Connections

In the Department of Anthropology & Sociology, our faculty are dedicated to helping you thrive. We want you to explore your interests, pursue your passions and achieve your goals. 

Through one-on-one mentorship, advising and research guidance, our faculty will help you discover your path in the field of sociology. The sociology program is proud to assist you in your journey exploring the fascinating and complex web of social forces and issues.
A counselor talking to a person on a couch.

Your Flexible Program

At USD, your education will be designed to meet your unique goals. Our sociology program offers a flexible curriculum, allowing you to easily double major so you can set yourself apart as you prepare for employment or additional educational opportunities such as medical school, law school, graduate programs in public health, social work or other fields.

Plus, the sociology major is offered in Vermillion, in Sioux Falls and online – ensuring you can realize your educational goals no matter where you live.

Tuition & Costs

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.
SD Residents, SD Advantage* & Child of Alumni
MN Residents
Out-of-State
Tuition (30 cr.)
7773
8718.9
11283
Fees (30 cr.)
1659
1659
1659
Books (estimate)
1200
1200
1200
Housing
4454
4454
4454
Food Service
3770
3770
3770
Total

* SD Advantage: The in-state rate is available to residents of South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and children of alumni of USD.

More About Tuition & Costs

This is an estimated annual cost. Other factors may change the cost of tuition.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities.

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.

Scholarships

USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Alum Success Story

Success story Rocky Welker smiling.
Pursuing a degree in sociology allowed me to study a broad range of topics, obtain a more well-rounded education that better prepared me for graduate school and my career in nonprofit administration and identify opportunities to help people rise above their current social conditions. I wouldn't be where I am today without the influence of the many great educators I had the privilege of sharing a classroom with at the University of South Dakota.

Rocky Welker

B.A. Sociology '11
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls

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