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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

General Career Information

The B.A. in Sociology offers a variety of potential career opportunities. While not necessarily learning a "trade" as they would in Engineering, Liberal Arts majors develop many other skills. They draw on a broad educational background to attract potential employers, buildng on effective verbal and written communication, time management skills, intellectual maturity, and the ability to think critically.

Students should consider their career goals, taking elective courses to augment their skills, and getting real-life experience with internships, part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities.

All seniors should register with Liberal Arts Career Services in the first couple weeks of the fall semester for on-campus recruiting (the deadline is early). Other students should familiarize themselves with the materials available and use them to look for internships.

Students can also enhance career options by pursuing a cohesive curriculum in Sociology. They must take three upper-division Sociology electives and as many as 36 hours in Sociology, preferably geared toward a specific area in the discipline.

Possible Career Routes

  • Law Enforcement
    Police and federal agencies, parole officers, paralegals. Students may wish to take criminology coursework and minor in either Psychology or Government. Forensic specialties may require extensive science backgrounds as well.
  • Business
    Human relations, marketing, sales. Students should consider the Business Foundations Program as a minor, and should focus on courses such as Industrial Sociology and Applied Demography.
  • Social Services
    Case workers, counselors, positions in state agencies. Minor in Psychology, Social Work or languages. Be aware that some positions will require Master's Degrees in Social Sciences or Social Work.
  • Public Policy, City/State Administration
    Suggested coursework might include social welfare policy, gender, and race. Minors in Government or Business would be useful.
  • Demographic Research
    Polling agencies, political campaigns, marketing, advertising. Courses should include those with hands-on research (including SOC 317M), Applied Demography, and internships. Students may wish to work with faculty affiliated with the Population Research Center (512-471-5514).
  • Teaching
    Visit www.teachforamerica.org for more information.

 Graduate School

Applying to graduate school requires long-term planning. Students will need to prepare for the GRE exam, research programs that may be of interest, contact schools for applications, and possibly visit campuses. Asking faculty to recommend schools is a good way to start. Faculty need time (a month's notice is ideal) and information (a resume, writing sample, transcript) in order to write recommendation letters. Many schools require applications to be submitted in February in the year of attendance.

Listing of the top 20 Sociology Ph.D. programs in the US and their websites

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