Sociology, Criminology & Social Work
Social systems and relationships are at the heart of sociology, criminology and social work. Though they each have a different focus in the social sciences, they all use scientific methods to understand the relationship between individuals and their social environments. These majors are good fits if you’re interested in social justice and in solving today’s most pressing problems. All three majors give you a firm grounding in research and theory and the practical skills to enter a broad range of careers.
Sociology critically investigates all areas of social life. It examines how people interact in different settings, and how social systems and institutions operate, in order to learn what causes social problems and find effective solutions. Important topics include social class, culture, race and ethnicity, the family, gender and sexual orientation, politics, economics, deviance, inequality, and movements for social change.
Criminology is a subfield of sociology that uses research to better understand the causes and consequences of crime, violence and other forms of deviance. By analyzing how criminal justice systems and other methods of social control work, criminologists look for fair and effective ways to foster healthy social integration, prevent crime, and promote rehabilitation when deviance becomes a problem.
Social work uses theories from psychology, sociology and criminology to improve the lives of people, families and communities. It focuses on meeting practical human needs, with particular attention to people who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty.