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About the Department

Sociology excels at Baylor. Our undergraduates score well into the upper quartile on the ETS Major Field Test in Sociology—a test taken by seniors at more than 160 institutions. Our graduate program is ranked in the upper quartile of 120 programs by Academic Analytics and the National Research Council. This is a department on the move, and we welcome your interest.

The course “Science of Society” was first taught by Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks in 1910, marking the introduction of the topic to the American Southwest. One hundred years later, Baylor’s Department of Sociology is growing at a time that many departments are barely holding their own. For much of the Baylor century of sociology, the department has enjoyed a stellar reputation for its teaching and training. More than 120 Baylor undergraduates have gone on to be successful professional sociologists. The department is the only department thus far named a Distinguished Teaching Department by the Southwestern Sociological Association. In the 1990s, the department expanded its graduate training to include a Ph.D. in applied sociology that emphasizes research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. Graduates of that program are employed in corporate and university settings. In the early 2000s, the doctoral program added a second track in sociology of religion. While graduate students focus on one area, they take advantage of the best that both the applied and religion tracks have to offer. With a solid methods skill set and substantive foundation, it is not unusual for a Baylor Ph.D. graduate to have published 4-5 journal articles as a student.

There are two primary goals of our sociology programs: the study of general sociological knowledge and the development of research skills. The application of social theories to various institutional areas, ranging from small groups to large organizations, is a major goal. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs have a strong research emphasis that includes

  • developing research designs
  • collecting data
  • analyzing those data through student use of the computer software
  • presenting research results at professional meetings

Students are prepared for a variety of post-graduate opportunities:

  • professional schools (journalism, law, medicine, ministry, social work)
  • graduate education in the social sciences (political science, psychology, sociology)
  • work in public, nonprofit and corporate sectors