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A Message from the Chair

Faculty - Mencken 7-2012

Welcome to the Department of Sociology at Baylor University! My name is Carson Mencken and I am only the fourth person to serve as Chair of the department in the last 50 years. The consistency in leadership over the decades is one of many reasons sociology continues to excel 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. Our faculty and graduate students are routinely recognized for their outstanding achievements in research and teaching.

The department has a strong history at Baylor. The course “Science of Society” was first taught by Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks in 1910, marking the introduction of sociology to the American Southwest. Over 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. Currently we are expanding our doctoral program to include training in health, aging, and family.

Over the last 10 years we have made a concerted effort to hire the best students from the strongest programs to serve as faculty in the department. The quality of teaching instruction and research output by Baylor sociology faculty has never been better. This is a department on the move, and we welcome your interest!

F. Carson Mencken
Professor and Chair