Department of Sociology


Sociology is a scientific discipline concerned with equality, justice, and social responsibility within society’s cultural, political, and economic systems. The mission of the Sociology Department at Sam Houston State University is to cultivate sociological mindfulness, which involves understanding how social forces and cultural contexts shape people’s experiences, how personal troubles are connected to broader social issues, and how social arrangements create both constraints and opportunities for individuals and groups. Sociological mindfulness promotes critical and analytical thinking and equips students with the theoretical, methodological, and communication skills to work with others to solve problems and improve social conditions in their local communities and the broader society

 The sociology faculty at Sam Houston State University are engaged teacher-scholars who have won numerous awards in teaching, research, and service. The department strongly encourages and supports student research and research collaborations with faculty members. SHSU sociology majors, minors and graduate students regularly present their papers at regional and national conferences and publish their work in academic student journals.  Our majors and minors have gained admittance to top-ranked professional and doctoral programs across the United States, and our graduates have careers in a diverse array of fields. To learn about the experiences of our students and the careers of our alumni, please see our Alumni Spotlight page. 

Undergraduate Programs

The Sociology Department offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science, and a Minor in Sociology. The BA and BS programs provide students with strong conceptual and methodological foundations, training in applied methods, and a wide range of elective course options. All our programs are offered both in-person and online. The department is also home to the Minor in Community Leadership, and the Minor in Cultural Competency and co-hosts the Minor in Environmental Studies. Course advisor ranks the undergraduate sociology program as the 8th best value in Texas and the #1 online program! To learn more about our programs, please see our undergraduate programs page and flyer.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology 
  • Minor in Community Leadership
  • Minor in Cultural Competency
  • Minor in Environmental Studies 

Graduate Programs

The Sociology Department at Sam Houston State University offers a 30-hour Master of Arts and an 18-hour graduate certificate. Both programs are designed to meet the needs of active students and professionals. Both the Master of Arts in Sociology and Graduate Certificate in Sociology emphasize public sociology and are entirely online. In both programs, students develop the professional skills necessary to analyze social issues in applied settings and advance their careers. The master's program offers both thesis and capstone options. Ranked the 4th best online program by Best Colleges,, and Online Masters Colleges! To learn more about our programs, please see our graduate programs page and flyer.

  • 30-hour Master of Arts
  • 18-hour Graduate Certificate in Sociology 

Recruitment Scholarships

  • For the 2024-2025 academic year, the Sociology Department has eight $3,000 scholarships available for new graduate students. The scholarship will provide $1,500 in funding for fall and spring semesters. 

Program Objectives

The sociology programs at Sam Houston State University focuses on developing skills that enable its graduates to be successful in their future careers and be leaders in their communities. Graduates of the sociology programs at Sam Houston will have:

  • Knowledge and experience in problem solving, data analysis, and critical thinking. 
  • Appreciation for cultural differences and experience working on diverse teams. 
  • Written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills. 
  • Experience using conceptual frameworks and diverse research methods to think systematically about and assess equality, justice, and social responsibility within society's institutions. 
  • The ability to identify practical solutions to an array of social problems and help improve social conditions in their local communities and the broader society. 

Public Sociology @ Sam Research Initiative: Equity and Student Success at SHSU

The Sociology Department has launched a research initiative to examine how social inequities affect the college experiences and academic performance of SHSU students. To learn more about the initiative and current projects, please see the Equity and Student Success at SHSU webpage.

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