Sociology encompasses studies of the self and the intersection of personal biography with social forces, of social institutions like the family and workplaces, of collective behavior and social movements, and of world systems such as globalization. Sociology examines theoretical arguments with empirical data.
The Department of Sociology at UMass is among the highest ranked in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and is renowned for its applied curriculum, groundbreaking research, and outstanding advising.
The field of sociology studies virtually every aspect of human society: the family, gender, race and ethnic relations, aging, education, work, population, and many others. Its principal goal as a discipline is to understand the workings of human society and to explain social behavior. Although sociologists do study what are commonly regarded as social problems — crime, drug addiction, and poverty, for example — they also examine fundamental social processes present in any society: social change, conflict and inequality.
Studying sociology as an undergraduate major is an excellent way to prepare for entry-level work or graduate school in various fields. New graduates have found opportunities in the fields of social policy, law, criminal justice, social science research, human resources, organizational and non-profit management, education, environmental policy and research, advocacy, and social work to name a few. Students interested in continuing their education at the graduate level have successfully enrolled in law school, business school, social work and public policy graduate programs, as well as continuing on to pursue a PhD in Sociology. The Sociology degree offers a multitude of opportunities and offers an excellent introduction to American society, social science research and demography, and international issues.
The biggest misperception about faculty office hours is that you have to be struggling with the class to meet with your professor outside of class. This could not be further from the truth. You can take advantage of faculty office …
This scholarship award supports SBS students who will complete internships during the summer ’23 semester. Candidates must be in good academic standing with at least 45 credits. Preference will be given to students with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Students can apply …
Supporting students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences who have a criminal justice, law enforcement, or military background or focus. Preference will be given to students with financial need as determined by UMass Amherst. Additional preference will be …
The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans. The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation. Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students. The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.
The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans. The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation. Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students. The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2022 was 70%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.
Fields of Study
SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others. This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.
Students in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst build the skills employers seek, such as critical and analytical thinking, creative problem solving, communication, cultural awareness, and more. This makes our students highly attractive candidates for a wide variety of roles with an even wider range of employers and industries. The list of employers featured here is based on information reported by students or employers to SBS, or employment data that is made publicly available by students. The list is formulated based on the most-commonly reported hiring employers. Generally, the first ten on the list have hired multiple students, and after that, employers who have hired at least one SBS grad are listed in alphabetical order. Survey data indicated that a minimum of 330+ distinct employers hired UMass students in 2022.
Starting salary data is self-reported by the new graduates and is not a required field on the survey, so this data is incomplete with regard to salary ranges. Keep in mind that salaries for volunteer/service roles are, by their nature, low, and skew the averages lower. There are also students making significantly more than the average. Both cost of living (based on geographic location), and chosen industry have a significant impact on starting salaries. These data do not include information on benefits such as health insurance, tuition reimbursement, bonuses, and other important factors in a student's employment decision making process.
A majority of students in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, as with the University as a whole, are residents of Massachusetts. While the majority of our graduates choose to stay in Massachusetts for their first post-graduate jobs, many others accept positions all across the country, and around the world. Common first destination locations are Washington, D.C., New York City, California, and the other New England states.
The list below provides a look at the most-commonly reported graduate schools in which SBS graduates are enrolled. While many SBS graduates choose to stay at UMass Amherst for their graduate education, many others attend universities across the country and around the world.
Fields of Study
The variety of fields of study selected by SBS graduates is a good indication of their diverse interests, and their desire to both expand and deepen their understanding of their area of interest.
We don’t have enough student data to show you these results.