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Undergraduate Students


The Undergraduate Program in the Department of Sociology is a vibrant and diverse community of 400-500 majors and minors who are passionate about investigating social issues and acting as agents of social change. The department offers a variety of course options, from dynamic larger classes that cover a wide exposure to the discipline to interactive smaller classes where students delve deeply into specific topics of interest. Students in our program pursue learning opportunities outside of the classroom, such as volunteer work at community sites, faculty and doctoral student research assistance, undergraduate speakers series events, and independent research and writing through our honors program in sociology. We invite you to browse through our website and reach out to us at if you have questions about our majors, minors, courses, or department opportunities. Thank you for visiting Sociology at the University of Michigan!

So, what IS sociology?

Sociology is the study of people, groups, social causes, and the consequences of human behavior; the discipline seeks to understand and account for the complexities of human interaction & patterns of social life. Sociology focuses on relations among organizations, classes, cultures, institutions, and social structures. Sociologists scientifically explore and analyze issues vital to our personal lives, our communities, our society, and the world. 

The study of sociology provides fascinating and distinctive perspectives. The field offers a range of research techniques – including quantitative data analysis, survey research, in-depth interviews, ethnography, and historical analysis – that can be applied to areas of social life such as crime and justice, family dynamics, health disparities, race and ethnic relations, urban inequality, bioethics, welfare and education reform, as well as global issues of immigration, peace, and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field with broad implications.

Undergraduate Program Goals

The Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan is one of the premier sociology departments in the country. The undergraduate program and our renowned faculty aim to instruct students on the value of recognizing & understanding social differences and acquiring various ways of thinking critically & creatively about the world. Department goals for the undergraduate program:

  1. Develop "societal questions" and answer them in systematic ways using scientific method 
  2. Collect & analyze data; connect findings to theories and broader society
  3. Speak up! Make evidence and fact-based arguments
  4. Offer courses that challenge injustice and explore topics vital to our society
  5. Present experiential learning opportunities such as community engagement, dialog facilitation, and sociological research 

Major and Minor Options to Explore