The study of Sociology and/or Criminology & Criminal Justice provides an excellent background for many careers. Our graduates enter careers or graduate study in human services, corrections, law, teaching, public health, business, urban planning, public relations, research, and media. A career is a journey, not a destination, and here are many resources available to help you chart your path.
Office of Career Engagement and Success
The Career Engagement and Success office is designed to help you explore career possibilities, investigate employment trends, and consider graduate school options. Staff members provide interest testing, individual advising, and workshops on job search strategies, resume writing, and interviewing. They maintain a comprehensive online career database, Handshake, which provides students and alumni with access to job postings, sample documents, career event details, and on-campus recruitment activities. In addition, the Career Resource Library offers helpful publications related to careers and graduate study.
Many academic associations and professional organizations offer online career resources which may be of interest to students and emerging professionals. Their websites provide professional development advice, open job postings, and conference information. Organizations related to our department’s majors include: American Sociological Association (especially the ASA's Career Center page), American Society of Criminology, American Psychological Association, National Organization for Victim Assistance, American Correctional Association, American Parole and Probation Association, Discover Policing, and ASIS International.
Internships enable students to integrate academic learning with workplace experience, investigate careers, develop marketable skills, make professional network connections, and build an impressive resume. The Sociology department offers internship courses focused on social service and criminal justice. These six-credit courses require 140 hours of service in an agency, plus academic work equivalent to an upper-level three-credit course. The department's internship coordinator assists students in finding positions related to their interests. For the best opportunities students are encouraged to begin their search approximately four months before the beginning of the class.
Preparing for Graduate School
Many professional careers require graduate study. You can raise your probability of acceptance into graduate school by identifying your career goals early and using courses in Sociology and other fields to build a solid academic foundation. Prospective graduate students should pay attention to several important points:
- Earn strong grades. Most graduate programs require a GPA of at least 3.0.
- Develop good relationships with your professors. Most graduate schools request written references from three instructors.
- Prepare to take the appropriate entrance exam. Many programs require the Graduate Record Exam or the Miller Analogies Test.
- Study the websites and catalogues of various programs. Get a sense of the programs' strengths and specializations.
- Ask your faculty advisors for their impressions of specific graduate programs.
- Visit the schools in which you have an interest. This is the best way to get a sense of how their programs are structured.