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The Department of Sociology is committed to giving students an interdisciplinary education with an emphasis on research, internships and fieldwork.

Union students develop the skills and knowledge to critically analyze ideas and theories, collect data and conduct historical research, and search for answers to common societal problems.

As a sociology major, you have a variety of course choices in areas such as community, family, health and medicine, public policy, the environment, diversity and change, and crime and justice. Most of your classes will involve in-depth discussions and require substantial writing, which will challenge you academically and equip you with excellent communication skills.

Special learning opportunities

Our students gain real-world experience through internships at Capital Region organizations, including the Albany and Schenectady police courts, environmental organizations, state agencies, and volunteer and nonprofit groups.

"I was inspired by my class in Human Services and Social Work. I gained hands-on experience, which made me realize that there are many opportunities in the field."
- Sarah Wizner

Many students take part in the Community Service Mini-term, an intensive off-campus program combining service, academic inquiry and critical reflection about social, political, cultural and economic issues. The current focus is hurricane recovery in the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

The student-run Sociology Club sponsors a range of career events, films, discussions, faculty and alumni panels, and other activities.


Our students go on to professional degrees in social work, counseling, business, education, health, law and medicine. They are also well prepared for careers in journalism, nonprofits, politics, public relations and marketing, human resources and public administration.

Meet some of our faculty

Bernhard Kuhn


Ph.D., University of Maryland
Special interests: Methods of social research, community, sociology of religion

Timothy Stablein

Timothy Stablein

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Special interests: Social deviance, juvenile delinquency, health and medicine, qualitative sociology

Melinda Goldner

Melinda Goldner

Ph.D., Ohio State University
Special interests: Medical sociology, public health, social movements, race, class and gender

Deidre Hill Butler

Deidre Hill Butler

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Clark University,
Special interests: African American culture, political sociology, American families

After Union

Adult services caseworker, Albany County

Project developer, Northeast Parent and Child Society

Teacher, Metrowest Jewish Day School

Program manager, Count Me in for Women's Economic Independence

Attorney, The Law Office of Merril S. Chin, LLC

Sports marketing manager, Golf Digest

Special education teacher, NYC

Sales coordinator, Titan Advertising

Educator, Teach for America

Careers by field:

Life at Union outcomes graphic

     Interactive: Career paths