Sociology is the study of human societies; of the institutions, organizations, and groups that compose them; and of the way individuals and groups relate to one another. One of the discipline's special emphases will be to offer comparative, cross-national, and cross-cultural perspectives throughout the curriculum. Sociological knowledge is vital to the understanding of contemporary problems such as crime, poverty, overpopulation, mental illness, and aging. Studying this field is highly relevant to careers in human services, research, and government which try to address these problems.
To study the broad subject of sociology, a student needs to acquire information (what we know), methodology (how we know), and theory (how we explain). A major in sociology will require students to develop background and strength in each of these domains. Students may choose to concentrate more fully in a particular content area of sociology, such as health, welfare and education; crime and deviance; socialization, aging, and the life course; social structure, mobility, inequality; or gender and ethnicity by selecting a set of courses which focus in related fields.