Sociology / Criminal Justice / Social Work

Sociology Program

Sociology Degree

Learn how society influences individual behavior and understand how societies are structured.

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Welcome to the Sociology Department at McKendree University!

Students majoring in sociology develop a greater appreciation for how society influences individual behavior and an understanding of how societies are structured. Majors develop the skills to think more critically about their own lives and the many social issues confronting us in society today.



Why a B.A. Degree in Sociology?

The bachelor’s degree in Sociology is an eye-opening program that will change how you view the world and the societies around you. If you have a desire to learn about how society influences individual behavior and the social justice issues that can seem invisible in today’s culture, then Sociology could be the major for you.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Sociology Major


Housed under the Division of Social Science, the B.A. in Sociology offers students the opportunity to specialize in one of three major tracks.

General Sociology Track:

Geared toward students with general career plans and those who plan to attend graduate school in sociology.

2016-2017 Program Catalog

2016-2017 4-Year Plan

Criminal Justice Track:

Designed for students who wish to pursue careers in the criminal justice field, such as law enforcement, corrections, and court services.

2016-2017 Program Catalog

2016-2017 4-Year Plan

Social Work Track:

Provides students with a broad overview of the history, agencies, and philosophy of social work.

2016-2017 Program Catalog

2016-2017 4-Year Plan

The Sociology major may be selected as a general social science option or secondary and middles school teaching certification option.

A minor in Sociology is also available.




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • Three major tracks to choose from: Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work

  • Unique opportunities to conduct research with your professors and present papers at national academic conferences

  • Gain real world experience through a variety of exciting internships

  • Sociology Club and honor societies enable you to meet others and enhance your resume




Internship Opportunities

Our Sociology students have many opportunities to intern with a diverse number of local companies and organizations, such as:

  • Violence Prevention Center
  • Illinois State Police
  • O’Fallon Police Department
  • St. Clair County Attorney’s Office
  • Grief Center at Family Hospice




Photo of McKendree Seal MarkerEmployment Opportunities


Sociology incorporates a wide range of job opportunities and more specified fields of study, such as criminology, demography, cultural traditions, family relations, gerontology, social welfare, race relations, social status, and social change.

Some of the companies that our recent graduates are working for include:

  • Hospice of Southern Illinois
  • Illinois State Police
  • Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department
  • Trinity Services
  • U.S. Marshals of Southern Illinois




Interesting Courses


  • Police and Urban Society

  • Sociology of Gender

  • Community Action/Organization



Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Sociology Club - Connect with other students in this social co-curricular organization that promotes a greater understanding of sociology and social justice.

  • Alpha Kappa Delta (International Sociology Honor Society)

  • Pi Gamma Mu (International Social Science Honor Society) - Student members enjoy enriching activities, service projects, publications, guest lectureship grants, and scholarship programs.



Professional Organizations


As a student you will have the opportunity to join, attend, and present at many professional meetings. Some examples include:

  • American Sociology Association

  • American Society of Criminology
  • Illinois Sociology Association
  • Midwest Sociological Society




Related Programs





Student Support




Meet the Faculty

Melissa Barfield, Ph.D.Melissa Barfield, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Carnegie Hall 111A
(618) 537-6899


Photo of Jennifer Guillen, Ph.D.Jennifer Guillén, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Carnegie Hall 214
(618) 537-6483


Photo of Stephen Hagan, Ph.D.Stephen Hagan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Carnegie Hall 106
(618) 537-6904


Neil Quisenberry, Ph.D.Neil Quisenberry, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology
Chair, Div. Social Sciences
Carnegie Hall 111B
(618) 537-6849


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