Sociology / Criminal Justice / Social Work

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.


Major Track

Beyond our general sociology degree, McKendree Sociology offers specialization tracks in criminal justice and social work.  

General Sociology Track - 4-Year Plan

Geared to students who have more general career plans and for those who plan to attend graduate school in sociology.

Criminal Justice Track - 4-Year Plan

Designed to provide students with a broad knowledge of the mechanics of the agencies that make up the criminal justice system.

Social Work Track - 4-Year Plan

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

The sociology major may be selected as a general social science option or secondary and middle school teaching certification option as well.

Program Highlights


You’ll have diverse opportunities to work with a number of local companies and organizations including the Violence Prevention Center, Illinois State Police, O’Fallon Police Department, St. Clair County State Attorney’s Office, and the Grief Center at Family Hospice. Internships are coordinated through Career Services.

Flexible Double Majors

Sociology majors are flexible enough that it makes a great program for double majors. While any major is possible, students have had great success double majoring in psychologyphilosophyglobal studiesenvironmental studieshistorySpanishprofessional writing and rhetoric, and political science.


Honors Societies and Clubs

Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society promoting excellence in the field of sociology and the use of sociological knowledge to serve others. 

Pi Gamma Mu

Pi Gamma Mu is an international honor society that recognizes good scholarship and promotes excellence by enriching activities, service projects, and guest lectureship grants.

The Sociology Club

The Sociology Club is a social co-curricular organization that promotes a greater of understanding of sociology and social justice.


Employment and the Future --What a Sociology Degree does for You!

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

Additionally, many sociology students choose to continue to graduate or law school.

More information is available at: What Can You Do With a Sociology Degree?    


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    


Meet the Faculty

Photo of Melissa Barfield-WorksMelissa Barfield, Ph.D.

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


Photo of Stephen HaganStephen Hagan, Ph.D.

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


Photo of Neil QuisenberryNeil Quisenberry, Ph.D.

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