Sociology and Political Science

Have an interest in law or criminal justice? Want to learn the difference between nature and nurture? The Sociology and Political Science Department is looking for students who want to make a difference in tomorrow's world and make its society a better place.

Fit the Degree to Your Profession

High expectations are the norm in the Sociology and Political Science Department. Students can expect an exceptional background of critical information. Internship and classroom activities prepare you to think critically, analyze data and clearly communicate discoveries. Graduates are equipped for success in any profession.

Find Specialization and Personalization

The sociology and political science department has 14 faculty available to assist students in their pursuit of higher education. Students benefit from specialized programs designed to help students succeed upon graduation and gain valuable experience working closely with instructors.

Prepare to Work

TTU's Sociology and Political Science Department opens avenues for students in a wide range of fields and career paths. Graduates have used their degree to jump start careers in social work, politics, state and local government, international relations, and criminal justice. Students are immersed in classroom lectures and training, internship opportunities are also abundant at the state and local levels of government.

Faculty Announcements


August 1, 2013. The department would like to welcome Dr. Jordanna Navarro and Dr. Lauren Harding to our faculty. Dr. Navarro recently received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Harding earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Navarro will be a tremendous contribution to the sociology major and criminal justice concentration, and Dr. Harding will strengthen the political science major as well as the concentration in international relations and comparative government.

August 1, 2012. The department would like to welcome Dr. Jennifer Schlosser to our faculty. She came to TTU from the State University of New York (SUNY),Oneonta, where she was an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She has a PhD in sociology from the University of Missouri.  

From May 1, 2011, Dr. Michael Gunter, Professor of Political Science, delivered a paper at the Second World Conference on Kurdish Studies at the University of Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan. Following the conference some 60 of the participants were invited to a large reception at the Kurdish Parliament to hear Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Barham Salih speak. During his talk, the Prime Minister suddenly saw Professor Gunter in the audience and blurted out: "Is that my old friend Michael Gunter?" Professor Gunter had known the Prime Minister well during the 1990s when he was the Iraqi Kurdish representative in Washington, DC, but this was the first time over a decade that they had seen each other.

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April 7, 2011: Congratulations to Ms. Shelley Brown for receiving the 2011 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award.

Community service recognition programs for higher education students and faculty/staff at the campus level were created in Tennessee through legislation enacted by the General Assembly in 1991. In 1997, the awards were named for the late Representative Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing the enabling legislation. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was given the charge to develop rules and regulations by which to implement these programs for public and private two and four-year institutions. A taskforce of institutional and board representatives is convened each year to review each proposal submitted by the campuses and to select the five student and five faculty/staff recipients. Each recipient will receive a $1000 cash prize.

The individuals selected to receive recognition represent the many dimensions of community service – volunteer work, public service, charitable service and leadership roles in community organizations. They serve as ambassadors for community service among the many diverse higher educational communities in Tennessee.

October 12, 2010: Congratulations to Dr. Ada Haynes (sociology) and her esteemed colleagues, Dr. Barry Stein (psychology) and Dr. Michael Redding (biology), on receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation for their study entitled, "Expanding Use of the CAT: Assessing and Improving Critical Thinking."

Student Announcements

April 14, 2011: Congratulations to the following outstanding undergraduate sociology and political science majors:

  • Krystal Smith, Excellence in Criminal Justice Studies
  • Ansley Hitchcock, Margaret Greenamyre Scholarship
  • Rosanna Christen, Mookherjee Sociology Senior Award
  • Macey Gurley, Political Science Senior Award
  • Kristin Holder, Senior Award for Academic Excellence
  • Matthew Cowan, Paul G. Stephenson Scholarship

April 13, 2011: Congratulations to two outstanding undergraduate majors, Rebecca Culver and Susan Wilson, for receiving the 2011 Department of Sociology and Political Science Student Research Award. Rebecca Culver received a first place certificate and $50 stipend for her paper, “Living in Silence: A Qualitative Sociological Examination on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing .” Runner-up, Susan Wilson received a certificate of merit for her outstanding paper, “How Do Religious Views Impact Abortion Views.” Both students did their research and wrote their papers under the supervision Dr. Lachelle Norris.

Submissions were evaluated according to the following criteria: contribution to theory or a substantive area, clarity of writing, quality of methodology, and importance of the subject matter.

Recent Events

Tuesday, October 26, 2010: MIX IT UP AT LUNCH DAY, Darryl Davis, author of "Klan-Destine Relationships" (Sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs, Center Stage, & Sociology 1010)

September 29, 2010: Erin Gruwell, the inspiration behind the hit movie Freedom Writers, will be appearing at TTU to talk about: being a catalyst for change, teaching tolerance, and nurturing the leader within. We hope you will join us for a fun, informative night brought to you by Center Stage and the TTU Sociology Club! (7:00pm Derryberry Auditorium)


October 12, 2010: Congratulations to Dr. Ada Haynes (sociology) and her esteemed colleagues, Dr. Barry Stein (psychology) and Dr. Michael Redding (biology), on receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation for their study entitled, "Expanding Use of the CAT: Assessing and Improving Critical Thinking."

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