Sociology and Political Science

Sociology & Political Science

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!

The Department of Sociology and Political Science has the primary mission of offering strong academic programs in sociology and political science. We provide students with a quality liberal arts education that prepares them for a rapidly changing world and a variety of work environments and post-graduate educational possibilities. Students are educated not only to master a diverse body of knowledge but also learn how to think critically, analyze data, and clearly communicate what they know and discover. Recognizing that we live in an increasingly technological and diverse world, we seek to incorporate technological expertise and appreciation of human diversity into our courses. The department also strives to serve the wider university, the Upper Cumberland region, and the nation through research and public service.

Develop skills for competing in the 21st century job market

High expectations are the norm in the Sociology and Political Science Department. Students can expect an exceptional background of critical information. The Department prepares them to think critically, analyze data, and communicate clearly. Graduates are equipped for success in many professions. We aim to work with students to help them prepare themselves professionally and personally for a productive career upon graduation. To prepare our students for a highly competitive job market, we provide opportunities for them to intern with any of a number of highly-regarded local, regional, and national agencies, participate in and present their research at professional conferences and symposiums, work with faculty directly through independent studies to provide focused professional development, and participate in service-learning project within the community.

Josiah Kidwell, sociology major, at MSSA Annual Conference
Majors Participating in a Service-Learning, 
Music & Memory Project

Find personalization and specialization

The Department of Sociology and Political Science is staffed with a faculty committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and prepared to serve the needs of students through traditional instruction on campus and through non-traditional instruction methods by participating in the Tn eCampus. The Department has faculty available to assist students in any professional capacity in their pursuit of higher education and beyond. Students benefit from specialized programs and individualized attention designed to help them identify and prepare for a career upon graduation. Our faculty are committed to student success by mentoring students within the classroom, through major advising, and through one-on-one, personalized attention. The department provides the following two pathways towards degree completion.

Traditional Face-to-Face Instruction Leading to a Bachelor of Science in Sociology

For students desiring a traditional college experience that encompasses primarily face-to-face instruction, we

provide courses during the Fall and Spring terms that span 14-weeks. Students pursuing their degree through this pathway can also elect to concentrate their studies along one of the following tracks: (1) criminology and criminal justice, (2) social work, or (3) sociology, generalist. To view the various options within the department, please reference the “Programs of Study” section of the website.

Accelerated Online Instruction Leading to a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice

For non-traditional students and working professionals desiring expediency and flexibility, the department also provides several accelerated online courses throughout the calendar year that span seven to eight weeks. The department’s accelerated online pathway towards degree completion also enables students to complete a concentration in criminology and criminal justice. To view the program of study associated with this pathway, please reference the “Programs of Study” section of the website. For additional questions, please contact Dr. Lori Maxwell (

Josiah Kidwell, sociology major, at MSSA Annual Conference
Sociology Major Presenting Research 
at a Regional Professional Conference

Prepare to Work

The 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, criminal justice, as well as to prepare them for graduate school. Many of our majors have attended law school and pursued advanced degrees in sociology and political science. Students are immersed in classroom lectures and training, and internship opportunities are also abundant in fields related to sociology, criminal justice, social work, and political science.

Josiah Kidwell, sociology major, at MSSA Annual Conference
'13 graduate, currently Admissions & Marketing Director at a Care & Rehabilitation Center