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Sociology & Political Science



The Department of Sociology and Political Science offers a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.

The Department provides three options for Sociology majors: (1) B.S. in Sociology, (2) B.S. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and (3) B.S. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work.

The Department provides two options available for Political Science majors: (1) B.S. in Political Science, (2) B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies.

About the Department

  • Why Study Sociology and Political Science

    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. 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.

    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.

    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.

  • Sociology

    The Sociology curriculum has three main purposes: (1) to aid students in understanding the roles of social forces and ideas in shaping modern society; (2) to provide a well-rounded education preparing the student for a wide range of occupations, particularly those which work directly with people or with categories or groups of people; and (3) to provide a sound academic background for graduate study in sociology or for such professions as law or the ministry.

    Criminology & Criminal Justice Concentration

    Contact Dr. Makeela Wells, Coordinator Email

    The department offers a baccalaureate (B.S.) in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The B.S. concentration involves a major in Sociology with a proportion of course work in criminal justice. Those who complete the B.S. degree will have a sound foundation that prepares them to compete for careers in law enforcement, corrections and social service agencies, and for admission to graduate studies in areas such as criminal justice, criminology, and law.

    Social Work Concentration

    Contact Ms. Shelley Brown, Coordinator Email

    The Department of Sociology and Political Science offers a social work concentration for those students interested in a career in social work. Social work is a "helping profession" that assists people who face difficult problems. Some social workers do their work in family service agencies dealing with marriage, health and child welfare problems. Others work in a medical setting providing assistance to patients and their relatives during a health crisis or a death. Still others work in the area of corrections assisting juvenile and adult law violators in rehabilitation. Social workers can also be found in public welfare agencies assisting the poor and disabled and in industry assisting employees with chemical abuse problems.

  • Political Science

    A Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science is offered with courses in each of the six main areas of specialization within the discipline: International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, American Government, State and Local Government, and Public Administration. A student who majors in Political Science at Tech is provided a broad liberal arts education with adequate specialization in the major and ample opportunity to take elective courses in related areas. Graduates are well-prepared for a number of options: graduate studies, law school, employment in government or private business.

    Legal Studies Concentration

    Contact Dr. Lori Maxwell, Department Chair Email

    The Political Science program offers a legal studies concentration for those students interested in law school. The concentration involves a major in Political Science with a large proportion of course work focused on the legal process, courtroom procedures, and the politics of law.


  • Philosophy

    The philosophy courses offered in the Department of Sociology and Political Science are taught by our resident philosopher, Dr. Carlton. The courses are designed to help students acquire appreciation for the values and modes of reflection appropriate for the philosophical mind. They seek to stimulate interest in the ultimate human questions and to help students understand the proposed answers to those questions given by thinkers across the centuries.


Is Tech Right for You?

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.

Experience Tech For Yourself

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College of Arts and Sciences

Contact Info

720 Quadrangle
Campus Box 5052
Cookeville, TN 38505-0001
P: (931) 372-3437
F: (931) 372-6395

Department Office:

Matthews-Daniel Room 309
8am to 4:30pm CST