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The mission of the UMSL Department of Sociology is to increase the critical understanding of social behavior by teaching students the principles and methodologies of sociology, to promote research and:

  1. Prepare students to deal with social problems and issues by:
    • Understanding scientific principles of sociological approach
    • Gaining skills in critical thinking and empirical research
    • Applying scientific principles to concrete social problems
    • Engaging in action-oriented research collaborating with community partners
  2. Support students to achieve excellence
  3. Conduct research to contribute to new knowledge
  4. Respond to a changing society by developing innovative programs to meet the challenging needs

Through teaching, research, and service learning, the Department of Sociology provides critical understanding of ways people relate to one another through the organization of society and how its structures and cultures influence our lives.

Explore our Academic Programs


Sociology, at a basic level, is the study of social behavior, groups, and institutions that explores these topics across the full spectrum of the human experience.

Gender Studies

Gender Studies draws on the rich body of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship to investigate emerging theories and research on women, men, and gender fluidity as they intersect with race, class, culture, sex, policy, institutions, and human interactions.


Gerontology is the study of human aging in all of its forms. Gerontologists need to have a broad understanding of aging in order to work with and for older adults.

Military and Veterans Studies

Military and Veterans Studies is the study of the military and veteran experience, the role veterans play in our society, and the obligations our society might hold towards this subset of our population.

About Us

Department of Sociology faculty are committed to enabling our students to develop a critical understanding of social behavior and institutions by teaching the principles and methodologies of social scientific research, engaging in skill-based learning, and developing critical analyses of gender, age, race, and class. Our success depends on our engagement with community partners in education and service.

Our Vision

The Department of Sociology embraces diversity. Although distinct in methodology and practice, the combined disciplines of the department examine the institutions, social organizations, and personal narratives that shape the lived human experience. We pay particular attention to marginalized and underserved populations. Our interdisciplinary and applied approaches, along with our focus on the process of social change, form a foundation for preparing students to be engaged citizens and community leaders.