A photo of students in a class


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sociology majors study human social behavior, society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. As a sociology major you will learn how society works, how and why people behave and think the way they do, and how social inequality affects our lives and society.

  • Our majors have worked and published with faculty on a wide range of research topics including workplace harassment, immigration, motherhood, suicide, and family violence
  • Award winning faculty recognized for their excellence in teaching and commitment to mentoring and advising undergraduate students
  • Opportunities for student involvement through the Sociology Club, Alpha Kappa Delta and special departmental projects
  • A focus on public sociology which provides students exceptional preparation for the job market, civic leadership and civic engagement

In the spirit of public sociology, the Sociology Department’s commitment to quality of life for all reflects the value we place on the components of the “good society”: public spirit, concern for the common good, and strong social institutions stemming from civic engagement. We strive to achieve the good society in our teaching, scholarship, and service. We especially aim to shed light on the structural bases of social inequality and the possibilities for achieving a society truly guided by the American creed of liberty and justice for all.

As an undergraduate department, we offer a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment to sociology majors and minors. One of our students wrote: “Sociology professors treat you like people, the department is small enough that you can feel comfortable going to any of your professors for any reason, they care about and respect their student. They want to inspire passion for learning, it is evident they have an equal passion for teaching.” Another shared: “I greatly enjoyed my experience as a sociology major at the University of Maine. I have yet to meet a professor I do not like. All of them have challenged my perspective on issues we see in the society and everything I learned I will be able to take with me in my future career.”

As a sociology major you will learn how society works, how and why people behave and think the way they do, and how social inequality affects our lives and society. You will also acquire skills in advanced research methods. We are proud that our alumni have contributed to Maine’s common good through their work in agencies such as the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center and the Maine Department of Corrections as well as through many types of social activism. Sociology majors from UMaine and around the nation find jobs in any number of areas, with titles such as market researcher, admissions or rehabilitation counselor, family planning worker, insurance agent or employee specialist.

Many efforts by our faculty focus on understanding and improving the quality of life in Maine and beyond. These efforts include research on sexual harassment, family violence, religion and other topics and talks and workshops on current event topics related to sociology. Our faculty also regularly contribute to the public conversation via op-eds and news media interviews on topics such as the experiences of Maine workers, family diversity, mass incarceration, and racial prejudice.

The Sociology Department is also home to UMaine’s program in criminal justice, which provides a critical interrogation of the criminal justice system and the inequalities embedded within its institutional structure.

Karyn Sporer


Fernald Hall, Room 201G
 207.581.2361 | karyn.sporer@maine.edu


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Fernald Hall, Room 201