Concentrations in the Sociology Major

Emergency and Environmental Management

The concentration in Emergency and Environmental Management offers sociology students the exciting opportunity to receive a strong sociological foundation in their understanding of the issues facing professionals in the emergency and environmental management area.Through their coursework, students study the history and organization of the emergency management system in the United States, as well as how social vulnerability and development influence how people experience disaster in a global context. Students explore the intersection of politics, justice, and social movements in a consideration of environmental sociology and management. They examine the human and social dynamics of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. At the same time, this concentration provides students with broad, interdisciplinary education, drawing from relevant courses in economics, geography, communications, geology, history, political science, public policy, and anthropology. The particular sequence of courses students take in these areas is tailored to their career interests. What’s more, our students receive practical, in-field experience with public and private agencies concerned with their area of interest. This practicum typically takes place in a student's junior or senior year.Some of our graduates have gone on to work with local, state, and federal agencies, private consulting firms, and non-governmental organizations. Other have pursued graduate school and received advanced degrees in sociology, political science, emergency management, and other fields.

Students interested in learning more about and enrolling in the emergency and environmental management concentration can learn more in the concentration website ( or contact the concentration coordinator, Dr. Tricia Wachtendorf, (

Health Services

The Health Services concentration serves students who seek careers in the medical and health related fields.  This is an excellent area of focus for students interested in becoming a physician, nursing, public health, medical social work, PT, OT, PA, elder care, healthcare administration, and various other careers.  The concentration provides students with a broader understanding health care policy, interactions in the healthcare setting, the experience of illness, the provision of care, health disparities, and particular patient populations.  Students enrolled in the Health Services concentration meet all requirements for the sociology major.  However, two of their sociology courses (SOCI311 and one other), their related course work in other departments, and their practicum experience connect with their interests in the health.   
One of the pillars of the concentration is the practicum (SOCI410) that gives students on-the-job experience in their junior or senior year. Placements are carefully customized to help students evaluate careers they are considering and to provide engaging environments for students to connect with contacts in those particular fields. Placements have be made with (but are not limited to) such outstanding organizations as: Christiana Care Health System, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alfred I. DuPont Children's Hospital, Cokesbury Village, the Rockford Center, Delaware Hospice, Elsmere Veterans Hospital, Planned Parenthood, and many others.
Students interested in learning more about and enrolling in the Health Services concentration should contact Dr. Barret Michalec ( 

Law and Society

The concentration in Law and Society is an ideal option for students considering law related careers. Students in the Law and Society Concentration have gone to law school, have taken paralegal training, and have pursued a variety of law related occupations. The Law and Society Concentration enables students to develop a specialized program within the major in Sociology.

 Students work closely with Dr. Gerry Turkel in creating a plan of study. The plan includes courses in Sociology, course work in related disciplines, and an internship. The internship enables students to gain field experience in such law related sites as law firms, courts, and legal agencies. In the past, students have interned in major law firms, family court, Superior Court, and the Public Defender's Office. This job-related experience has been very valuable in helping students with their career planning.

Social Welfare

The Concentration in Social Welfare aims to familiarize students with major issues and institutions in the social welfare system and with the practice of social work. This Concentration is an ideal option for students considering careers in a wide range of human service fields, including child welfare, juvenile probation, school counseling, and mental health. The Concentration allows students the opportunity to use the knowledge gained in their sociology and other courses to prepare them either for graduate training or entry level jobs in their chosen career fields.

Students work closely with the Concentration Coordinator in developing a customized plan of study. The plan includes courses in sociology and related disciplines and culminates with a full-time, five week long internship (SOCI 441, Welfare Practicum), usually during the Winter Session of the student's senior year. This practicum counts for 4 credits of the 15 credits of related work that all students enrolled in the College of Arts and Science must complete. In recent years, students in the Social Welfare Practicum have completed internships with the State of Delaware Department of Family Services, the Mental Health Association of Delaware, the Battered Women's Shelter, the State of Delaware Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, various group homes run by Catholic Charities, Cecil County (Maryland) Division of Social Services, Sojourner's Place (homeless shelter), Independent Living, Inc., and the counseling departments of several public schools. Students' placements are determined in an interview process with the Concentration Coordinator in order to find a situation that best suits each student's educational and career goals. The practicum experience, as well as other credited and non-credited, volunteer internships provide invaluable job-related experience and can improve students' employment opportunities and chances of admission to graduate programs in human services.

Undergraduate Program in Sociology and Criminal Justice