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Cody Wilson came to Purdue to study science, but a passion for helping people prompted him to change his major to sociology. Encouragement he received through the Old Masters program led Cody to participate in Teach for America and work with children in under-served communities.

Majoring in Sociology

Sociology majors study human society and culture by investigating how individuals and social groups relate to one another. Coursework provides students with an understanding of social institutions and organizations, social behavior and social structures, cultures, and the theories and methods for studying them.


Upon completion of the program, Sociology majors may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly-related to their studies. Student experiences have included:

  • Communications Technician
  • Field Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Child & Adolescent Case Manager
  • Cultural Officer
  • Graduate or professional school

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of Sociology, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to increase understanding of human social behavior including social inequality, race, gender, culture, and communication, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Planning and conducting research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, and poverty.
  • Producing research results for publication through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Understanding how to use analytical or scientific software such as SAS Hot technology or Systat.
  • Using database software, such as Microsoft Access or Oracle, to store, modify, and organize large quantities of data.

Students interested in legal professions and occupations are encouraged to join the Purdue Pre-Law Club.

Sociology majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree.  Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Office of the Indiana Attorney General
  • Indiana Donor Network
  • Department of Child Services

Graduate School

  • Columbia University
  • Northwestern University
  • Indiana University
  • Boston University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • University of Oxford

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