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In studying sociology at Duquesne, students explore course topics that cover many aspects of social problems, policy, and human interaction.  These range from criminal justice and global cultures to the sociology aspects of aging, health, ethnicity, and peace and justice.

Dora describes how her career path developed, by examining her interests and participating in volunteer and internship opportunities.

Career Fields


  • Public Administration (Federal Government agencies such as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Policy Analysis (e.g., Department of Immigration, Department of Housing and Urban Development) 
  • Social statistics and demography (e.g., Census Bureau ; federal and state agencies; private foundations)
  • State and local governments (e.g., Job Corps, Urban Planning)

Strategies: Consider a semester or summer internship in Washington D.C.; Volunteer in political and community action campaigns; become active in student government; consider graduate training in areas such public policy.

Criminal Justice

  • Corrections (parole and probation officer; adjudicated youth; corrections administration)
  • Rehabilitation (drug rehabilitation; repeat offender prevention; court systems)
  • Juvenile delinquency and youth programs (gang prevention; school programs)
  • Law (public defender; victim advocate)
  • Law Enforcement: federal government agencies (US Marshal Service; Border Patrol); state government agencies (attorney general office; state police); local and county police

Strategies: Become active in public and community programs; research government agencies for internships; volunteer in advocacy programs; consider a law degree;  meet with pre-law advisor in Political Science department; consider military.

Human Services

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse (counseling, prevention, advocacy, case management)
  • Family, Children and Youth Services (adoption, child abuse, family counseling)
  • Aging (eldercare and nursing home administration; home care services)
  • Poverty and social programs (homeless, job corps, handicapped accessibility)
  • Veterans (VA hospitals;  veterans’ advocacy programs)

Strategies: Consider advanced degrees (e.g., Master’s degree in sociology or social work) for advancement (some agencies have tuition programs); volunteer in social and human services fields; intern with different types of populations

Social Science Research

  • Policy studies (private foundations and universities; non-governmental organizations)
  • Data analysis (health management; population studies; insurance providers)
  • Public Health (epidemiological studies, usage statistics)

Strategies: Take courses in statistics and computer science; work as a research assistant in your department; consider advanced degrees in social sciences or health; intern in research organizations; attend conferences; submit student papers to conferences)


  • Teacher, middle or high school (social studies curriculum)
  • College teaching in a university, four-year or community college

Strategies: Gain state certification to teach in public schools; take required education courses, either concurrently with bachelor’s degree in Education or through post-graduate programs; be prepared to relocate to states and locals where demand for teachers is high.