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Opportunities and Resources

The Department of Sociology and Gerontology offers a number of options for our students to get involved - both within Miami and making a difference in our community and beyond.

Careers in Sociology, Gerontology, and Social Justice Studies

The curricula offered in the Department's three majors provide training in the kinds of skills necessary for success in today's labor market.

A recent survey of employers found that communication, analytical, problem solving, and social skills were in their eyes the most important for job candidates to have, even more than "technical skills related to the job," which are typically learned on the job.

These skills align directly with the learning outcomes in our courses and majors.

Honors in Sociology

Departmental Honors

The College of Arts and Science offers a program of departmental honors for those students who qualify for the opportunity to engage in independent work in a major field of study under the guidance of a faculty mentor(s). Students who successfully complete such an effort will graduate with "Departmental Honors" notations on their transcripts and under their names in the commencement program.

To qualify for entrance into the departmental honors program, a student shall be a senior in the College of Arts and Science, and have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Sociology.

Qualified students may register for SOC 480: Readings for Departmental Honors for a minimum of 4 credit hours and a maximum of 6 credit hours. These credits may be taken in one or both semesters of the student's senior year.

The approval of the department chair, program director, and/or the faculty mentor of the honors work are required for registration.

Expectations for these projects are demanding and the content of honors projects varies. They may involve independent readings, creative efforts, internships, or research, whether based in the laboratory, the field, or the library. The project must result in a tangible product such as an examination, a written report, paper or monograph, an oral presentation, etc.

Departmental Honors in the College may be coordinated with work for Senior Directed Study in the Honors College. A common project may serve as both Departmental Honors and University Honors, but separate and distinct presentations must be made to the department and to the Honors College for evaluation to earn both honors notations.

Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society

Alpha Kappa Delta is the international honor society for sociology.

Eligible members must have:

  • junior or senior standing
  • completed at least four courses in sociology (courses cross-listed with sociology are eligible)
  • overall grade point average of at least 3.3
  • grade point average of at least 3.0 in their sociology coursework

Contact for More Information

Dr. Jennifer Bulanda, 

Gerontology Beyond the Classroom: Ways to Get Involved


You may get involved in gerontology beyond the classroom in several ways. The Department of Sociology and Gerontology and the Scripps Gerontology Center co-sponsor lectures to which all students are invited and encouraged to attend.

Recent speakers include:

  • Ann Basting, author of Forget Memory: Creating Better Lives for People with Dementia
  • Robyn Golden, Miami alum and former Chair of the American Society on Aging
  • Chris Jennings, formerly the Senior Health Care Advisor to President Clinton and currently one of the pre-eminent policy consultants in Washington, DC
  • Anne Gillespie, Miami alum and a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading strategy and technology consulting firm.

Student with elderly woman holding artwork. Research

There are several ways that undergraduate students may get involved in research. Gerontology faculty members frequently supervise students in independent investigations for which you can earn academic credit. Recent projects undertaken by gerontology students include working with a local area agency on aging on the organization's strategic communications plan, and an examination of the eating/dining experience for residents of a dementia care unit. In addition, the Undergraduate Research Program encourages you to conduct small-scale independent research projects.

The Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) program enables Miami undergraduates to conduct extensive research or other creative activities in the summer under the supervision of an individual faculty mentor. Two recent projects are a study of Kikuyu older women in the changing Kenyan economy and an evaluation of TimeSlips, a story telling program for individuals with dementia.

Social Justice Studies Beyond the Classroom

Photograph of Hanna HouseCareer Opportunities

Social Justice Studies is an excellent choice for students considering graduate study in the social sciences, law, criminology/criminal justice, social work, social welfare, or business (marketing, supply chain management, etc.).

The flexibility of the program permits students to tailor their coursework to future graduate or professional goals.

Activism and Advocacy

The Social Action Center in the basement of Hanna House is run by students for students and offers opportunities to get involved in a range of advocacy, activist, and/or community-action projects.

It's also a good place to meet other students interested in social justice/human rights issues. The Plus-One Option is in collaboration with the Social Action Center and is oriented toward embracing student activism on-and-off campus. 

Beyond Your Bachelor's Degree

Where Recent Graduates Have Gone

  • Congressional Internship (Washington, DC)
  • Environmental Internship (Washington, DC)
  • Public Allies Program
  • AmeriCorps Program
  • City Corps Program
  • Police Officer Training
  • Graduate School (law, social work, human resources, sociology, criminal justice)
  • Social Services (e.g., rape crisis counseling)
  • Public Services
  • Non-profit Sector (various entry level jobs)
  • Corporate Sector (various entry level jobs)
  • Community Organizing (entry level training)
  • Program Support
  • Management
  • Education
  • Sales Marketing
  • Social Science Researcher
Icon for quote in white warm color.

Creating Practical and Sustainable Change

"I majored in Social Justice Studies because I wanted to create something, which I later discovered was change. The Social Justice Studies major helped me to understand how systems and power work for and against historically advantaged and disadvantaged groups. It also provided me with the foundation to understand multiple identities and move beyond difference to collaborate with others. Furthermore, providing me with the critical lens to empower communities that have been traditionally marginalized by creating practical and sustainable change. With this perspective, I am well prepared to make the United States' education system more equitable and inclusive."

Mariah Green, Social Justice Studies '14

Department of Sociology and Gerontology

375 Upham Hall
100 Bishop Circle
Oxford, OH 45056