About the Department

The Department of Sociology is a Ph.D. granting research department with explicitly defined missions of research, instruction, and service. The Department resides within the College of Arts and Sciences, although its members also carry out research and service through the Mississippi Food Insecurity Project, the Social Science Research Center, Nsparc, Southern Rural Development Center, Crime and Justice Research Unit, as well as other research entities. The Department offers a B.A. degree in sociology, a B.A. in criminology, and a BSW in social work. M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs are offered in sociology. In addition to more than 400 undergraduate majors in all programs, the department has more than 50 enrolled graduate students.

The Department has developed longstanding emphases in rural sociology, community development, criminology, social demography, and social inequality. The Department is one of the larger concentrations of sociological expertise in the Southern region as evidenced in the number of graduate faculty, the enrollment of graduate students, the placement and success of doctoral graduates, the number and frequency of publications, the level of funding for grants and contracts, the facilities, and other infrastructure for sociological research and education. We have a concentration of research expertise and programmatic activities focused on Mississippi and the Deep South broadly. 

The National Science Foundation ranks MSU 17th in the nation for research expenditures in the social sciences.  We are the top ranked school in the Southeastern Conference for social science research.  

Mission Statement

The mission of the Mississippi State University Department of Sociology is to integrate our research, service and teaching into a holistic educational experience, as suited to the land-grant mission of a research-intensive university. We provide a high quality undergraduate education to students majoring in criminology, social work, and sociology within the liberal arts education mission of the College of Arts & Sciences. Our graduate programs train sociology students at the master’s and doctoral levels, integrating students into academic research. We foster an intellectual environment for professional growth and development that prepares students to be critical thinkers with strong communication skills for use in the global environment, preparing them for careers and/or graduate studies