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Fully Online Sociology Degree New at Southern Miss

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 09:20am | By: Tara Burcham

We live in the information age where today's students are globally connected. They seek to serve, share, and impact the world around them. That is why The University of Southern Mississippi has launched the fully online bachelor's degree in sociology.

Choosing sociology as a major provides students with the tools to understand and research contemporary social issues, such as the influence of social media on our lives, why people commit crime, and issues of inequality.

Dr. Dana Fennell, program coordinator for sociology at USM, says sociology is the perfect choice for students who seek to understand our increasingly complex and stressful world. “Sociology at heart is the study of people” Fennell says. “It is perfect for the student who wants to examine social concerns and promote change.”

Now that the program is fully online, Fennell says it opens a new world of opportunities to students seeking a fully online undergraduate degree with practical real-world applications. “Our degree is different,” says Fennell. “We take naturally inquisitive students and give them the tools to succeed at a variety of different jobs and improve their own well-being. They learn research and communication skills, for instance.”

Since sociology studies include using scientific research methods, studying patterns of social change, and examining the role of institutions like the education system in social life, Fennell says the number of careers available to students earning a sociology degree are multiple, “Students can choose many career paths, from social services, non-profits, research, business ownership, marketing, public health policy, education, and criminal justice.”         

A degree in sociology pairs well with minors in areas such as management, business administration, psychology, and criminal justice, says Fennell. Choosing a sociology degree can also be the perfect preparation for post-graduate work not only in sociology but in other fields as well, says Fennell. “Since the degree focuses on the structure of societies and human interaction, students who choose sociology are academically prepared for the rigors required when studying law, higher education, business, and social work.”

Fennell says faculty in the department have diverse interests, which adds value to the fully online sociology degree. “Our faculty are actively researching numerous areas including stigma and mental health, non-profit studies, caregiving and the family, educational inequality, sport and leisure, and social movements, just to mention a few,” says Fennell. “By sharing this knowledge with our students and helping them with their own research interests, our faculty are excellent at mentoring students.”

The fully online sociology degree is one of many fully online degrees offered by Southern Miss. Dr. Tom Hutchinson, director of the Office of Online Learning, says this new online degree is specifically designed to meet the needs of today's students. “Many students want to work on their degree but distance is keeping them from coming to campus,” says Hutchinson, “By adding new fully online degrees we are bridging this gap so they can still receive a quality education in the subject area they desire.”

Southern Miss is continuing to meet the needs of students around the state and around the globe. Dr. Amy Chasteen Miller, sociology Professor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, is proud of the strides Southern Miss is constantly taking to meet students where they are and still offer the highest quality academic programs. “Our goal is to constantly innovate while also improving every level of academics,” says Miller. “We are investing in faculty who can offer a rigorous education to our students. By adding new online degrees such as the sociology degree, we are increasing access to quality education for the state of Mississippi and beyond.”

The new sociology degree accepts transfer as well as freshman students. To learn more about the fully online sociology degree, visit