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Department of Sociology College of Arts and Sciences

About Us

Excellence in Research, Teaching, and Service

The Department of Sociology is committed to advancing the frontiers of sociological knowledge and continuing our legacy of innovative inquiry. The Tailored Design Method for survey research was developed at WSU, for example, and our professors were key in establishing environmental sociology as a nationally recognized area of scholarship.

The principles of inquiry, acceptance of diverse intellectual perspectives, and analytical thinking serve as the foundation for our work. We foster critical and creative evaluation of social knowledge and value life-long learning.

Our Research

Our faculty are advancing the frontiers of sociological knowledge on crime, families, health, inequality and the environment.

Our Teaching

Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise. At WSU, they have been honored with the University’s highest teaching and graduate mentoring awards, and are members of the President’s Teaching Academy.

The Department of Sociology at Washington State University offers a bachelor’s degree, a sociology minor, three interdisciplinary minors, a certificate in sustainable organizational leadership, and doctorate in sociology.

Our undergraduates find employment in a wide range of industries. The vast majority of our PhD graduates go on to secure academic appointments at colleges and universities or research positions with either government agencies or private research organizations.

Our Service

Our faculty are deeply engaged in the University community and with the discipline and peers worldwide.

On the national research stage, WSU faculty have recently served as National Academies committee members and as section chairs or council members for the American Sociological Association, including the sections on Aging and the Life Course; Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity; Children and Youth; Peace, War and Social Conflict; and Social Psychology.

Faculty also serve in position of leadership for professional societies such as the Rural Sociological Society, the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, and the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.

In keeping with the variety of our local communities, faculty, staff, and students give back in myriad ways: through participation in regional task forces (e.g., juvenile justice, human rights), community service projects, educational initiatives, and more.

Within the University community, our faculty regularly provide leadership for a wide range of activities, including the Academic Integrity Board, the Association of Faculty Women, and Faculty Senate.

Journals @ WSU

The reputation of the department is reflected in its service as the editorial home over the years for four major sociological journals including the American Sociological Review; Criminology; the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; and Social Problems.

Faculty Honors

Justin Denney
IPUMS Health Surveys Research Award
University of Minnesota Population Research Center

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson
Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Jennifer Sherman
Frederick H. Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award for a Book
Rural Sociological Society

Julie Kmec and Alair MacLean
Elected to the WA State Academy of Sciences

Don Dillman along with his graduate students
Warren F. Mitofsky Innovators Award
American Association of Public Opinion Research