Department of Sociology
Sociology is the study of society, ranging from interactions in small groups to large-scale forces transforming entire civilizations. Our department is committed to training students in both sociological theory and applied empirical research so that they may become practitioners and participants in building a better world. Alaska is an ideal setting for the study of sociology due to the diversity of its people, its dynamic social landscape, and its distinct urban and rural ways of life.
Our students are active in university life and have an excellent reputation for community-based social science and policy research.
Our faculty study an assortment of topics that intersect with life in the North, including housing and environmental issues, deviance and crime, globalization and culture, and urbanization and inequality.
Our alumni are leaders in a range of fields including research, business, advocacy, public health, law enforcement, education, and policy.
2021 ETS Sociology Major Field Exam
Nationally, UAA Sociology Capstone students scored near the top of 146 institutions representing 8,457 students:
Overall 98th percentile
Methodology and Statistics: 96th percentile
Social Stratification: 97th percentile*
Race, Ethnicity, Gender: 91st percentile*
Social Institutions: 99th percentile*
Social Psychology: 47th percentile
Gender: 98th percentile*
Global: 99th percentile*
Excellence in Undergraduate Research
Sociology faculty mentor a multidisciplinary collection of undergraduate social science researchers, often working in partnership with local organizations such as the Anchorage Mayor's Office, RAIS, Anchorage Community Land Trust, People Mover, and NeighborWorks Anchorage. Since 2013, our student researchers have amassed an array of impressive accomplishments:
48 conference/symposium presentations
30 funded undergraduate research grants
8 ISER Policy Awards
6 NSF-funded EPSCoR internships
Christina Hailperin has been awarded $34,000 through the Beinecke Scholarship to pursue graduate studies. Christina is also the first student from UAA to obtain this prestigious national award. Christina Hailperin is from Anchorage, AK, and is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Social Welfare Studies. She is currently interested in exploring matters of urban Indigenous identity and educational attainment. She hopes to use research to inform solutions aimed at improving outcomes for Indigenous people and communities. Outside of academics, she is an engaged mother of four remarkable children, enjoys the Alaskan outdoors and time spent among the elder and refugee populations. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. program in Sociology at Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, or The University of Michigan.
SPOTLIGHT ON FACULTY
Dr. Chad Farrell recieved the UAA Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Community Engagement and Service in 2020. What is the value of academic research for its surrounding communities? Learn about UAA Sociology faculty Prof. Farrell's research on diversity in Anchorage, and how it connected students, alumni and the city with the University.
UAA Sociology Alumna Caitlin Taylor shares the importance of being engaged in research as an undergraduate, how the skills she acquired as a result help her in her job at the Anchorage Community Land Trust as a Program Manager, and the importance of Dr. Farrell's diversity research for the community she serves.Sociology Alumni Profiles