About

What Makes Us Unique

What makes the Department of Sociology at USF unique are:

1) Access to a vibrant, research-active community of award-winning faculty and graduate students.

Our faculty specialize in a wide range of subfields, including social inequality, identities and communities, social problems and social movements, immigration and migration, race and ethnicity, social networks and wellbeing, environment and climate change, religion and globalization. Faculty members have received prestigious awards and recognitions, including distinguished university professorships, lifetime achievement awards, best book awards, Fulbright fellowships, and millions of dollars in research grants. They have also served as presidents, chairs, and executive officers of various national and international academic associations. These scholars are actively involved in all four the Department's academic degree programs, providing outstanding classroom instruction and opportunities for community engagement, research, study abroad, and mentorship.

2) Our award-winning Teacher Training Program and professional development initiatives.

Our teaching training program, which received the Southern Sociological Society's Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award in 2016, has evolved to provide our M.A. and Ph.D. students with the skills and experiences necessary to bolster their applications to Ph.D. programs and academic jobs across the country. Through this program, our students receive holistic teacher training, develop individualized teaching portfolios (including their own course syllabi and statement of teaching philosophy), and engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Our professional development seminars round out our students' professional socialization by guiding them through their programs of study and the composition of a professional dossier (including curriculum vitae, conference presentations, and publishable manuscripts), which increase their success on the job market.

3) Our innovative research, community engagement, and study abroad programs.

Through partnerships with a variety of government and community agencies, our faculty and students participate in a variety of community-engaged research projects, internships, service-learning activities, and study abroad experiences. These activities help demonstrate our commitment to community and provide our students with "high impact practices" that enhance their educational experience and career-readiness.

4) The availability of scholarships and award opportunities for our students.

Our department has two endowed scholarships -- the Richard J. Wallace Undergraduate Student Scholarship and the Dr. Spencer E. Cahill Graduate Student Scholarship. These funds provide scholarships to as many as ten undergraduate and graduate students in Sociology per year, assisting them with tuition and the purchase of books and research materials. We also offer the annual Dixon's Posimoto Scholarship to assist an undergraduate student who would like to complete an internship with a non-profit agency in the local community. We also recognize the achievements of our outstanding undergraduate students -- both in Sociology and ISS -- through the Outstanding Senior Awards, and of our outstanding graduate student instructors through the Outstanding Teacher Awards.