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Department of Sociology

Sociology is the study of social relations in groups, institutions and organizations, communities, and entire societies. The Department of Sociology at The University of Memphis offers a broad range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

We are committed to being a dynamic, learning-centered department that promotes greater understanding and analysis of social relations in groups, institutions and organizations, communities, and entire societies. Our contribution is made through cutting-edge research, excellent undergraduate and graduate teaching, exciting applied opportunities, vital service and community outreach, and preparation of students for a wide range of jobs.

In Memorium- Dr. Graves Enck     Graves Enck photo

The Department of Sociology is saddened to announce the passing of long-time professor, Graves Enck.  Dr. Enck began his career at the University of Memphis in 1974 and just completed his 48th year this past way.  His love of teaching and his care for his students was evident from the numerous awards he won from the University, including the Distinguished Teaching Service Award (1980 and 1991), the University College Advising Award (1985), the W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching (1994), the University College Distinguished Faculty Award (1996), the University Distinguished Faculty Advising Award (2002), and the University College Advising Award (2003).

A reception celebrating the life of Dr. Graves Enck will be held on Friday, June 24 at 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Memphis Funeral Home - Poplar Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the Enck family has requested that friends and family consider contributions to the "The Graves Enck Scholarship in Sociology" named in honor of Dr. Graves Enck's 48 years of outstanding teaching and dedicated service in directing the Undergraduate Program in Sociology at the University of Memphis. Donations may be made at: supportum.memphis.edu/enckscholarship

Why Study Sociology?

Award Winning Faculty

Faculty in the Department of Sociology have won a number of university awards for teaching and academic advising.  Sociology students take classes with these outstanding teachers and graduate well prepared to tackle the demands of working in a diverse, global marketplace.  The following faculty have won teaching and advising awards during their time at the University of Memphis:

  • Melissa Bamford - 2019 Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Graves Enck - 1996 University College Distinguished Faculty Award; 1994 W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence; 1991 Memphis State University Distinguished Teaching Service Award; 1980 Memphis State University Distinguished Teaching Service Award
  • Wesley James - 2013 W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Kendra Murphy - 2017 W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence; 2016 Dean's Award for Advising Excellence; 2014 Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award; 2013 College of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Carol Rambo - 2018 Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award; 2005 W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Cynthia Stockton - 2019 W. Russell and Audrey E. Nesossi-Smith Award for Teaching Excellence

Careers in Sociology

One question that students in every field get asked is "What are you going to do with your degree?"  For Sociology students, there are so many possible answers to this question.  Sociology prepares you for a wide variety of careers and the key is to recognize that sociology provides you with the tools to be successful in any career.  With the focus on critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and research skills, sociology students find themselves well prepared for the workforce.

If you would like to know more about careers in sociology, the American Sociological Association provides numerous career resources available online.  Here are just a few: