Samford University’s geography program offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying the nature and significance of the places, patterns and landscapes that make up the earth’s surface. Our students are prepared for careers addressing major trends in our world, including globalization, GIS and the expansion of other geographic technologies that have become part of our everyday lives, and the demand for people who can apply interdisciplinary learning to significant problems.
Most people who are ultimately attracted to the discipline of geography are motivated by much larger aspirations than good salaries. The opportunity to make a difference in the world, in whatever expression that takes, is one of the most frequently cited reasons why current geography students, researchers, and practitioners explain their career choice.
At least three recent global trends can be identified as contributing to a renaissance of geography and its potential for making a difference in society and the world:
- Globalization at an increasing pace and scale, phenomena that compel greater understanding of the world, places, people, and natural systems that affect us as a planet and as global citizens.
- Expansion of geographic technologies, once fairly obscure and now pervasive in our daily lives, such as GPS in cell phones and cars, online mapping at your fingertips, cable news reports using spatial visualizations, and many more applications in modern business and government services.
- An academic trend toward greater interdisciplinarity, especially a renewed focus on big questions that matter but that require a breadth of knowledge and multiple fields to tackle. Geography’s long-standing intellectual traditions in crossing those usual disciplinary boundaries are now better understood, increasingly seen as relevant and more widely respected in scholarly circles.
Long before I knew my own strengths, my professors took a vested interest in my passions and challenged me to go beyond the textbook. They taught me that being a geographer was more than being a walking atlas, but being able to recognize the complexities of the world around us, and to always be curious. Meghan McCollum, 2013 U.S. Rotary Global Scholar
Samford University’s sociology program helps students develop the knowledge and skills required to engage with all aspects of social interaction on the way to careers that help graduates build flourishing communities in fields such as sociology, health care, social work, social policy analysis, industrial relations, law enforcement and many others. Our fast track option allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in social work in only five years.
All courses, research opportunities and personal mentoring in the disciplines of geography and sociology combine to give our graduates a unique professional advantage in whatever career they choose!
Students are prepared to enter careers with critical analytic skills giving them insight and competence. They have entered fields such as Geriatrics, Social Work, Social Policy Analysis, Industrial Relations, and Law Enforcement as well as Sociology. Graduates have been admitted to post graduate programs in numerous regional state universities including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, as well as such private and public universities such as University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and the University of California at Los Angeles.
Sociology majors are eligible to participate in a fast track option that allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in social work after five years of study. Students then enroll in Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) courses during their senior year of undergraduate studies; the M.S.W. courses they complete during that year also satisfy general and directed undergraduate elective requirements, allowing students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree after four years of study. A final year of graduate coursework leads to completion of the M.S.W. degree, allowing students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Participation in this program requires careful advisement and scheduling, as well as permission of both the undergraduate department chair and the M.S.W. program director.
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Social Work is an excellent career choice for Sociology majors, as both disciplines utilize similar theories, research strategies, and practice methods. The Samford University M.S.W. program is a distinctively Christian learning community that prepares graduates for lives of service as advanced social workers who promote healing, wholeness, and reconciliation. The program offers concentrations in Clinical Social Work and Global Community Development and prepares graduates to serve in fields such as clinical, medical, and hospice social work; human services administration; child welfare; community organizing; and international relief.
Sociology has opened so many doors for me. I conducted my own research and presented it at a regional conference with other sociology students and professionals. Because of all of the hands-on experience I've had I am confident that I'm prepared for graduate school or any other career I can imagine. Morgan Mitchell, Howard College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador