Sociology uses a range of research techniques for studying social phenomena that can be applied to many areas. In addition to preparing people as professional sociologists in academic settings, sociology is an excellent background for careers in law, social work, public health, urban planning, public administration, and other fields. The graduate program provides students with a foundation in basic theory and methods of research. In addition, faculty and advanced graduate students are involved in several broad areas of sociological interest: the comparative sociology of Asia and the Pacific, population studies, the study of crime, law, deviance in Hawaiʻi, the ., Asia and the Pacific region, aging and medical sociology, and race and ethnic relations.
The methods and substantive areas of sociology provide an excellent background for a wide range of careers in fields such as government, public policy, law, social research, community work, social activism, health, human services, social work, counseling, education, business, personnel, advertising, and market research, as well as a strong foundation for graduate study in sociology and a variety of applied or related areas including law, criminal justice, social work, business, public policy and public administration, urban and community planning, health care administration, public health, education, survey research administration, and journalism.