Why Sociology?

Sociology is a fascinating and diverse field of study, examining the dynamics of social life, social change and the underlying factors that drive and shape human behavior. Sociology explores the causes and consequences of timely topics such as poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, deviant behavior, religious beliefs and social movements. In studying such things as population growth and migration, crime and punishment and economic development, sociologists seek a deeper understanding of the social institutions that shape our lives. At a time when technology is spurring social development and interaction at breakneck speeds, sociology is truly a major for the 21st century.

Why Study Sociology at NIU?

Our students are prepared to be leaders in today’s complex and changing world. They develop the knowledge and analytical skills they will need for successful careers and informed citizenship.

Our faculty hold degrees from some of the top sociology departments in the world. They serve as journal editors and reviewers and hold memberships in the American Sociological Association, American Society of Criminology, Center on Adherence and Self-Determination, Midwestern Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems and Sociologists for Women in Society. At NIU, they serve on curricular committees, lead study abroad programs and have received awards for excellence in teaching and service to the university.

What Can I Do with This Degree?

Our graduates have careers in the following fields and many go on to graduate programs or law school. 

Students have internship opportunities in private industry or with social services agencies, nonprofit organizations and the criminal justice system. There are also ample undergraduate research opportunities, with students working together with faculty on original research projects.

Student Spotlight

Name: Natalie Goldberg
Major: Human development and family sciences
Minor: Sociology minor and criminology certificate

What are your career goals?
I want to be a social worker for either middle school or high school students.

How has studying sociology helped prepare you for your future career?
Sociology has opened my eyes to different cultures that I didn't know anything about, and prepared me to work with different populations in the future.

What was your favorite sociology class?
My favorite course so far was SOCI 361 with Dr. Weffer. He made topics fun and exciting to learn about. All the professors I've had have been excellent. They're open to all opinions and facilitate open and honest dialogue about uncomfortable subjects. I've enjoyed writing papers (shout out to Dr. Ferris on that one), because the subject matter is interesting and I enjoy learning about different cultures and their roles in society.

Why should someone study sociology?
Sociology is the perfect subject if you're interested in social justice issues. I have a passion for learning about social justice issues and equality for everyone. I highly recommend pursuing a major or minor in sociology, because you'll only be bettering yourself in the long run.

Contact Us

Department of Sociology
Zulauf Hall 815