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.
Name: Stormy Kara
Majors: Sociology and Communications – Media Studies
What are your career goals?
My long-term goal is to get a job at the Chicago Transit Authority and be able to improve this important and essential service for all Chicagoans.
How has studying sociology helped prepare you for your future career?
My sociology major has primed me to think about how different groups within society are affected by and interact with systems (such as public transportation). My sociological background will allow me to identify and rectify equity issues, as well as understand how this service impacts communities as a whole.
What was your favorite sociology class?
So far, it's been Urban Sociology with Dr. Jeff Kidder. The content of the class perfectly matches my interests, and it's gotten me to think about how people interact with and the purpose of the city.
Why should someone study sociology?
Sociology is a great way to gain a broader understanding of how different aspects of society interact, as well as the economic and social reasons for many of the social structures and practices we take for granted today.