Sociology, like the other social sciences, focuses on human behavior and what it means to be human in constantly evolving social interactions that are part of personal identity, group behavior, and collective action. What distinguishes sociology is its emphasis on social structure as a means of analyzing and interpreting behavior, and the systematic study of the development, structures, institutions, and patterns of social interaction. A degree in sociology provides students with analytical skills, the ability to design research projects, and real insight into the human condition that can lead to successful careers in nonprofit organizations, social services, public services, education, government, sales, marketing, and administrative management. The BA in Sociology also prepares students for graduate study in sociology, as well as law, psychology, social work, and medicine.
Students acquire the "sociological imagination," a broad perspective of the relationship between society and the individual with a strong emphasis on social justice, gender, race, and contemporary urban and global problems. This emphasis leads to greater self-awareness, appreciation for diversity, understanding of local-global connections, and the knowledge and skills needed to work for a more socially just world. The department of sociology houses three institutes, the Policy Research Collaborative, the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, and the St. Clair Drake Center for African and African-American Studies, which provide students with opportunities for internships, transformational learning, and courses that take students into Chicago neighborhoods.
Sociology classes provide students with opportunities to expand their existing knowledge of contemporary urban issues and to acquire the conceptual and theoretical knowledge needed to work toward social justice. We encourage students to combine their study of sociology with a minor in the humanities or another social science such as history, sustainability studies, political science, economics, or psychology.
The Minor in Sociology complements the student's major course of study, enhancing their critical reading, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
Students with a BA in Sociology are employed in nonprofit organizations, social and public services, education, government, sales, marketing, and administrative management.
The BA in Sociology prepares students for graduate study in sociology, as well as law, psychology, social work, and medicine (i.e., beginning in 2015 the MCAT includes a section on "Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior").
Alpha Kappa Delta Honors Society