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Department of Sociology

Important Note: This is the archived version of the 2013–2015 Undergraduate Catalog. The information on these pages was archived on August 6, 2013 and will not be updated as requirement and/or program changes are approved. Please see for the most up-to-date requirements.

BA with a Major in Sociology Minor in Sociology


Special Programs in Sociology

4112 Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB)
(312) 996–3005
Administration: Head, Barbara Risman
Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Nilda Flores-Gonzalez
Assistant to the Head: Tara Gordon


Sociology is the study of social life, including individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and societies. Sociologists investigate the social causes and consequences of human behavior and interaction, such as inequality, poverty, discrimination, and urbanization. While offering a general sociology curriculum, the program specializes in the study of race, ethnicity, and gender; work, organizations, and the economy; and urban sociology. Students majoring in Sociology will gain an understanding of, and the ability to use, key sociological theories, methodologies, and analytical skills in building sociological knowledge. 

A major in Sociology will prepare students to undertake graduate studies in sociology, and other fields such as other social sciences, social work, law, urban planning, and public health. It is also an excellent preparation for a wide variety of occupations in business and industry, the justice system, community and social services, government, education, social justice, and research.

BA with a Major in Sociology

The Department of Sociology offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Sociology. Students are encouraged to follow a general sociology curriculum or to specialize in race, ethnicity, and gender; work, organizations, and the economy; or urban studies. A minor in Sociology is also offered.

Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete University, college, and department degree requirements. The Department of Sociology degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies.

BA with a Major in Sociology Degree Requirements
Major Requirements
General Education and Electives to reach Minimum Total Hours
Minimum Total Hours—BA with a Major in Sociology


General Education

See General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for information on meeting these requirements.

Major Requirements

One course from the following:
SOC 100—Introduction to Sociology (3)ab  
SOC 105—Social Problems (3)ab  
SOC 201—Introductory Sociological Statisticsc
Three additional 200-level coursesd
SOC 300—Introduction to Sociological Research Methods
SOC 385—Introduction to Sociological Theorye
SOC 490—Senior Research Experiencef
Two additional 400-level coursesd
Total Hours—Major Requirements

a This course is approved for the Understanding the Individual and Society General Education category.
b This course is approved for the Understanding U.S. Society General Education category.
c SOC 201 also fulfills the LAS Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
d Independent study courses (SOC 296, 298, 496, 499) can be taken for up to 8 hours of credit, but only 3 hours of 296 and 298 and 3 hours of 496 and 499 can count toward the required elective credit at the 200- and 400-level respectively.
e SOC 385 fulfills the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement.
f SOC 490 can be repeated with departmental approval and, when taken a second time, will count as one of the two 400-level electives required for the major.

Recommended Plan of Study

To view a recommended plan of study for the major in Sociology, please visit the LAS website

Minor in Sociology

Students from other disciplines who want to minor in Sociology must complete 15 semester hours as outlined below.

Required Courses—Sociology Minor
One course from the following:
SOC 100—Introduction to Sociology (3)  
SOC 105—Social Problems (3)  
Three courses at the 200- or 300-level
One course at the 400-level
Total Hours—Sociology Minor



To be considered for Distinction, students must obtain a 3.00/4.00 overall GPA, plus the following:

Note: The GPA will be calculated using all of the credits that are being applied to the degree—from UIC and from any transfer institution.

Special Programs in Sociology

Research Skills

The Sociology program offers courses in which students can develop their research skills. Students can take courses such as Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Statistics, as well as learn about various research methods (such as Ethnography, Survey, Census) in introductory and more advanced research methods courses.

Area of Concentration

The Sociology program offers a general sociology curriculum with an emphasis in the study of race, ethnicity, and gender; work, organizations, and the economy; and urban sociology. Students who want to specialize in any of these areas select relevant courses at the 200- and 400-level.

Course Credit for Paid Work

Cooperative education combines work experience with academic courses. Co-op placement possibilities include a wide range of professional, managerial, and technical positions in firms, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies.

Independent Study and Research Projects

Students can gain research experience by working with a faculty member on an ongoing research project or conducting their own independent research project. Students who want to graduate with the Highest Departmental Distinction must complete SOC 499 and write a senior thesis based on a research project.

Preprofessional Preparation

Majoring in Sociology can provide students with an excellent preparation for admission to professional and graduate programs in medicine, health, law, urban planning, social work, education, and business.

Critical Thinking and Communication

Sociology develops skills in analyzing, synthesizing, generalizing, and communicating information and knowledge. Courses stress both logical and data analysis as well as careful and thoughtful reading, discussion, and writing. Sociology’s subject matter includes relationships among economic, political, cultural, and social factors and explores the impact of physical and biological forces on individuals and society. This inclusive framework and general training lies at the heart of a liberal education for lifetime learning.