College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Sociology Students
Sociology professor with students



The Sociology program at the University of Northern Iowa is committed to the principles of a liberal arts education.  As faculty serving the program, we are dedicated to teaching excellence grounded in active research agendas and involvement in community or professional service.  Our mission as instructors is to provide our students with educational experiences and intellectual skills that will enable them to understand how their everyday lives and actions are influenced by broader social structures, contexts, and processes.  In this process, we encourage students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and applications of sociological theory and methods. We also promote a learning environment where students are taught to value cultural diversity and pluralism and to engage in critical analysis of structures of power and inequality.

As scholars, we seek to be active contributors to sociological knowledge and to enhance sociological understanding of a range of social, political, and historical issues, both locally and globally. We also seek to engage in interdisciplinary research endeavors and to foster student involvement in scholarship through collaboration and mentoring.

Beyond the classroom and the academy, we strive to raise social and political awareness, to encourage active civic engagement, and to offer expertise to a range of local, national, and transnational organizations.

Our main research areas revolve around the following topics:

  • Inequality
  • Race/Ethnicity and Immigration
  • Gender, Culture and Identity
  • Family and the Life Course

We also offer a series of advanced methodology training courses as part of our Professional Development Electives, which prepare students for the data-driven work world in which they will enter as new employees. In addition to a Sociology Internship, these courses include:

  • Qualitative Research

  • Quantitative Research

  • Program and Policy Evaluation

--Kai Takatsuka (Sociology & Family Studies, 2004) - Academic and Career Coach at Center for Academic Planning and Exploration, University of Minnesota


Why Major in Sociology? Everyday Sociology 2013

How Do I Know if a Sociology Major is Right for Me? About Education 2015

Tinder Has an In-House Sociologist and Her Job is to Figure Out What You Want LA Magazine 2016

Sociology Majors on the Job Market Everyday Sociology 2010

Sociology Majors Four Years Later Everyday Sociology 2010

How Great is being a Sociologist Everyday Sociology 2009



How to Develop your Sociological Imagination for Empathy and Social Justice Medium 2019