College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Undergraduate Program

Research is the cornerstone of sociology. Thus, sociology as a course of study offers students a unique opportunity to build critical thinking and research skills. Our engaging curriculum trains students to become independent thinkers and effective communicators. Additionally, sociology students develop a sociological perspective. They apply this perspective outside of the classroom and learn to make decisions based on self-examination. These skills (Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes) provide students with a firm foundation that prepares them well for a variety of careers, graduate school, or law school. Sociology class time is often devoted to active learning so students do not just learn about sociology but learn to do sociology. Small class sizes also allow students to develop mentor/mentee relationships with faculty.

Our program specializes in the topical core areas of:

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

UNI’s sociology faculty has proposed three options for undergraduate study: a sociology major, a sociology minor, or program certificates.

A. Sociology Major

UNI students may major in sociology. Sociology also enhances other majors. Students often find that sociology is a particularly good second major when studying:

  • Education
    Students apply their understanding of human interactions, inequality, and sociology of education to the classroom. This enhances their relationship with students and teaching effectiveness. Also, the sociology faculty has won several teaching awards and make for excellent teaching mentors.
  • Business
    Students learn the dynamics of human interaction and inequality that are part of workplaces. This prepares them to be better managers.
  • Psychology
    The study of identity and structure in sociology complements psychology.
  • Family Studies
    The study of family, gender, culture, and inequality in sociology complements family studies.

The sociology major consists of 33 hours of coursework. Majors study introduction to sociology, research methods, statistics, theory, the topical core, and a variety of electives. Please see the current catalog which includes a complete list of course descriptions. We strongly recommend students take introduction to sociology (SOC 1000), research methods (SOC 2010), statistics (SOC 2020), and theory (SOC 3070) before courses in the topical core.

B. Sociology Minor

The sociology minor consists of 21 hours of coursework. Minors study introduction to sociology and a variety of electives.

C. Program Certificates

Sociology offers a program certificate in each of the topical core areas:

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

Program certificates provide an alternative to programs leading to a degree, a major, or a minor. They certify a student has completed a program concentration. Students can complete a certificate whether or not they have a major or minor in sociology. Program certificates consist of 15 hours of coursework. Students study introduction to sociology, research methods, and their topical core area of choice.

Sociology students often find it beneficial to minor in Women’s and Gender Studies

Other Opportunities for Sociology Undergraduates

The sociology faculty offer individual advising to majors. Advising covers course selection, independent studies, research projects, graduate school selection, and career planning. Students should set up an appointment with their adviser a week before they are scheduled to register. Bring the following to each advising appointment:

  • a degree audit
  • proposed courses for the semester
  • questions
Sociology Club

The Sociology Club is run by students under the direction of Dr. Lazarus Adua. The Sociology Club offers students an opportunity to socialize, explore sociological issues, and engage in public service with other sociologically mindful students. The Sociology Club also sponsors events on career development. It is open to anyone. Join our Sociology Club Facebook group to keep current on events, or contact Dr. Lazarus Adua for more information.

Alpha Kappa Delta

The sociology faculty sponsors a chapter of the International Sociology Honors Society Alpha Kappa Delta. Admittance is through invitation. Sociology undergraduates are eligible if they are at least juniors who have completed four or more sociology courses with a 3.0 GPA (both generally and in sociology). We honor these outstanding students at a spring reception.