Prepare to promote social justice in careers such as social work, criminal justice and community activism.

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Sociology

Questions?

Undergraduate Admissions

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why pursue a sociology degree at North Central College?

You’ll use your knowledge and experience to promote social justice while exploring careers in public service like social work, ministry teaching, criminal justice and community activism. Working closely with our outstanding professors, you can conduct research here and abroad and have the chance to witness urban issues firsthand during Chicago Term. You'll be ready to make a difference in the world around you after you study topics like family, poverty, community and city life, juvenile delinquency and race/ethnicity.

Sociology is the study of social interactions among individuals and social groups. It developed as an intellectual and moral response to the problems and possibilities brought about by the democratic and industrial revolutions of the past and the on-going challenges of promoting a just, fair, and meaningful life in the present era. As a sociology student, you will develop a set of perspectives and tools that can lead to a fulfilling and productive career and life informed by an understanding of social change and social justice. Along the way, the core ideas of the discipline, as well as professors and fellow students, will present intellectual challenges, inconvenient truths, and intriguing ideas - all with the intent of promoting your own development and growth as an engaged citizen in the contemporary world.

You can also:

  • Choose a concentration in criminal justice, community studies or general sociology.
  • Learn more about the community through Community Engaged Learning projects and volunteer opportunities with organizations like WorldRelief, Circle K and North Central’s Cardinals in Action.
  • Apply for a Richter Grant to fund your research anywhere in the world.
  • Join the Alpha Kappa Delta sociology honor society.

More Department information

Sociology, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

Major Requirements

33 credit hours to include courses that together examine the central themes, methods, theories and career opportunities in the discipline.

Core Courses

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the basic concepts, theories and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality and social institutions from the sociological perspective.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to urban life from a sociological perspective. Examines issues of urban culture, racism, poverty, power and community from both analytic and practical perspectives. Major goal of the course is to engage in an enlightened debate on the nature of urban life.

    Core

    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis and the use of secondary data. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, becoming a critical consumer of research and developing the ability to design and carry out an independent study.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the "back stages" of the research process.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    3.00 credit hours

    This is a capstone course for sociology majors.  It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life.  It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Senior standing and Sociology major.

    Schedule Of Classes

Core - Professional Experience

Three credit hours from the following:

Institutions

Three credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    3.00 credit hours

    Examines the education system through the sociological lens and provides an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. Looks at the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences. Examines cross-cultural variation in educational systems as well as sociological perspectives on contemporary school reform.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    3.00 credit hours

    The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure.

    Core

    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the theoretical and practical responses to crime in American society. Selected topics include criminal behavior, law, policing, the judiciary, corrections and juvenile justice.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    3.00 credit hours

    A study of interplay between religion and society. Attention given to religion as a system of ideas and ritual patterns as well as a social institution.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or course work in religious studies.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities

Three credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    3.00 credit hours

    The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society, with a focus upon racial and ethnic inequality; prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    3.00 credit hours

    An analysis of social class in American society. Examines a variety of social class-related issues, including prestige systems, social mobility, poverty, world systems, structured inequality and community organizing. Special emphasis placed upon inequality in terms of the values of social justice and attempts to bring about social changes through different forms of leadership and community organizing.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Junior standing; SOA 100 or SOA 190; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Topical Courses

Six credit hours of Sociology course work at the 300-level or above.

Sociology, Criminal Justice Track, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

Major Requirements

36 credit hours to include courses that together examine the central themes, methods, theories and career opportunities in the discipline.

Core Courses

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the basic concepts, theories and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality and social institutions from the sociological perspective.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis and the use of secondary data. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, becoming a critical consumer of research and developing the ability to design and carry out an independent study.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the "back stages" of the research process.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    3.00 credit hours

    This is a capstone course for sociology majors.  It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life.  It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Senior standing and Sociology major.

    Schedule Of Classes

Core - Professional Experience

Three credit hours from the following:

Introduction to Track

  • SOA 250 - Criminology

    SOA 250 - Criminology

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of historical and contemporary theories of crime, an analysis of the nature and extent of major types of crime, an overview of the American criminal justice system.

    Schedule Of Classes

Institutions

  • SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the theoretical and practical responses to crime in American society. Selected topics include criminal behavior, law, policing, the judiciary, corrections and juvenile justice.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities

Three credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    3.00 credit hours

    The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society, with a focus upon racial and ethnic inequality; prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    3.00 credit hours

    An analysis of social class in American society. Examines a variety of social class-related issues, including prestige systems, social mobility, poverty, world systems, structured inequality and community organizing. Special emphasis placed upon inequality in terms of the values of social justice and attempts to bring about social changes through different forms of leadership and community organizing.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Junior standing; SOA 100 or SOA 190; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Topical Courses:

  • SOA 300 - Organized Crime

    SOA 300 - Organized Crime

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of organized crime in contemporary society. The course reviews relevant models and explanations of organized crime, the various goods and services provided by organized crime groups (from gambling, to loan sharking, to labor racketeering, to drug trafficking), the emergence of criminal groups in a comparative perspective and law enforcement responses aimed at social control.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 320 - Punishment

    SOA 320 - Punishment

    3.00 credit hours

    This course examines how criminal punishment has evolved over time. It reviews the various justifications for punishment—including deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restoration—and examines how these affect punishment in practice. It considers the social, political and economic functions that punishment serves. It explores why incarceration has substantially increased in the the United States and considers future trends in criminal punishment.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 350 - Delinquency

    SOA 350 - Delinquency

    3.00 credit hours

    Historical development of the juvenile justice system and the "invention of delinquency." An overview of the contemporary juvenile court and justice system. An examination of the nature and extent of delinquency in American society and a survey of theories of the causes of delinquent behavior.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

Sociology, Social Justice and Community Work Track, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

Major Requirements

36 credit hours to include courses that together examine the central themes, methods, theories and career opportunities in the discipline.

Core Courses

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the basic concepts, theories and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality and social institutions from the sociological perspective.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to urban life from a sociological perspective. Examines issues of urban culture, racism, poverty, power and community from both analytic and practical perspectives. Major goal of the course is to engage in an enlightened debate on the nature of urban life.

    Core

    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis and the use of secondary data. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, becoming a critical consumer of research and developing the ability to design and carry out an independent study.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the "back stages" of the research process.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    3.00 credit hours

    This is a capstone course for sociology majors.  It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life.  It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Senior standing and Sociology major.

    Schedule Of Classes

Core - Professional Experience

Three credit hours from the following:

Introduction to Track

  • SOA 203 - Community Studies

    SOA 203 - Community Studies

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the challenges and opportunities confronting communities in contemporary society, with a focus upon issues of social justice, social change and community service. The course serves both as an introduction to urban and community life and an introduction to meaningful careers in public life, social services and community organizing.

    Schedule Of Classes

Institutions

Three credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    3.00 credit hours

    Examines the education system through the sociological lens and provides an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. Looks at the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences. Examines cross-cultural variation in educational systems as well as sociological perspectives on contemporary school reform.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    3.00 credit hours

    The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure.

    Core

    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the theoretical and practical responses to crime in American society. Selected topics include criminal behavior, law, policing, the judiciary, corrections and juvenile justice.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    3.00 credit hours

    A study of interplay between religion and society. Attention given to religion as a system of ideas and ritual patterns as well as a social institution.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or course work in religious studies.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities

Three credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    3.00 credit hours

    The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society, with a focus upon racial and ethnic inequality; prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    3.00 credit hours

    An analysis of social class in American society. Examines a variety of social class-related issues, including prestige systems, social mobility, poverty, world systems, structured inequality and community organizing. Special emphasis placed upon inequality in terms of the values of social justice and attempts to bring about social changes through different forms of leadership and community organizing.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Junior standing; SOA 100 or SOA 190; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Topical Courses

  • SOA 375 - Protest and Change

    SOA 375 - Protest and Change

    3.00 credit hours

    A sociological study of discontent and social change. Highlights the origins, concerns, life cycle and impact of social movements, as well as the tactics activists use and the challenges they face. Selected case studies may include civil rights, feminism, animal welfare and the abortion debate.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 385 - Chicago Field Study

    SOA 385 - Chicago Field Study

    3.00 credit hours

    A first hand study of city life in Chicago with a particular focus on Chicago's neighborhoods.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 190 or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Sociology Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

18 credit hours including:

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the basic concepts, theories and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality and social institutions from the sociological perspective.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative -or-

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis and the use of secondary data. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, becoming a critical consumer of research and developing the ability to design and carry out an independent study.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the "back stages" of the research process.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • Nine additional credit hours of sociology elective of which at least three credit hours must be at the 300-level or above.

Sociology Internships and Jobs

Sociology opens up many engaging career pathways and offers valuable preparation for positions in different types of organizational settings such as, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, private corporations, and government agencies.

Internships

  • Mental health services intern, Wheaton, IL
  • Intern, Illinois State Police, Downers Grove, IL
  • At-risk youth mentor, Metropolitan Family Services, Wheaton, IL
  • Intern, HHS Planning and Consulting, Chicago
  • Refugee resettlement intern, World Relief, Aurora, IL
  • TLC youth advocate, Hesed House, Aurora, IL
  • Adult probation services intern, 19th Judicial Circuit, Waukegan, IL
  • Exploring diversity intern, Bardwell School, Aurora, IL
  • Not-for-profit management, Appalachia Service Project, Johnson City, TN

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in sociology have been accepted at:

  • University of San Diego
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Careers

  • Urban planner
  • Social service providers
  • Public health workers
  • Community liaisons
  • Journalists
  • Educators
  • Admission counselors
  • Public relations professionals 
  • Juvenile counselors
  • Police officers

For those students who are considering an advanced degree, sociology facilitates entry into professional programs in law, social work, public policy, theology, administration (e.g. public, business, fine arts), as well as master's and doctoral programs in sociology.

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