Why Study Sociology

Discover Sociology at Illinois

Interested in analyzing mob dynamics, tracking patterns in corporate downsizing, exploring how people express emotions, or understanding cultural differences?  You should study Sociology at Illinois.

Sociology students at Illinois take classes like: Social Problems, Race and Ethnicity, Criminology, Sexuality and Society, Social Movements, Sociology of Gender, and more. Many Sociology courses fulfill your General Education requirements and several are offered online.

Our Program

We offer a Sociology Major (44 hours - 32 in SOC, 12 supporting coursework), Sociology Minor (18 hours), and a Minor in Criminology, Law, and Society (18 hours).

Sociology is the scientific study of social life.  Sociology offers a distinctive set of conceptual tools for understanding the complexity of social life, solving problems, and resolving puzzles.

If you are thinking about a career in criminology, law, or justice – the Criminology, Law, and Society Minor is for you.  You’ll take a range of classes covering both theoretical and practical information.  And, you’ll learn all about current sociological, legal, and justice issues.

Many Sociology majors pair their studies in our department with second major.  Popular second majors include psychology, political science, history, and molecular and cellular biology or integrative biology.

Career Preparation

The sociology major prepares you for work in the contemporary world, a world that is increasingly global, technology-driven, and fast changing.  Through studying sociology, students acquire practical skills including

  • creativity,
  • critical thinking,
  • analytic problem solving,
  • communication,
  • collaboration,
  • global understanding, and
  • excellent written expression.

Mastering these tools and skills will help you navigate a competitive job market.  Our graduates pursue professional schools such as:

  • medical,
  • dental,
  • law, and
  • social work.

Or go directly into careers such as:

  • FBI analyst,
  • advertising,
  • education, and
  • case worker.

Sociology faculty specialize in areas such as:

  • equitable access to legal systems,
  • sexualities,
  • genomic expression of women’s experience with violence, and
  • global gender inequality. 

Our classes are small to medium size and students learn directly from faculty who are experts in their fields.

Resources and Opportunities

  • Sociology boasts a vibrant Internship program.  Our students have interned locally in Champaign-Urbana as well as across the country.  Sociology students can earn three hours of advanced sociology credit while interning when they sign up for our internships course concurrent with their internship.
  • Many faculty work with undergraduates in their research programs.  Students also conduct their own research under the guidance of our faculty for course credit.