Why Study Sociology

What is sociology?

Unlike economics, which is often centered on the rational individual, Sociology focuses the social relations that structure individual behavior. Students who major in Sociology at Northwestern look at social collectivities, which include legal and medical organizations, economic classes, families, social movements, and race, ethnicity, and gender identities.

Sociology majors develop expertise in the ways in which social relations create and maintain inequalities, whether at the level of individuals, groups, or whole societies. Our majors look at questions such as:

  • How do inequalities within society affect the health of individuals?
  • How can social groups use law and the legal system to promote change?
  • What is the role of race in the debate over abortion in the United States?

Why study sociology?

Career skills

As the broadest of all of the social sciences, Sociology provides a wide range of practical and marketable skills, including critical analysis, statistical methods, theory, and field research.

Our majors have gone on to work in in law, medicine and public health, consulting, finance, non-profit and public administration, social network research, culture, and the arts. To learn more about careers in Sociology please visit our careers page.

Our Department

The Department of Sociology at Northwestern is a top-ranked program with world-class faculty committed to teaching all students to engage more effectively with the world around them. The undergraduate program features a generous faculty-student ratio and many opportunities for students to get to know their professors beyond the classroom.

Sociology is an ideal major for pursuing a senior thesis, an internship through the Chicago Field Studies Program, or other capstone project.