Major and Minor

Major and Minor

How to Declare a Sociology Major or Minor

  • Obtain forms at 1810 Chicago Avenue, Main Office.
  • Fill out the Major or Minor form and the major worksheet (link) or minor worksheet (link for soc. research, soc. studies).
  • Meet with a department adviser during scheduled office hours. Bring a copy of your transcript(s) (available on CAESAR).
  • Drop off the signed carbon portion of the form to a department staff member.
  • Drop off the original form to your WCAS academic adviser's office. Check with the Office of Studies and Advising for the location of your college adviser.

Major Requirements

The department offers preparation for students who want to pursue careers in a wide range of fields. It provides an excellent background for all professions involved in the major institutions of modern society, such as business, public administration, law, medicine, journalism, communications, planning, research, and teaching. The department also emphasizes the sociological perspective as a fundamental part of a liberal education and a broad understanding of the world. Students may also declare an area of concentration within the sociology major.

Sociological Courses:
  1. Two courses in sociology at the 100 or 200-level
    This excludes SOC 101: First-Year Seminar and SOC 226: Sociological Analysis
  2. Three courses in methods of social research*
    1. SOC 226: Sociological Analysis
    2. SOC 303: Analysis of Social Data
    3. SOC 329: Field Research & Methods
  3. SOC 306: Sociological Theory
  4. Six additional 300-level sociology courses**
    1. SOC 398-1,2: Senior Research Seminar may count as 2 of the 6 courses.
    2. SOC 376: Topics in Soc. Analysis may count repeatedly with different topics and adviser approval.
    3. Although SOC 399: Independent Study may be taken more than once, only 1 unit may count toward the major.
      **A Chicago Field Studies course may count with adviser approval.**
  5. Four related 300-level courses with adviser approval.

    Related departments are: African American studies, American studies, anthropology, Asian American studies, communication studies, economics, gender and sexuality studies, global health studies, history, international studies, Latina and Latino studies, legal studies, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, science in human culture, statistics, or other fields selected with the approval of an adviser.

*It is recommended that students take SOC 226 in their first-year or sophomore year, and then SOC 303 and 329 in their junior year.

**If a thesis is not written, a student cannot get honors. If the thesis is written, the student must take the two senior thesis courses. A thesis does not guarantee honors.

Minor Concentrations & Requirements

The department offers minor concentrations in sociological research and in sociological studies. Students seeking a minor in sociology must consult with an adviser.

Sociological Research

The minor concentration in sociological research prepares students to carry out their own research by offering an introduction to the discipline, followed by an array of courses in quantitative and qualitative methods. Students learn how data are gathered and analyzed using a variety of methods and techniques. Two 300-level courses (303 and 329) allow students to see how these methods are used in practice by conducting their own research.

Minor course requirements - 6 courses
  1. One course in sociology at the 100 or 200-level

    This excludes SOC 101: First-Year Seminar and SOC 226:Sociological Analysis
  2. SOC 226: Sociological Analysis
  3. SOC 303: Analysis of Social Data
  4. SOC 329: Field Research & Methods
  5. Two additional 300-level courses in sociology.

    Although 399 may be taken more than once, only 1 unit may count toward this requirement. 2 units of 376 may count with different topics and adviser approval. 1 Chicago Field Studies course may count with adviser approval.
Sociological Studies

The minor concentration in Sociological Studies introduces students to the social world and provides the tools to understand it. It prepares students to compare, evaluate, and critically analyze information about social institutions, social stratification, and social change.

Minor course requirements - 7 courses
  1. Two courses in sociology at the 100 or 200-level
    This excludes SOC 101: First-Year Seminar and SOC 226: Sociological Analysis
  2. SOC 226: Sociological Analysis
  3. Four additional 300-level courses in sociology.

    Although 399 may be taken more than once, only 1 unit may count toward the minor. 2 units of 376 may count with different topics. 1 Chicago Field Studies course may be substituted with adviser approval.

Substitutions

Policy on Substitutions for Sociology Major or Minor Requirements

Students should make every effort to take the required sociology courses in the sociology department. The sociology department provides a cohesive curriculum, which facilitates a fuller and more integrated understanding of sociological ideas, methods, trends, and issues.

We understand that there are circumstances under which students will be unable to take some of the required courses in the major, either because of study abroad or transfer from other institutions or conflicts in course scheduling. We therefore allow substitutions in some circumstances.

How to substitute a course
  • Discuss your possible substitution with a Sociology Adviser either during office hours or via email.
  • Complete the Substitution for Sociology Major or Minor Requirements Form (also available from the Sociology Department Office at 1810 Chicago Ave.) once the substitution has been approved by the adviser.
  • Have a sociology adviser sign the completed form OR email his/her approval to the Undergraduate Program Assistant.
  • Drop off the completed form to the Undergraduate Program Assistant in the main office of 1810 Chicago Ave. OR email your completed form to sociol@northwestern.edu along with all emails from a sociology adviser regarding the approved substitution.

Approved substitution forms will be forwarded onto the Office of the Registrar by the Sociology Department.

Policy on Substitutions for Distribution Requirements

Sometimes students want to use courses not on the approved list to fulfill distribution requirements. To request permission to substitute non-approved courses for these requirements, download the Petition for Substitution of Distribution Requirements, check the appropriate box, and follow the accompanying instructions carefully.
In completing this form, you may find it helpful to refer to the detailed descriptions of the distribution areas.

Helpful Links