College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising - Zulauf Hall 201 - 815-753-0114

A 2 + 2 Plan Leading to a Bachelor of Arts
or Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology


All degree requirements are subject to the provisions and notices in the NIU Undergraduate Catalog.  Information is valid through August 2015.

B.A. or B.S. Degree in Sociology

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society. Generally, sociologists study groups, organizations, and cultures, and how individuals function within them. Some aspects of sociology focus on specific areas of societal concern, such as crime and criminal justice, health care, or aging. After graduation, sociology majors take jobs in business, social services, criminal justice, health care, community service, and other fields, or continue their educations in graduate school or law school.

Sociology at NIU

Distinguished Faculty. All of our permanent faculty members have earned the Ph.D. degree, and many have national reputations in their fields of specialization.

Good Teachers. When recruiting faculty members, we have paid particular attention to faculty candidates' records of (or potential for) superior teaching. As a result, our faculty includes an unusually high proportion of truly excellent teachers.

Modest Class Sizes. Our 100- and 200-level courses are usually taught in sections of 50-55 students, and our upper-division courses typically have 40-45 students in each section.

Writing Across the Curriculum. Every sociology class is required to have some sort of writing requirement. These may include essay exams, book reviews, journals, term papers, or other assignments. We believe it is important for our graduates to be able to communicate effectively in writing. All majors also take at least 6 credit hours at the 400-level, where they complete a culminating experience that combines theory, methods, and writing.

Advising. The Department of Sociology maintains its own staff of advisers to help students plan their courses of study, clarify graduation requirements, and deal with unusual problems or circumstances.

Computer Lab. The SOCQRL (Sociology Quantitative Research Laboratory) has over 20 networked computers with many useful software applications B WordPerfect, SAS, SPSS, Netscape Communicator, and others. The lab is dedicated to use by sociology students and faculty, and is staffed by graduate assistants familiar with both the software and the computer assignments given by various faculty members. As a result, the quality of assistance available is greater than is typical of most general-access computer labs.

Decisions, Decisions

As a student, you need to decide whether to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Students who have strengths in studying foreign languages usually pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree, while those whose strengths are greater in math and computer science typically pursue a Bachelor of Science degree.

How Do I Get In?

Due to the number of interested students, sociology at NIU is a limited admissions major.  To declare a major in sociology, you must have a GPA of 2.00 or better, and must have completed each of the following NIU courses (or their community college equivalents) with a grade of C or better:  ENGL 104 or ENGL 105, SOCI 170, SOCI 300, and STAT 208 (for B.A. students) or MATH 206, MATH 210, MATH 229, or STAT 301 (for B.S. students).  Although it is possible to declare a "pre-sociology" major, you are encouraged to fulfill these requirements as soon as possible.

What Courses Should I Be Taking Now?

If you are planning to complete a B.A. at Northern, you should take the equivalents of NIU's ENGL 104, SOCI 170, and STAT 208 at your community college, as well as the foreign language sequence. If you are planning to complete the B.S., you should take the equivalents of ENGL 104, SOCI 170, MATH 210, and MATH 211 at your community college. Your adviser can check the Articulation Tables to identify the appropriate courses for you. Be sure to save your course syllabi.

Suggested Semester Plans

Following is a generic 2+2 plan for a B.A. or B.S. in sociology. You will need to consult an adviser about the specific electives to take to be sure all graduation requirements are being met.

ENGL 103   ENGL 104  3
SOCI 170 3   SOCI 300 3
For Lang1/MATH2 3-4   For Lang1/MATH2 3-4
Soc Science Gen Ed 3   Science Gen Ed3 3-4
Humanities Gen Ed   Humanities Gen Ed 3
  15-16     15-17
MATH Core4 3   SOCI Elective 3
COMS 100 3   Soc Science Gen Ed 3
For Lang1/MATH2 3-4   For Lang1/MATH2/
Science Gen Ed 3-4   Interdisciplinary
Gen Ed
Humanities Gen Ed   Gen Ed Elective 3-4
  15-17     15-17
SOCI UL Core5   SOCI 300 level 3
SOCI 300 level 3   SOCI UL Core5 3-4
SOCI 300 level 3   SOCI UL Core5 3
Elective (any level) 6   Elective 300/400 level 3
    Elective (any level) 3
  15     15-16
SOCI UL Core5 3-4   SOCI 400 level 3
SOCI 400 3   Elective 300/400 level 6
Elective 300/400 level 3   Elective (any level) 6
Elective (any level) 6  
  15-16     15

1Required for B.A. degree. Previous foreign language background may reduce or fulfill this requirement; consult the NIU catalog for further information on the B.A. requirement in foreign language.

2Required for the B.S. sequence.

3Students who are pursuing a B.A. should complete STAT 208 in the science area of distributive studies.

4B.A. students must fulfill the core competency requirement in mathematics.

5The SOCI upper-level core is SOCI 301, SOCI 302, SOCI 377A, and SOCI 377B. They may be taken in any order, with exception of SOCI 301, which is a prerequisite for SOCI 302.

Minimum 120 total; 40 at the 300-400 level


Where Can I Get More Information?

Your community college adviser can advise you further on appropriate courses to take at your community college. Your adviser also has the NIU Articulation Tables, which identifies comparable courses at NIU and your community college.

For more information about sociology at NIU, call the director of undergraduate studies or the department chair at (815) 753-0365, visit, send a fax to us at (815) 753-6302, or write us:

Department of Sociology
Zulauf Hall 815
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2891


For a current NIU Undergraduate Catalog and application materials, contact:

Office of Admissions
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2857
(800) 892-3050 (toll-free in Illinois) or
(815) 753-0446


Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, status based on the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), or status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran. Further, the Constitution and Bylaws of Northern Illinois University provides for equal treatment regardless of political views or affiliation, and sexual orientation.