Department of Sociology

Our students are prepared to be leaders in today’s complex and changing world. They develop the knowledge and analytical skills they will need for successful careers and informed citizenship.

Our classes are purposely small; most have no more than 40 students. You’ll learn from some of the top professors in the field — professors who will know you by name. Student organizations will give you a chance to get to know your peers and be actively involved in co-curricular activities.

You can have internship opportunities in private industry or with social services agencies, nonprofit organizations and the criminal justice system. There are also ample undergraduate research opportunities, with students working together with faculty on original research projects.

Enroll in the sociology program at NIU and you’ll learn to master critical thinking, oral and written communication, as well as sociological data collection and analysis.

Let us help you develop your sociological imagination!


Sociology Graduate Student Julia Metz is a recipient of Outstanding Woman Student Award!

Julia is a teaching assistant for the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and has assisted in grading and discussion in classes such as Gender and Justice in Global Perspectives, Women in Science and Women, Sex and Gender Today. She has both an undergraduate and graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Julia is also a research assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault and has been a part of a team evaluating a national domestic violence intervention program. As an undergraduate she was involved in a research project in Tanzania focused on rural women in leadership roles. Julia’s community work includes serving as a Medical and Legal Advocate for Survivors for the YWCA. She has immersed herself in this role by taking a variety of training courses on preventing child sexual abuse and sexual assault crisis intervention. Volunteering for social justice causes is nothing new for Julia. As an undergraduate she was a service leader for Huskie Alternative Breaks and the organization United by Diversity. She served in Americorps, working on the issue of homelessness with the organization Northern Neck Middle Peninsula Housing Coalition. For her extraordinary service, Julia was awarded the Congressional Award for Service—Bronze Medal.

Julia is truly an Outstanding Woman Student and we are very proud of her!!

Congratulations to Sociology major Teeanna Brisco for being named one of the recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Women Student Awards!
The Outstanding Women Student Awards recognition process was begun in 1980 as the Women's Student Leadership Awards. These awards were intended to foster the development of leadership among women students, both graduate and undergraduate. For this reason, students who hold formal office in campus or community organizations have been obvious candidates for this recognition.
It has increasingly been the goal of the commission to recognize those students whose leadership may be less formal in nature, who entertain non-traditional aspirations, who have overcome significant obstacles in the process of pursuing their education or whose achievements and contributions might otherwise go unrecognized.

Teeanna will be presented with her award on Sunday, April 14th at 11 a.m. in the Regency Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Sociology graduate student Laura Kruczinski was featured in the Northern Star for her involvement in a listening session with the Dean of Students by students with disabilities on their concerns about campus accessibility. Laura is serving on the Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities.…/article_0dfe69a6-d81c-11e8-9cf2…

On Friday, October 26, Kristie Crane received the Distinguished Staff Award at the CLAS Distinguished Awards. Congratulations to Kristie! 

Prof. Jeffrey L. Kidder co-authored an article published on The Washington Post website titled, "If you think campus speech is all angry confrontation, you’re looking in the wrong places".

Sociology Professor Kidder was quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the new platform of the California College Republicans. ‘Degenerate and Murderous’: California Campus Republicans’ Platform Attacks College Culture. 

The statewide group rips birth-control funding, tolerance of transgender people, and support for Muslim groups in a combative document that one scholar says veers right of even many conservative students.

Jeffrey L. Kidder, an associate professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University who studies politics on campus, said the group’s “combative tone” and objects of attack were noteworthy. Kidder wrote in an email that it was “remarkable” how at odds the platform was with conservative students as a whole. “Specifically, the mantra we have been hearing over and over again is ‘socially liberal, fiscally conservative.’ The CCR platform is about as far from that as possible.” Kidder wrote he was certain that many “non-conservative” students would consider parts of the document “hate speech.”

NIU Sociology graduate, Andrew Traver, receives Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award.

Student Spotlight

Anna Pesola talks about why she decided to minor in sociology.

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Department of Sociology
Zulauf Hall 815