About The Program
The NSU sociology bachelor's degree program includes emphases on criminal justice or human services. As a sociology major, you'll be prepared for jobs in fields such as law, law enforcement, social welfare, business administration, education, communications, and advocacy.
Pursuing a sociology major at NSU, you'll learn:
- The ability to write and speak well;
- Computer literacy and familiarity with data entry and analysis;
- Cross-cultural understanding and the ability to interact with people from diverse backgrounds;
- Interpersonal skills with an emphasis on leadership; and
- Research skills to analyze and synthesize information.
Our low faculty-to-student ratio means individualized attention for students inside and outside of the classroom.
Earn a master's degree in five years
A new collaboration with the University of South Dakota allows Northern students to get a sociology degree and master of social work degree in just five years!
In our 3+2 program:
- Complete a sociology degree in three years at Northern
- Then, seamlessly transition into the master of social work (MSW) program at USD to complete a MSW degree in two years
Learn more about the process and courses at Sociology-MSW Program.
Sociology majors with a bachelor's degree work in a variety of occupations - many as social workers, administrators, protective service workers and nonprofit or government workers; and in other service, managerial and management-related occupations.
Potential jobs include law, policing, social welfare, business administration, education, communications, advocacy, community organizers and activists, human services, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, sociologists and public interest advocates.
Many sociology majors go on to earn master's degrees in social work, psychology, counseling or business. A master's degree is typically required for social work positions in health and school settings and for clinical work. Learn more at NSU Graduate Studies.
For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.
Through internships, we foster relationships for our students in the Aberdeen and South Dakota communities - relationships that cultivate career opportunities. Sociology majors observe professionals at work and gain practical job experience during the program's field experience component. Students will complete a minimum of 1-credit hour field experience (SOC 396) or take part in our Traveling Classroom (SS 360) experience.
All NSU sociology majors are encouraged to consider completing an internship for course credit. Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important career connections. Students who have successfully completed either a paid or unpaid internship have a much better chance at landing full-time, professional positions upon graduation because these experiences provide a competitive edge and are highly valued by employers.
“I chose Northern because it felt like the perfect school. It wasn’t too close to home, but it wasn’t too far either. Once I’m done with my time at Northern, I want to recruit other Native people who may not think that college is a realistic option and show them that going to college is something that is attainable for them. There is a stigma around college for Natives. Many of them want to do it, but they are scared and often don’t get enough support back home. I want to offer those people support. As someone who is Native, I know the personal difficulties that Natives deal with in going to college, and I want to use that to be an advocate and spark change. I consider being Native American a true blessing. Being able to know where I come from and being able to know what chief I am a descendant from is a huge part of who I am. I think that on a national scale we are becoming more willing to embrace people from different backgrounds, and because of that I believe that my generation will be a generation to move the conversation forward.” – Tayzia Claymore-Knight, Eagle Butte #beNORTHERN #unleashYOURpotential #NAHeritage #NorthernStateU
For more information about this degree, call 605-626-2267. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Dr. Brownfield joined the NSU faculty in 2015. Her current research looks at deviance and “bad behavior” in online forums devoted to support networks. She recently has published articles on depictions of prisons in film and rural policing on television.
Research Interests/Areas of Expertise
New media research methods
Social psychology, identity, narrative, and deviance
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2002
M.A., Idaho State University, 1993
B.A., University of Calgary, 1989
Dr. Pamela Monaghan-Geerneart has been a member of the faculty in the department of history and social sciences at Northern State University since the fall of 2019.
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
Soc 261 Human Sexuality
Soc 423 Social Stratification
Soc 491 Medical Sociology
Soc 350 Race and Ethnic Relations
INDG 404 Contemporary Issues in Native and Indigenous Communities
INED 411/511 South Dakota Indian Studies
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Michigan, 2016
B.A., Sociology, Indiana University, 2010
Dr. Christopher Near joined Northern State University in 2020 as an assistant professor. He taught previously at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
CJUS 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJUS 203 Policing in a Free Society (online)
CJUS 380 Research/Data Analysis in Criminal Justice
CJUS 433 Criminal Procedure (online)
SOC 455 Juvenile Delinquency (online)