As a sociology major at NSU, you'll study the forces that mold individuals, shape behavior, and determine social events.
    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.


    Also, NSU sociology majors are now eligible for priority admission into Northern's counseling master’s program!


    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.


    NSU College of Arts and Sciences Internships


    The Chuang Scholarship is awarded annually. Other scholarship opportunities are available to sociology majors each academic year.


    Arts and Sciences Scholarships

    NSU Scholarships

    Sample Plans of Study
    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, call 605-626-2267. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or


    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.


    Courses Taught
    SOC 100  Introduction to Sociology
    OC 281  Socio-Cultural Theory
    CJUS/SOC 485  Capstone
    Other courses offered on a rotational basis


    Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

    Popular culture

    New media research methods

    Online phenomena


    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.  


    Courses Taught 

    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 


    Research Interests 

    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.


    Courses Taught

    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)


    Research Interests…