Welcome to the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago! Students may enter the program at any time upon completion of any social sciences core sequence but no later than the enrollment period of spring quarter their third year.

Before declaring the major, students should 1) review all the relevant material posted on our website and 2) discuss their plans with their College adviser. Step 3 is to complete the online enrollment form, available here. (This includes a short entry survey and should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete). 4) Make sure you subscribe to our listserv, which is jointly maintained by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Department Secretary. Rest assured: We use our listserv judiciously, to communicate important deadlines and research opportunities; this means no cat photos and no chain letters.

Students are encouraged to complete the required introductory sociology courses (SOCI 20002 and 20005) as early as possible, and to enroll in a required methodology course by Spring quarter of their third year, the first quarter of the B.A. Thesis Seminar.

Declaring a Specialization

Unique to the sociology major is that students craft a self-defined specialization, which reflects the common threads connecting their research interests to the emphasis of their coursework in the major and to their particular B.A. thesis project. Students are encouraged to consider the specialization from the time they enter the program in order to guide their selection of courses and prepare for the BA thesis in a coherent way. Students formally propose their specialization at the start of their penultimate quarter of residence (ordinarily, this will be January of fourth year). The proposal form can be accessed and submitted here; it will be reviewed by the director of undergraduate studies, and students will receive approval via email within two weeks.

Previous specializations have included:

Urban Studies

(e.g., SOCI 20215 – Urban Health, SOCI 20219 – Urban Ethnography, SOCI 20221 – Crime and the City),

Social Policy

(e.g., SOCI 20106 - Political Sociology, SOCI 20192 - The Effects of Schooling, PBPL 22300 – Problems of Public Policy Implementation);

Gender and Sexuality

 (SOCI 20107 – Sociology of Human Sexuality, SOCI 20170 – The Sociology of Deviant Behavior, GNSE 10310 – Theories of Gender and Sexuality);


(SOCI 20101 – Organizational Analysis, PLSC 27500 – Organizational Decision Making, ECON 28000 – Industrial Organization);

Social Analytics

(SOCI 20157 – Mathematical Models, SOCI 20209 – Culture and Social Networks, STAT 22600 – Analysis of Categorical Data);


(SOCI 20123 – The Family,  SOCI 28062 – American Families: Inequality and Change, SOCI 20103 – Social Stratification)