College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology


The Sociology program at the University of Northern Iowa is committed to the principles of a liberal arts education.  As faculty serving the program, we are dedicated to teaching excellence grounded in active research agendas and involvement in community or professional service.  Our mission as instructors is to provide our students with educational experiences and intellectual skills that will enable them to understand how their everyday lives and actions are influenced by broader social structures, contexts, and processes.  In this process, we encourage students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and applications of sociological theory and methods. We also promote a learning environment where students are taught to value cultural diversity and pluralism and to engage in critical analysis of structures of power and inequality.

As scholars, we seek to be active contributors to sociological knowledge and to enhance sociological understanding of a range of social, political, and historical issues, both locally and globally. We also seek to engage in interdisciplinary research endeavors and to foster student involvement in scholarship through collaboration and mentoring.

Beyond the classroom and the academy, we strive to raise social and political awareness, to encourage active civic engagement, and to offer expertise to a range of local, national, and transnational organizations.

Our main research areas revolve around the following topics:

  • Inequality
  • Race/Ethnicity and Immigration
  • Gender, Culture and Identity
  • Family and the Life Course



Here is what majors and alumni have to say about Sociology:

Allie KoolbeckFreya Walker

Sarah BrandtJake Rudy

Kendra PospisilMegan Tesene

KaLeigh WhiteAaron Stockstell



Featured Stories
2014 Purple and Old Gold Award - Sociology

The Purple and Old Gold Award is awarded annually by the faculty to the most outstanding graduating senior in each departmental major - sociology, anthropology, and criminology. This year's sociology award winner, KaLeigh White ...

Quilting: Linking the Local and the Global

Dr. Marybeth Stalp leads a Lifelong University class on "Quilting: Linking the Local and the Global."  The pictures included here are from the first day of class, which was 9/11/12. Dr. Stalp was...

Women's and Gender Studies Program

Sociology students often choose to minor in Women's and Gender Studies - several of our courses count for credit toward the WGS minor, and we help plan and participate in events such as Women's History Month. Click here for more info:...