Students and faculty in the Department of Social Sciences take the principles, methods, and goals of scientific inquiry and apply them to group-level, human endeavor.
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Social scientists conduct basic research into fundamental processes, concepts, and interactions. We also conduct applied research where we use theories, methods, and findings to consciously inform and evaluate group-level decisions and practices. Our faculty are engaged in an exciting range of research on science, technology, and the environment; designed objects and the built environment; urban affairs; international migration; American and comparative politics; and policy analysis.
Our majors get special treatment and develop close relationships with their academic advisers, professors, and career counselors. We encourage our students to find the questions and modes of inquiry that fascinate them. We can even customize programs of study to suit an individual’s interests. We work hand-in-hand to help students find the internships, externships, and jobs that will provide them with a real advantage in the post-graduate marketplace.
Our students receive the rigorous, multidisciplinary training they will need to embark on a wide range of fulfilling careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Whether seeking careers in management consulting, marketing, survey and design research, higher education, sustainable development, urban planning, social work, diplomatic services, local, or state or federal government, our students benefit from the solid preparation our courses provide. Our majors also give students excellent preparation for law school and advanced degrees in many of the social and applied sciences. In addition, our degree programs complement the more technical courses of study offered at Illinois Tech, making them good choices for students wishing to pursue a dual degree.
Bound for Public Service
For alumna Erin Monforti (CECD ’19), a major in social and economic development policy was the perfect match for her plans to pursue public interest law.Learn More
The faculty of the Department of Social Sciences are experts in wide-ranging focus areas within the fields of political science, social sciences, and sociology.
Assistant Professor of Sociology Noah McClain is featured in a story from the New York Post in which he discusses the risks of using facial-recognition technology as a tool for solving crimes. The...
Associate Professor of Political Science Matt Shapiro was interviewed for a July 1 news segment on WGN on the topic of recycling challenges in the Chicagoland area. Shapiro was also featured on Korean...
Professor of Sociology Ullica Segerstrale is featured on the latest episode of the Illinois Tech podcast, Curiosity Unplugged, in a discussion of young women turning away from careers in STEM fields...
A passionate environmental advocate, Brian Gomez hit the ground running upon graduation, putting his education to use for organizations working to improve Chicago and protect our planet.Brian Gomez (CECD ’18)
Urusla Hersh went straight into a job after high school, working full-time for two years. Then a Camras scholarship from Illinois Tech changed everything.Ursula Hersh (Social and Economic Development Policy 2nd Year)
A passion for East Asia shaped Gerard Jumanan’s experience as a global studies major. Now he aims to apply all he’s learned in law school.Gerard Jumanan (Global Studies ’19)
Now a Ph.D. student studying American urban politics and police violence, Denzel Avant credits Illinois Tech for hooking him on research. He also has some useful advice for undergraduates.Denzel Avant (PS ’12)
“The idea of studying a social science discipline in a technology school was really interesting to me. So far, I’ve especially learned a lot from my IPRO class. People involved in building businesses and creating revolutionary technology came to class and gave us real insight about how they are shaping the world. Those kinds of experiences showed me what real education feels like and what it can lead us to imagine and do.”
“I love the small class sizes at Illinois Tech. I always feel like my teachers have the time and willingness to support me. The Social Sciences department is full of great teachers who have supported me in developing my writing skills and have helped me succeed in my classes. I really feel like I receive individualized support and recognition for my successes and effort.”
“Illinois Tech provides a very practical approach to education that many other graduates lack. I felt well versed in problems outside my field , working with students in other disciplines, and knowing how to start and manage a project independently. My policy degree specifically contained many hard skills I did not see in my peers. Courses like IPRO (which I did four of!) provided a perfect example of the working world where members of different disciplines self-manage to achieve a project or goal.”