SOC 490 Capstone Course 

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The UIC Department of Sociology offers the SOC 490 Capstone course, which provides senior sociology majors the opportunity to engage in a practical, team-based service project that advances the mission of a community organization. Capstone students apply the sociological skills they have gained in the major to advance a project arranged by a community partner.

Projects are designed to be completed within 10 weeks, with each student devoting about 30 hours of effort toward the goal. Sociology faculty and graduate teaching assistants will provide classroom support for student reflection and project management assistance to ensure projects are completed.


The SOC 490 Capstone course is the culmination of our undergraduate students’ sociological training.  Students will meet weekly for the large, lecture class taught by a sociology faculty member, discuss assigned readings, and participate in activities that support their projects.  In addition, students will meet in smaller sections, led by a teaching assistant, to reflect on their experiences and to receive consultations related to their projects, presentations and portfolio.

The SOC 490 Capstone course goals are to:
1. rekindle students’ sociological imagination related to a passion they developed in the major or an important social issue;

2. engage students in a “real-world” challenge arranged by a community partner that calls for their sociological skills, and

3. develop a career plan and portfolio of sociological skills and interests to pursue after graduation.   

SENIOR SOCIOLOGY MAJORS with questions about the class:
Dr. Lorena Garcia

COMMUNITY PARTNERS with questions about projects and partnerships:
Dr. Kevin Lamarr James

Service GOALS

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Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 10.41.10 AMThe SOC 490 Capstone aims to provide a free, volunteer service to nonprofit, government and educational organizations whose mission meets a social justice need or addresses an important issue impacting the community. We seek manageable “projects” that might be off-the-path of your organization’s typical intern or volunteer track, that can be completed in 10 weeks with each student dedicating about 30 service hours.

For instance, consider the work you are currently doing.  What pressing need would you identify, in your work, that could benefit from a team of students helping you to move forward? Project activities may be carried out on-site or remotely. 


  • Collect information or assist with evaluations of the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs and to inform decisions about future programming.
  • Support, encourage, and promote equal access to services and resources
  • Increase awareness of services, policies or programmatic initiatives
  • Work with communities to promote action toward a common goal or purpose
  • Assess an organization or a community’s needs as it pertains to pressing social issues
  • Research, organize and mobilize action towards fundraising efforts

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To PROPOSE a project or partnership, send a brief email describing the opportunity to  

*  You will be contacted with more information regarding next steps.

** Currently accepting projects for Spring 2017 (January - April)