SESP Core Courses

SESP Core Courses

Students are encouraged to develop a course plan within their concentration that reflects their individual interests and career goals. Below is a list of undergraduate courses offered at the School of Education and Social Policy.


SESP 195-1,2 Community Engagement

Critical reflection on community service experiences in relation to broader societal issues. Conceptual frameworks for understanding the meaning and nature of community. For Civic Engagement Certificate students only.

SESP 201-0 Human Development: Childhood and Adolescence

Personal, social and cognitive development from birth through adolescence. Interplay of biological and experiential factors on linguistic and conceptual development, ego and personality.

SESP 202-0 Introduction to Community Development

Historical and contemporary community-building efforts, focusing on Chicago’s neighborhoods. Community development strategies: the settlement house, community organizing and community economic development.

SESP 203-0 Human Development: Adulthood and Aging

Psychological, sociological and biological factors influencing socialization and development from young and middle adulthood through old age. Influences of family, school and work on the individual.

SESP 210-0 Introduction to Statistics and Research Methodology

Definitions and classifications of terms used in quantitative methods; measures of typical and maximum performance, reliability, and validity checks; reporting and displaying data; interpreting results.

SESP 295-0 Theory and Practice of Community Consultingy

Course on the importance of community capacity building and the community-consulting process; start of preliminary work for the Civic Engagement Certificate capstone project.

SESP 298-0 Student-Organized Seminar

Courses proposed by students and supervised by faculty sponsors on topics not covered in regular courses. Offered only after course content and design have been formally approved by the SESP director of undergraduate education. May be taken only once per quarter; pass/no credit only. Consultation with the SESP assistant dean for student affairs recommended.

SESP 299-1,2 Civic Engagement Capstone Research

Independent study courses leading to completion of the capstone project for the Civic Engagement Certificate.

SESP 303-0 Program Development and Implementation

Characteristics of successful programs in a variety of areas, including human development, education, social welfare and health promotion.

SESP 317-0 Gender and the Life Course

How age and sex serve as a basis for the social construction of men’s and women’s lives. How social forces operate to create contrasting life trajectories, role patterns and transitions; the role of social policies. Comparative view of different societies and periods in recent history.

SESP 318-0 Adult Development and Work Careers

Adult development and careers from the perspectives of psychology, sociology and organizational behavior. Individual career-development strategies and alternative career systems.

SESP 319-0 Family Development in a Changing Society

Societal changes and their effects on the family.

SESP 320-0 Race and Education

Conceptual underpinnings of the construct of race and how conceptions of race have influenced the course of education in the United States.

SESP 321-0 Child Development: The African American Experience

Variety of socially important topics and debates regarding African American children’s development, including their physical development and health; general cognitive development and achievement; Ebonics and language issues; and how economic status, media, social stereotypes, racism, family dynamics, peer groups, African American cultural norms and other social factors affect racial identity and social and personality development.

SESP 351-0 Special Topics

Advanced work on special topics.

SESP 372-0 Methods of Observing Human Behavior

Guided practice in systematic and participant observation. Observer bias, field notes, unobtrusive measures.

SESP 383-0 Practicum

(2 units) Real-world participant observation in relevant professional activities and projects (e.g., program development and management; learning design; therapeutic rehabilitation; policy research, implementation, and evaluation). Taken concurrently with 385. Prerequisites: 372; consent of SESP’s practicum director at least 2 quarters (3 for Summer Session practicums) before registering.

SESP 385-0 Practicum Analysis Seminar

(2 units) Development of analytical field studies of the practicum experience based on field notes, recorded observations and class discussions; culminates in a final research paper. Taken concurrently with 383. Prerequisites: 372; consent of SESP’s practicum director at least 2 quarters (3 for Summer Session practicums) before registering.

SESP 390-0 Research Apprenticeship

Opportunity to participate in faculty research projects. Prerequisites: consent of the faculty member and the SESP assistant dean for student affairs; submission of completed Request for Independent Study/Special Courses Form at registration.

SESP 391-0 Advanced Research Methods

Overview of research methods that may be used to design and implement the honors thesis. Prerequisites: 210 and 372 recommended.

SESP 398-0 Honors Thesis

(3 units) Students develop, design, implement, and evaluate a research project under a faculty adviser’s guidance. Prerequisites: senior status; 3.5 cumulative GPA by the end of winter quarter of the junior year; recommendation for the honors program from SESP 391 instructor(s); consent of program director.

SESP 399-0 Independent Study

Faculty-supervised study of special topics of the student’s own choosing and not covered in regular courses. Prerequisites: consent of the supervising faculty member(s) and the SESP assistant dean for student affairs; submission of completed Request for Independent Study/Special Courses Form at registration.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Office

School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-3790

Email: sespinfo@sesp.northwestern.edu