Welcome to the Department of Sociology at UCSD

We hope that the information provided on our web site will be a useful complement to the general catalog. Although most information for your first year will come from the academic advisors in your college, feel free to come by the Sociology Department for further counseling on your major. The Department of Sociology provides a challenging curriculum, which offers you a superior liberal arts education and a bright future.

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society: its composition, organization, culture, and development. It combines scientific methods with humanistic perspectives, integrating the findings of economics, political science, psychology, and history.

Why Sociology?

Sociology is a valuable major for students who want to enter law, medicine, architecture, business, or politics. It also provides a solid liberal arts education for students who plan careers in education, criminal justice, public health, urban planning, social welfare, counseling, public administration, international relations, or market research.

For students who wish to pursue graduate study in the social sciences for careers in teaching or scholarly research, an undergraduate degree from the Department of Sociology will provide a thorough grounding in recent theoretical and methodological advances in the discipline. Whatever your career choice, the study of sociology can help you cultivate a critical awareness of society.

The Sociology Major at UCSD

This department has developed an innovative curriculum, building on the strengths of our faculty and the breadth of their knowledge. Many courses are taught examining the historical development of societies in diverse regions across the globe: East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe, and Africa. This international focus allows us to consider the grand social transformations, which are underway on a global scale. A number of courses consider the cultural dimensions of social life, such as religion, popular culture, and film. A strong feature of our curriculum is the study of science and technology. Other courses taught include topics such as education, gender, health and illness, race and ethnic relations, nationalism, and protest movements. The subject matter of sociology courses is quite diverse, yet interrelated by the concern across a number of different fields in the character of inequalities in society and the varying processes of modernization.

The Department

At UCSD, the Department of Sociology may have the most extensive and comprehensive program of comparative and historical sociology in the country. The international emphasis is expressed in the faculty's teaching commitment to the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies, the Science Studies Program, as well as Eleanor Roosevelt College, which is oriented around international studies. In addition, the department has strong, nationally recognized programs in the sociology of culture and in science studies. The sociology of inequality (on the basis of class, gender, and race) is also a central research and teaching field for many faculty members. Students may also wish to participate in research projects or the honors program offered by the department.