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About the Program

 

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.

Rather than viewing our world only through one lens, sociologists view the world though lenses that combine these diverse perspectives. In addition, in sociology one can study many of the substantive topics that the others social sciences examine. Thus, the fields of ethnic studies, gender, and cultural studies build on important sociological traditions and findings.

In sociology, you can learn:

  • How business works through the study of organizations, economic processes, human relations and institutions
  • How politics and law work through the study of sociology of law, politics, social movements, and revolutions
  • How science and medicine create truths and change the world -- sociology of science, sociology of knowledge, and technological change
  • How societies create opportunities and perpetuate inequalities in education, income, gender, ethnicity, and race relations
  • How communities of belief and kin are created -- sociology of culture, religion, and family

Sociology, then, provides a global perspective and rich picture of how the social world works. Courses cover a wide range of material, and they teach analytical skills and flexibility of mind to allow you to see your world in new ways. Sociology is a broad major for the intellectually curious, and it works well as a double major with other more narrow degree programs.

Entering students may declare a major in Sociology when they are admitted to UCSD. Continuing students may declare Sociology as their major at any time, by using the Major/Minor tool under Academic Links on MyTritonLink.

A 2.0 GPA is required in the major and students must earn a C- or better in each course to be used for the sociology major.  All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of the following:

The Sociology Major

Students may choose to major in General Sociology or one of seven Concentrations in the following areas:

  • International Studies - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in international business, foreign service, or international law.
  • American Studies - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in careers in American politics, education, and social work.
  • Culture and Communication - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in careers in education, the media and marketing.
  • Social Inequalities - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in social services and education.
  • Law and Society - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in careers in law and criminology.
  • Economy and Society - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in careers in contemporary business.
  • Science and Medicine - This concentration is especially appropriate for those interested in careers in health professions.

Regardless of whether you major in General Sociology or a one of our Concentrations, students will complete the same amount of requirements. All students must complete four lower-division and twelve upper-division courses in Sociology (Theory, Methods, and 10 Sociology Upper division electives).

The General Sociology major and Sociology Major Concentrations share the same lower division, theory and method requirements, and must complete 10 Sociology Upper Division Electives. Please reference our Major degree tracking sheet for a check off list of our requirements.

Courses that complete a specific concentration are listed in our major degree tracking sheet. For concentrations- only 5 Upper Division Electives listed under your specific concentration track on the degree check are required (you can complete more, however it will only be count towards the remaining 5 general Sociology Upper Division Elective you must complete), the remaining 5 UD electives can be chosen from any of our Sociology UD elective courses.

A 2.0 GPA is required in the major and students must earn a C- or better in each course to be used for the sociology major.  All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of the following:

The Sociology Minor

Below are general policies for a minor in sociology.

  • It must consists of seven four-unit courses, of which at least twenty units (five four-unit courses) must be upper-division.
  • A grade of "C-" or better is required in all courses.
  • With the exception of SP20FA20, & WI21 & SP21, a grade of P/NP is not accepted towards the minor; courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade.
  • A maximum of two sociology courses from community college will be allowed.
  • One study abroad course will be accepted toward the minor. The course must be pre-approved by the sociology department prior to applying to the minor.
  • SOCI 199 (Independent Research) is not accepted toward the minor.
  • A GPA of at least 2.0 is required for graduation.

All four unit courses provided by the Department of Sociology may be applied towards the minor (with the exception of SOCI 199). Two upper division sociology courses may overlap with a student’s major and minor.  However, courses taken at UC San Diego outside of the Sociology Department may not be applied towards the minor.

Unless colleges specify otherwise, students may choose any two lower-division sociology courses (SOCI 1, 2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70) and any upper-division courses (SOCI 100 to 190) following one of the 3 distributions below to complete the minor.

Guidelines for Minor Application

Courses can be taken in one of the following distributions:

  • 2 lower-division, 5 upper-division sociology courses
  • 1 lower-division, 6 upper-division sociology courses
  • 7 upper-division sociology courses* (See note below regarding declaring with 7 UD courses)

Minor Tracking Sheet

Track you progress with the minor requirements using our Minor Tracking Sheet

How to Declare a Minor Online

You can apply for a minor at any time by using the Major/Minor tool under Academic Links on MyTritonLink.

  • Log on to Tritonlink
  • Click "Advising and Grades"
  • Click "Major and Minor"
  • Next to "Declared Minor," click on "ADD"

Guidelines for Sociology Minor Application

When listing courses on the application, only list course numbers and titles for courses you have completed or are currently enrolled in. To list courses not yet completed, use the template provided below.

You are not required to finish your minor with what you declare on the application; the application is only demonstrating your basic knowledge of minor requirements and will not be held to the classes listed.

When completing the Sociology minor application, be sure to list exactly 7 courses (and only 7) or else your application will be denied and returned back to you for revisions.

To list courses not yet completed, use the following template:

Lower-division Courses

Subject code: SOCI, Course No: LD, Title: Sociology Elective, Institution: UCSD, Units: 4.00

Upper-division Courses

Subject code: SOCI, Course No: UD, Title: Sociology Elective, Institution: UCSD, Units: 4.00

Running into Minor Declaration Issues?

Please keep the following in mind when completing your minor declaration

  • Declaring with over 135 units: The minor declaration system warns students with over 135 units to consult an advisor before declaring the minor to be sure you will not exceed maximum unit limitation. This unit warning message does not actually prevent a student from completing the online minor petition. Therefore, if you do see the unit warning, simply continue to complete the form. However, once you add the minor, I suggest that you inform your College that you have added it, since they oversee the total number of units a student incurs.
  • *Declaring with 7 Upper Division courses: If you will not be taking any lower-division courses for the minor (meaning all 7 courses will be upper division), you will still be required to fill in one of the lower-division courses for the application. The Minor declaration system requires at least one lower-division course to be filled out (even though you may not be completing the minor in this format), it won't allow you to submit the declaration without it. Please use this exact formatting for the lower division course: "Subject code: SOCI, Course No: LD, Title: Sociology Elective, Institution: UCSD, Units: 4.00". After submission you will still be able to complete the minor with 7 upper-division courses.

Lower-Division Coursework

Four lower-division sociology courses are required for the major in sociology:

  • SOCI 1: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCI 2: The Study of Society
  • One lower division elective (SOCI 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 70)
  • SOCI 60: The Practice of Social Research
    • SOCI 60 introduces students to fundamental principles of social research design: how to pose a sociological question, formulate an appropriate research design, and evaluate empirical evidence.
    • SOCI 60 is a prerequisite for all upper-division methodology courses (SOCI 102 - SOCI 110).

For each of these courses, students must attend a lecture and a weekly discussion section. There are no pre-requisites to enroll in our lower-division courses.

Upper-Division Coursework

Twelve upper-division sociology courses are required for the major in sociology:

  • Sociology 100: Classical Sociological Theory
  • One Methodology course
    • Students can choose between SOCI 102 - 110
    • (SOCI 60 is a prerequisite for these methods courses)
  • Ten additional upper-division elective courses (SOCI 102-199)
    • For students majoring with a concentration: Five upper-division elective courses will be chosen from a list of courses for your specific concentration (see the second page of our degree tracking sheet for courses that can be taken for each concentration), as well as five other sociology upper-division electives
    • For students majoring in general Sociology: You can choose any ten upper-division sociology elective courses
    • Not quite at 90+ units but still want to take an upper-division elective? Please see our info tab on requesting course pre-authorization with the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)

Students are encouraged to complete their theory and methods courses early in their program, since theoretical perspectives and skills in methods will enhance their subsequent course work.

SOCI 100 and Methods aren't required to take upper-division electives, students are able to complete upper-division electives (SOCI 111- SOCI 199) concurrently and before taking SOCI 100 and Methods.

The only pre-requisite for our upper-division elective courses is upper division standing (having completed 90+ units). Students are also able to complete Upper Division electives with Methods courses (SOCI 102- 110). If you take a second Methods course, it will apply to your Upper Division elective requirement, the first will fulfill the Methods requirement.  

One elective course can be satisfied with a four-unit Independent Study (SOCI 199) course. With department permission, we will also allow students to take a four-unit Internship (AIP 197). Because these courses are taken on a pass/no pass basis, only one can be used toward the Sociology major.

Double Major Information & Information on Double major/ Minor Overlaps

Double Major Information

  • Instructions on the double major process can be located here.
  • To request signatures for a Double Major petition, please see here.
  • When filling out the double major petition form, please do not list exact classes for Upper division electives, unless you have taken, or are currently enrolled in the course.
    • I.E. if you have not taken an UD course yet, please list "SOCI UD Elect” or “SOCI UD Conce Elect”, or "SOCI UD Methods" for the Subject Code, Course Number, and Title.
    • The reason for this is because we cannot guarantee that specific courses will be taught or available to fulfill the major requirements that you have not yet taken. 

Quick Facts About Double Majors

  • You can overlap lower-division courses between both majors to any extent. 
  • A student with a double major must fulfill the separate requirements of each major, and the equivalent of at least ten upper-division courses (40 units) must be unique to each major.
  • Up to 2 upper-division courses (8 units) are allowable as overlaps between double majors. Both departments must approve them.

To have a non Sociology course be requested to apply towards the Sociology major, it is subject to petition if you would like to use it as an overlap.

If you will be making changes to double major overlaps you must submit a revised double major petition and academic plan to each department for review (personal statements are not required for revised DM petitions). A revised double major petition is not required if you will be updating non overlapped courses, only if you are updating overlaps. 

Double Major Overlaps: 

  • You can overlap lower-division courses between double majors to any extent. 
  • Up to 2 upper-division courses (8 units) are allowable as overlaps between double majors. Both departments must approve the overlaps.
To have a non Sociology course be requested to apply towards the Sociology double major, it is subject to petition if you would like to use it as an overlap for a double major.
Eligible courses will overlap automatically on your degree audit. If those are not the courses you would like overlapped or there is an error, please send us a message in the VAC and we can change or delete the overlaps. You're not required to overlap any courses. Please check your degree audit for accuracy. 

Major & Minor Overlaps

  • Two upper division courses (8 units) may overlap between a major and minor. 
  • A student may apply the equivalent of two upper-division courses (a maximum of eight units) to fulfill the requirements for a minor that have also been used to satisfy the requirements of a major
  • Courses taken in fulfillment of lower-division requirements may overlap to any degree.

The Degree Audit system automatically overlaps courses on your degree audit that are compatible between your major and minor, or Major/ Minor and College requirements.

To see if a course is eligible to be overlapped (if it does not apply automatically), students must submit a Sociology Petition to the department to request the course to be reviewed. Please reach out If you would like to change, request different courses, or reject courses that are overlapping. You will need to send a message to your minor department in the VAC to request the changes.

Double Minors:

  • A student with a double minor must fulfill the separate requirements of each minor, with no overlap of upper-division courses. 
  • Courses taken in fulfillment of lower-division requirements may overlap to any degree.

Degree Tracking & Sample Academic Plans

Degree Tracking

Track your Major Requirement progress using our Major Degree Tracking Sheet.

Please note: For the upper division requirement of "Ten Upper Division Courses in Sociology" you are either a General Sociology Major or a Specialized Sociology Concentration Major. 

Sociology Minors, please see the following page for a Minor Degree Tracking Sheet.

Sample Academic Plans

Sample Academic Plans (Both four year degree, and transfer two year academic plans) can be found online at http://plans.ucsd.edu.

Additional Campus & Student Success Resources

The following are links to various resources for students at UC San Diego.

Writing & Tutoring Resources:

Tech Support Services & Guides:

Basic Needs Hub:

Other Support Services

At UCSD:

Services Outside of UCSD: