Information for Majors

Sociology is the study of society. Students who major in sociology have the opportunity to learn in-depth about social structures and processes, and to gain skills in critical thinking, writing, and data analysis. Sociology graduates go into many different fields, as described by a recent study by the American Sociological Association.

The following areas of knowledge are central to the undergraduate degree in sociology:

  • Knowledge of the fundamental concepts, theories, and modes of explanation appropriate to the understanding of human societies.
  • Knowledge of the structure of modern societies, its social stratification, its ethnic, racial, religious, and gender differentiation, and its main social institutions -- family, polity, economy, and religion.
  • Knowledge of the basic social processes that maintain and alter social structure, especially the processes of integration, organization, and conflict.
  • Understanding the diversity of human societies, including the differences between major historical types such as foraging, agricultural, industrial, and post-industrial societies.

In addition, students completing the degree in sociology are expected to acquire:

  • Research and writing skills sufficient to locate and consult works relevant to a sociological investigation and to write a sociological paper that is coherent, cogent, theoretically developed.
  • Methodological skills sufficient to understand the procedures of sociological research and to understand the problems of reliability and validity;
  • Statistical and analytical skills sufficient to understand and interpret the results of sociological research.
  • Critical thinking skills sufficient to analyze and evaluate sociological writings.



(EFFECTIVE August 24, 2015)

Download this sheet, plus a major tracking sheet as a Word document.


Specific courses required for the major (12 credits):

  • SOCY 1001 – Introduction to Sociology: 3 credits
  • SOCY 3001 – Classical Theory (prerequisite SOCY 1001): 3 credits sophomore standing or above required to take SOCY 3001.)
  • SOCY 2061 – Introduction to Social Statistics * 3 credits (or SOCY 4061 - with instructor consent)
  • SOCY 3201 -- Sociological Research Methods: 3 credits (prerequisite SOCY 1001; statistics, sophomore)
  • OR SOCY 3301 – Quantitative Research Methods: 3 credits (prerequisite SOCY 1001; SOCY theory statistics, junior/senior) (Survey)
  • OR SOCY 3401 – Qualitative Research Methods 3 credits (prerequisite SOCY 1001; SOCY theory; statistics, junior/senior) (Field)

Elective course work (24 credits):

  • Lower-division OR upper-division SOCY electives - 9 credits
  • Upper-division SOCY electives - 15 credits


  • Complete a minimum of 36 hours (maximum of 45) in Sociology. Students doing SOCY honors are allowed a maximum of 51 hours in Sociology.
  • At least 21 SOCY credits must be upper-division, 3000 and 4000. (A minimum of 15 of these upper-division credits must be taken through UCB or through a UCB Study Abroad program.)
  • All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better. Minimum SOCY GPA at the time of graduation must be 2.000 minimum. Theory requirement: Students declaring the SOCY major after Fall 2005 must complete SOCY 3001 (Classical Theory). *Students may substitute a non-SOCY statistics course for SOCY 2061 or 4061 (C- minimum required), thus requiring an additional SOCY elective course (3 credits upper-division or lower-division). Consult your advisor.


  • 18 hours total
  • 9 hours minimum must be upper-division
  • Required course: SOCY 1001

Consult your CU catalog (available on-line) for course prerequisites. Past course syllabi can be found here. If you have questions about prerequisite course work, contact the instructor.

Internship credit
Students may earn up to 6 credits through an internship experience.
Visit for more info.
Consult your advisor.

For seniors only (students must apply during their junior year).


Questions? Contact Michael Lynn or Christine Luft, Undergraduate Advisors.