Sociology B.A.

Information and Policies

Academic Advising for the Program

For sociology related advising inquiries contact:

socy@ucsc.edu
831-459-4888

Visit the sociology website for additional advising information, including advising hours, appointments, and peer advising.

Sociology advising is located in Rachel Carson College Academic Building, Rm 224.

Transfer students must also review the "Transfer Information and Policy" section.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology will:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking and critical citizenship skills intended to promote social justice through the ability to analyze and evaluate social, political, and/or cultural arguments.
  • Demonstrate sociological understandings of phenomena, for example, how individual biographies are shaped by social structures, social institutions, cultural practices, and multiple axes of difference and/or inequality.
  • Formulate effective and convincing written and/or oral arguments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and the ability to use, several of the major classical and/or contemporary perspectives in social theory.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of several of the major social science research methodologies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of some of the key substantive areas within the field of sociology.

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

General Sociology Major

Students must take two of the following courses, for a letter grade, prior to petitioning for entry to the general sociology major: 

SOCY1Introduction to Sociology

5

SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society

5

SOCY15World Society

5

Students who pass these two courses with grades of C+ or better will be allowed to declare the sociology major. Students who are transferring in should also refer to the section below, “Transfer Information and Policy,” on the major selection criteria used during the admissions screening process.

Sociology with a Concentration in GISES Intensive Major

Students must take three courses, for a letter grade, prior to petitioning for entry to the sociology with a concentration in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES) intensive major, including this course: 

SOCY30AIntroduction to Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies

5

Plus two of the following courses
SOCY1Introduction to Sociology

5

SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society

5

SOCY15World Society

5

To be considered for admission to the sociology bachelor of arts (B.A.) with a concentration in GISES, students are required to obtain a GPA of 2.8 or higher in the above courses, and obtain approval from the faculty director. Students will begin the approval process while enrolled in SOCY 30A. Prior to enrollment into the second course in the series, SOCY 107A, the faculty director works with students to ensure there is an appropriate match between student interests and project partners.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare the major may appeal this decision by submitting a letter to the Sociology Department Undergraduate Education chair within 15 days from the date of notification. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student and college of the decision. Letters of appeal should describe any extenuating circumstances that might have affected the student’s record. Students should submit the appeal letter via email to socy@ucsc.edu or in-person to the undergraduate adviser in the Sociology Department located in Rachel Carson College Academic Building, rooms 224 or 226. Students may contact the sociology undergraduate adviser for any questions.

How to Declare a Major

To declare the major, students must attend a major declaration workshop. Students must meet the lower-division major qualification requirements prior to declaring their major or minor. For more information about the declaration workshops, process, or to sign up for a workshop, please review the Sociology Department website or contact the department’s undergraduate adviser.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

To be considered for admission as a proposed major in sociology, students must complete prior to transfer, with a grade of C (2.0) or better, courses articulated to:

1. SOCY 1, Introduction to Sociology

2. SOCY 10, Issues and Problems in American Society

Prospective students for winter transfer are additionally required to complete, with a grade of C (2.0) or better, an articulated equivalent of SOCY 3A prior to transfer.

Transfer students are strongly encouraged to complete the articulated equivalents of SOCY 3A and SOCY 3B prior to enrolling at UC Santa Cruz to ensure timely progress.

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students who meet the selection criteria and are offered admission are admitted as proposed sociology majors. They must work with the sociology undergraduate coordinator when they arrive on campus to begin the process to declare the major and attend a major declaration workshop. Declaration of the major for transfer students must be completed by the campus declaration deadline, in the second term of residency.

Students who are proposed in a different major and have advanced standing when they come to UCSC require permission from the department to change into the major.

To ensure timely progress in the major, transfer students admitted as proposed sociology majors must take SOCY 3A in fall quarter if they have not satisfied the articulated equivalent at their previous institution. If SOCY 3A has been completed prior to transfer, it is recommended that SOCY 105A be taken in fall or winter quarter. In addition, transfer students who are pursuing the GISES intensive concentration must take SOCY 30A in fall quarter as it is the start of a yearlong course series.

Letter Grade Policy

All major qualification courses must be taken for letter grades. All other major requirements may be taken as a letter grade or Pass/No Pass. No more than 25 percent of credits earned at UCSC may be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. Students must be in good academic standing to choose the Pass/No Pass option. 

Course Substitution Policy

Sociology B.A. students may substitute two of the upper-division elective requirements with upper-division electives from other UCSC departments, individual study courses, education abroad electives, or other four-year institution electives. Students are limited in the number of outside electives accepted toward the major and must petition for approval of the course prior to applying it to the major. Review the sociology webpage for information about the petition process.

Study Abroad

Students seeking to study abroad must be declared in their major prior to studying abroad.

It is recommended that the students have the courses intended to be taken abroad reviewed and approved by the Sociology Department prior to departure. Up to two relevant courses taken through study abroad programs from which credits are transferable to UCSC may be used toward satisfaction of the sociology B.A. elective requirements when the content is deemed appropriate and approved by the Sociology Department. Up to five relevant courses taken through study abroad programs from which credits are transferable to UCSC may be used toward satisfaction of the sociology B.A. with a concentration in GISES intensive major elective requirements when the content is deemed appropriate and approved by the Everett/GISES program faculty director.

Visit the sociology webpage for additional information and planners for study abroad.

Honors

The Sociology Department awards honors in the major based on the student’s cumulative GPA for all courses taken to satisfy the program’s major requirements, excluding the comprehensive requirement. Students with a GPA of 3.75 or above will be considered for honors in the major. Students with a GPA of 3.9 or above will be considered for highest honors in the major. No more than approximately 15 percent of the graduating class will be considered for honors or highest honors in the major. Comprehensive honors is awarded to students who complete the senior thesis option, and their faculty thesis sponsor and one additional reader evaluate the thesis to be of honors quality.

General Sociology Major

Course Requirements

Sociology majors are required to take a total of 11 courses (two lower-division courses in preparation for the major, two prescribed lower-division core courses, two prescribed upper-division core courses, and five upper-division electives). In addition, they must successfully complete the comprehensive requirement prior to graduation.

Lower-Division Courses

Lower-division preparation:

All sociology majors are required to take two lower-division preparation courses, or their articulated equivalents.

Select two from the following three courses:

SOCY1Introduction to Sociology

5

SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society

5

SOCY15World Society

5

Lower-division core courses:

The following two sociology courses, or their articulated equivalents, are required as the foundation of statistical and research methods in the discipline.

SOCY3AThe Evaluation of Evidence

5

SOCY3BStatistical Methods

5

Upper-Division Courses

Upper-division core courses:

The following two sociology courses are required as the foundation of theoretical training in the discipline.

SOCY105AClassical Social Theory

5

SOCY105BContemporary Social Theory

5

Upper-division advanced coursework:

Five upper-division sociology electives are required. The Sociology Department offers upper-division electives that reflect a wide range of ideas within the discipline and the diversified research interests of the faculty. All upper-division electives offered by the department are numbered Sociology 110-189. The annual course offerings can be viewed on the sociology webpage.

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The goals of the Sociology Department’s Disciplinary Communication requirement is to ensure that students acquire and develop the skills in writing and other forms of communication that will best serve them in their study of sociology, and as future learners. The following courses satisfy the Disciplinary Communication requirement for students in programs administered by the Sociology Department.

SOCY105AClassical Social Theory

5

SOCY105BContemporary Social Theory

5

Comprehensive Requirement

Prior to graduation, all sociology majors are required to complete one of the following comprehensive requirements.

Senior thesis
SOCY195ASenior Thesis

5

SOCY195BSenior Thesis

5

SOCY195CSenior Thesis

5

The prerequisite for the senior thesis is SOCY 3A and completion of the major’s Disciplinary Communications (DC) requirement. Students who would like to write a senior thesis must submit to their preferred faculty thesis sponsor a proposal that includes a working title, a description of the work to be undertaken, research question(s), methodology, a brief bibliography, a timeline to completion, at least three keywords describing the thesis topics, and materials from relevant courses that might help faculty determine their preparedness to complete the thesis. In addition, students must familiarize themselves with IRB protocols and include in their proposal whether their research includes human subjects, if the project is IRB exempt, or if an IRB application will be needed. The proposal must be submitted one quarter prior to the commencement of the thesis work. Students unsuccessful in obtaining a thesis sponsor through these means may submit their proposals to the department’s undergraduate education committee (UEC) no later than the sixth week of the quarter, one quarter prior to the commencement of the thesis work. UEC members will review the merits of these proposals and assign the ones they approve to faculty members who have not yet agreed to serve as thesis advisers for the following year. Students will be notified of the outcome of the UEC’s deliberations within three weeks.

Capstone course
SOCY196ACapstone: The Sociologist as Public Intellectual

5

Upper-division lecture course that explores public sociology and integrates current research with theoretical strands in sociology.

In exceptional cases, students unable to take the senior capstone course may be allowed to substitute a portfolio of work. This substitution must be approved in advance, by the department chair. The portfolio option consists of: 1) portfolio of materials from (at least) three upper-division sociology courses; 2) a synthetic essay; 3) a paper consisting of new research by the student on some contemporary social or political issue, analyzed using the theoretical and empirical materials from those three courses.

See the department website for additional information.

Planners

Sociology Major Planner One

The following is a recommended academic plan for students in the sociology major.

Option One

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh) SOCY 1 SOCY 10  
     
     
2nd (soph) SOCY 3A SOCY 3B  
     
     
3rd (junior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY elective
SOCY elective SOCY elective  
     
4th (senior) SOCY elective SOCY elective SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
     
     

Option Two

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh)     SOCY 1
     
     
2nd (soph) SOCY 15    
     
     
3rd (junior) SOCY 3A SOCY 3B SOCY elective
SOCY elective SOCY elective  
     
4th (senior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY elective SOCY elective  
     

In addition to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying the CC, ER, IM, MF, SI, TA, PE, PR and composition General Education (GE) requirements. All sociology majors are required to take a statistical methods course which also satisfies the SR GE. Other GEs that could be satisfied in the sociology major, but are not required, are CC, ER, TA, and PE. 

Sociology Major Planner Two

The following is a recommended academic plan for transfer students entering the sociology major. It is assumed that SOCY 1 and SOCY 10 equivalencies were completed at the previous college.

Option One

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (junior) SOCY 3A* SOCY 3B* SOCY 105B
SOCY elective SOCY 105A SOCY elective
     
2nd (senior) SOCY elective SOCY elective SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY elective    
     

*Articulated equivalent courses may be taken prior to transfer.

Option Two

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (junior) SOCY 3A* SOCY 3B* SOCY elective
SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY elective
     
2nd (senior) SOCY elective SOCY elective SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY elective    
     

*Articulated equivalent courses may be taken prior to transfer.

Sociology with Concentration in GISES Intensive Major

The GISES intensive concentration is an option for students wishing to major in sociology and focus in the area of Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES). The major is sponsored and administered by the Department of Sociology. This major is designed for highly motivated, self-directed and enterprising students who have demonstrated the capacity to design and complete an honors-quality project for a civil society group. Students are required to take a total of 15 courses (three prescribed lower-division courses in preparation for the major, two prescribed lower-division core courses, two prescribed upper-division GISES courses, two prescribed upper-division core courses, five upper-division electives, and a project practicum course). In addition, they must successfully complete the comprehensive requirement prior to graduation.

Course Requirements

Lower-Division Courses

Lower-division preparation:

Students must take the following three courses or their articulated equivalents.

SOCY30AIntroduction to Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies

5

And select two from the following three options:
SOCY1Introduction to Sociology

5

SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society

5

SOCY15World Society

5

Lower-division core courses:

The following two sociology courses, or their articulated equivalents, are required as the foundation of statistical and research methods in the discipline.

SOCY3AThe Evaluation of Evidence

5

SOCY3BStatistical Methods

5

Upper-Division Courses

Upper-division GISES core courses:

The following two courses are required for the design and implementation of the GISES project.

SOCY107ADesigning ICT Projects for Social Enterprise

5

SOCY107BProject Implementation and Grant Writing for Social Entrepreneurs

3

Upper-division core courses:

The following two sociology courses are required as the foundation of theoretical training in the discipline.

SOCY105AClassical Social Theory

5

SOCY105BContemporary Social Theory

5

Upper-division advanced coursework:

Five upper-division electives are required, selected from the Sociology Department elective courses, Sociology 110-189, or from Sociology Course List. Students are strongly recommended to consult with the director of GISES before choosing their electives, to ensure that their choices contribute to their selected project and/or their growth as a technology activist or technology linked social change advocate. Courses outside the list of approved courses may also be approved by the director of GISES. For more information on the process students must follow to have their courses approved, please visit the Everett Program webpage.

Project practicum:

Students must enroll in SOCY 196G, Project Practicum, and complete their GISES capstone project. SOCY 196G is offered every fall quarter. Students may review the GISES webpage, or contact the program director of GISES (socy@ucsc.edu) for more detailed guidelines regarding the GISES capstone project. Prior to enrolling in SOCY 196G, students are required to submit, electronically, a one-page polished and concise summary of the GISES capstone project that will be the focus of their project practicum. This project summary constitutes a prerequisite for enrolling in SOCY 196G.

SOCY196GProject Practicum: Global Information and Social Enterprise

5

The final GISES capstone project must make an unambiguous contribution to advancing a solution to a problem associated with global social justice and/or sustainable development. The project must be associated with a real, viable civil society organization, community organization, school or non-governmental organization (NGO). To complete the final requirements for GISES major or minor, the integrated project—narrative and digital deliverable—must be mounted on the appropriate web-enabled database managed by the Everett Program.

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The goal of the Sociology Department’s Disciplinary Communication requirement is to ensure that students acquire and develop the skills in writing and other forms of communication that will best serve them in their study of sociology, and as future learners. The following courses satisfy the Disciplinary Communication requirement for students in programs administered by the Sociology Department.

SOCY105AClassical Social Theory

5

SOCY105BContemporary Social Theory

5

Comprehensive Requirement

Prior to graduation, students are required to complete one of the following comprehensive requirements.

Senior thesis
SOCY195ASenior Thesis

5

SOCY195BSenior Thesis

5

SOCY195CSenior Thesis

5

The prerequisite for the senior thesis is SOCY 3A and completion of the major’s Disciplinary Communications (DC) requirement. Students who would like to write a senior thesis must submit to their preferred faculty thesis sponsor a proposal that includes: a working title, a description of the work to be undertaken, research question(s), methodology, a brief bibliography, a timeline to completion, at least three keywords describing the thesis topics, and materials from relevant courses that might help faculty determine their preparedness to complete the thesis. In addition, students must familiarize themselves with IRB protocols and include in their proposal whether their research includes human subjects, if the project is IRB exempt, or if an IRB application will be needed. The proposal must be submitted and approved one quarter prior to the commencement of the thesis work. Students unsuccessful in obtaining a thesis sponsor through these means may submit their proposals to the department’s undergraduate education committee (UEC) no later than the sixth week of the quarter, one quarter prior to the commencement of the thesis work. UEC members will review the merits of these proposals and assign the ones they approve to faculty members who have not yet agreed to serve as thesis advisers for the following year. Students will be notified of the outcome of the UEC’s deliberations within three weeks.

Capstone course
SOCY196ACapstone: The Sociologist as Public Intellectual

5

Upper-division lecture course that explores public sociology and integrates current research with theoretical strands in sociology.

In exceptional cases, students unable to take the senior capstone course may be allowed to substitute a portfolio of work. This substitution must be approved in advance by the department chair. The portfolio option consists of: 1) portfolio of materials from (at least) three upper-division sociology courses; 2) a synthetic essay; 3) a paper consisting of new research by the student on some contemporary social or political issue, analyzed using the theoretical and empirical materials from those three courses.

See the department website for additional information.

Planners

Sociology with Concentration in GISES Intensive Major Planner One

The following is a recommended academic plan for students in the sociology with concentration in GISES intensive major.

Option One

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh) SOCY 1 SOCY 10  
     
     
2nd (soph) SOCY 3A SOCY 3B SOCY 107B
SOCY 30A SOCY 107A  
     
3rd (junior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B Upper-division elective
Upper-division elective Upper-division elective  
     
4th (senior) Upper-division elective Upper-division elective SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY 196G    
     

Option Two

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh)     SOCY 1
     
     
2nd (soph) SOCY 15 SOCY 3B  
SOCY 3A    
     
3rd (junior) SOCY 30A SOCY 107A SOCY 107B
Upper-division elective Upper-division elective  Upper-division elective
     
4th (senior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY 196G Upper-division elective Upper-division elective
     

In addition to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying the CC, ER, IM, MF, SI, TA, PR and composition general education (GE) requirements. All sociology majors are required to take a statistical methods course which satisfies the SR GE, and GISES students complete SOCY 30A which satisfies the PE GE. Other GEs that could be satisfied in the sociology major, but are not required, are CC, ER, and TA.

Sociology with Concentration in GISES Intensive Major Planner Two

The following is a recommended academic plan for transfer students entering the sociology with concentration in GISES intensive major. It is assumed that SOCY 1 and SOCY 10 equivalencies were completed at the previous college.

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (junior) SOCY 3A* SOCY 3B* SOCY 107B
SOCY 30A SOCY 107A SOCY 105B
Upper-division elective SOCY 105A  
2nd (senior) Upper-division elective Upper-division elective SOCY 196A
(or thesis fall-winter-spring)
SOCY 196G Upper-division elective Upper-division elective
     

*Articulated equivalent courses may be taken prior to transfer

This planner also assumes that a student has completed most of the general education requirements, beyond major preparation requirements, before transferring to UCSC.