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College of Liberal Arts

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Sociology - Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (code SOC_BA01) (120 units)


Lower Division: Twelve units of lower division are required. Students must have credit for SOC 100, 142, 250, and 260. It is recommended that students take Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 120) as an elective.
Upper Division: All majors are required to have a minimum of 31 upper division units in sociology. This must include (1) at least 16 units in core courses: SOC 335I or 354, 356, 420 or 427, 355, 357; and (2) nine units in one concentration and (3) six units of electives from other upper division courses in sociology. Total credit for courses numbered 490 through 499 may not exceed twelve units. Completion of at least 51 semester units of college work is required before students will be accepted into upper division courses.

The department strongly recommends that lower division courses be completed before upper division courses. Taking the courses in sequential order will allow students to gain maximum benefit from the curriculum. Experience has shown that students who take courses out of sequence do not perform as well academically. SOC 260, Introduction to Data Analysis, and SOC 250, Elementary Statistics, should be taken before SOC 355, Methods of Social Research. Required upper division courses also should be taken in sequential order consecutively. SOC 356, Developmental Sociological Theory, should be taken before SOC 357, Modern Sociological Theory.


Deviance and Social Control

  • SOC 345, 354*, 423, 440, 342I, 448, 463, 495

Interaction and Group Relations

  • SOC 320, 325 (or WGSS 325), 335I*, 340 (or CHLS 350), 341, (or CHLS 352), 345, 346, 354*, 423, 426, 464, 492, 495; WGSS 401I

Medical Sociology

  • SOC 350, 354*, 423, 462, 463, 464, 466, 493, 495; H/SC 400


Concentration currently not available

Social Change and Global Issues

SOC 346, 350, 354*, 410I, 420*, 427*, 430, 449, 494, 495; ANTH 307I; I/ST 317I or 318I; WGSS 401I

  • *If not taken as one of the core courses

Honors in Sociology

Students may be admitted to Sociology Department Honors program (an option of the University Honors Program) when they have:

  1. A minimum of three semesters remaining before graduation;
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 overall and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in Sociology courses;
  3. Completed the four lower division sociology courses required for the major (SOC 100, 142, 250, 260) or have junior standing and a minimum of four sociology courses;
  4. Submitted an application with one letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

In order to graduate with Honors in Sociology a student must:

  1. Complete all regular requirements for the major in Sociology;
  2. Complete 3 units of an Honors Special Topics Seminar (SOC 487H) (or a course equivalent approved by the Department Honors advisor) and 6 units related to the Honors Thesis (SOC 488H Honors Research Seminar (3 units) and SOC 489H Honors Thesis (3 units) or an equivalent 6 units accepted by the Department Honors advisor). These 9 units required for Sociology Department Honors may be in addition to the general requirements for the major in sociology or may be counted as part of the concentration or elective units required for the regular Sociology B.A. degree. SOC 488 and SOC 489 are equivalent to UHP 496 and UHP 498);
  3. Do one of the following: Present their own original research paper for a student research competition, present such a paper at a professional meeting, or write a research paper that the Department Honors Advisor agrees is of professional quality;
  4. Serve as a Student Teaching Fellow (peer facilitator) for at least one undergraduate sociology course OR serve as a research intern under the supervision of a faculty member.

Sociology Department Honors Students are strongly encouraged to:

  1. Join Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society;
  2. Engage in service to the department or the discipline of sociology.

Minor in Sociology (code SOC_UM01)

A minimum of 24 units which must include:

  • Lower Division: SOC 100, 142
  • Upper Division: SOC 335I and a minimum of 15 units selected from other upper division courses in sociology. Total credit for courses numbered 490 through 499 may not exceed 6 units.

Master of Arts in Applied Sociology (code SOC_MA01)

The Master of Arts degree in Applied Sociology is designed to prepare graduates for careers in a variety of public and private organizations that require intellectual rigor and research-based decision-making and application. Specific expertise will include needs assessment and program evaluation, survey, statistical, secondary and qualitative data analysis applicable in local, national and international settings. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong theoretical and methodological foundation with specialization in one of the two thematic concentrations: Sociology of Health and Medicine; or Community Development and Social Change. Courses focus on community development, health and illness, and the role of organizational structures and public policy in addressing contemporary social issues. Field work placements provide direct and practical experience with local public and private agencies addressing community health and social justice issues. The program also serves as an ideal foundation for further study for students wishing to pursue doctoral study in sociology or related disciplines.

The graduate coordinator serves as the general advisor for all entering graduate students. Upon admission, students will be assigned to a faculty member for advising and mentoring. Students can elect to keep this faculty member or, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, choose another faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is responsible for assisting students in writing a Plan of Study, which outlines how individual students will fulfill the requirements of the program. Faculty advisors will also assist the student in selecting her/his thesis committee (two additional faculty members). Graduate thesis committees must be formed after completing a minimum of 12 units and before a maximum of 21 units.

Students are urged to become acquainted with the general requirements of the University and the specific requirements of the department listed in this Catalog. Important supplementary information about the steps leading to the master’s degree in sociology is contained in the Handbook for Graduate Students, which is available on the University website at

Admission Procedures

Consideration for admission requires submission of a program application and university application. Submit all program application materials to the Department of Sociology in one complete package.


  1. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in Sociology, or related degree, and have earned a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted.
  2. Completion of a minimum of one upper-division sociological theory and research methods course equivalent to SOC 356, 357, 355.
  3. Students whose undergraduate work is deficient in sociology will be required to complete appropriate pre-requisite courses. Course deficiencies will be determined by the Department’s Graduate Committee after taking into account each student’s background and goals. Prerequisite courses will not count toward credit in the M.A.
  4. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination.
  5. Official transcripts.
  6. Three letters of recommendation, including at least two from individuals well acquainted with the applicant’s academic ability.
  7. A 3-4 page personal statement describing the student’s qualifications and reasons for wanting to pursue an Applied Sociology M.A. at CSULB.
  8. Experience in community organizations is helpful, but not required.

Program Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) units of upper division and graduate level courses, of which twenty-four (24) must be at the 500/600 graduate level. A student’s program is outlined in the Plan of Study that must be developed in consultation with a sociology faculty advisor within the first 12 units at CSULB.

Course Requirements

  • 1. Core Courses (3 courses, 9 units): SOC 696, 656 and 670
  • 2. Concentration Area Courses (3 courses, 9 units) in one concentration area:
    • Sociology of Health and Medicine:
    • Community Development and Social Change:
      • Applicable courses include SOC 540, 558, 562; HSC 528, 625; PPA 610, 660.
  • 3. Applied Skill Cluster (2 courses, 6 units): Applicable courses include ANTH 560, HSC 500, HSC 503, PPA 670.
  • 4. Internship (one course, 3 units): SOC 696.
  • 5. Capstone Course (one course, 3 units): SOC 697 or 698.

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Students must satisfy the general requirements of the University for advancement to candidacy;
  2. In order to be recommended for advancement to candidacy, students must obtain the written approval of their master’s degree program course work by their committee chair and graduate advisor;
  3. Students must file a written statement in the department approved by the Faculty Advisor, indicating how the student plans to complete all remaining requirements for the degree. The statement will include the members of the thesis committee, and the date for completing the thesis or for taking the comprehensive examination.

Capstone Experience

All graduate students must complete one of the following options:

  • A. Comprehensive Examination in the areas of theory, applied research methods, and substantive issues in their concentration;
  • B. Thesis.

Students following the comprehensive examination option will earn 3 units of credit in SOC 697 and those writing a thesis will be granted 3 units of credit in SOC 698.