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College of Liberal Arts

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Sociology - Programs

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

Admission Under Impaction

To be eligible for admission to the major in Sociology, applicants must demonstrate the following prior to the semester for which the application is submitted: Applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman or transfer student and have completed the following courses (or equivalents) with a grade of “C” or better: General Education English, General Education Communication Studies and at least 6 lower division units of Sociology course work. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission on a space-available basis based on cumulative grade point average.


Lower Division (12 units):

  • Take all of the following courses:
    • SOC 100 Principles of Sociology (3)
    • SOC 142 Social Trends and Problems (3)
    • SOC 250 Elementary Statistics (4)
    • SOC 260 Introduction to Data Analysis (3)
  • Recommended elective:
    • ANTH 120 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)

Upper Division (minimum 31 units):

Core (16 units)

  • Take all of the following courses:
    • SOC 355 Quantitative Methods of Social Research (4)
    • SOC 356 Development of Sociological Theory (3)
    • SOC 357 Modern Sociological Theory (3)
  • Take one of the following courses:
    • SOC 420 Social Stratification (3)
    • SOC 427 Social Order and Social Change (3)
  • Take one of the following courses:
    • SOC 335I Social Psychology (3)
    • SOC 354 Qualitative Methods of Social Research (4)
  • Take nine units in one concentration
  • Take 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.

Department Recommendation: Lower division courses should 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 250 and 260 should be taken before SOC 355; SOC 356 should be taken before SOC 357.


  • Deviance and Social Control
    • SOC 342I, 345, 354*, 423, 440, 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, 447, 464, 492, 495; WGSS 401I
  • Medical Sociology
    • SOC 350, 354*, 423, 462, 463, 464, 466, 493, 495; H SC 400
  • Research
    • Concentration is currently not available.
  • Social Change and Global Issues
    • SOC 346, 350, 354*, 358I, 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 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 lower division 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.

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 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 equivalent 6 units accepted by the Department Honors advisor). These 9 units required for Sociology Department Honors may be in addition to general requirements for the major in sociology or may be counted as part of the concentration or elective units required for the regular Sociology BA degree. SOC 488H and 489H are equivalent to UHP 496 and 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 faculty supervision.

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:

  • Take both of the following courses
    • SOC 100 Principles of Sociology (3)
    • SOC 142 Social Trends and Problems (3)

Upper Division:

  • Take the following:
    • SOC 335I Social Psychology (3)

Take 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)

This program's 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. Fieldwork placements provide direct and practical experience with local public and private agencies addressing community health and social justice issues.

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 may view 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.


1. Core Courses

  • Take the following courses:
    • SOC 656 Seminar in Sociological Theory (3)
    • SOC 670 Sociological Practice (3)
    • SOC 696 Methods in Applied Social Research (3)

2. Concentration Area Courses (3 courses, 9 units) in one concentration area:

  • Sociology of Health and Medicine:
    • Applicable courses include SOC 562, HCA 502, HSC 500, HSC 503, HSC 528, and HSC 625.
  • Community Development and Social Change:
    • Applicable courses include SOC 536, SOC 540, PPA 525, PPA 610, PPA 660. and PPA 670.

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 695.

5. Capstone Course (one course, 3 units): SOC 697 or SOC 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.