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University Catalog


Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), developed positivism as a foundation to practical social research.

College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies


Sociology is the study of the groups people build, the makeup of human groups, and changes in their makeup over time. This study of human groups assists students to learn who we are, to get closer to the truth about the social world, and to become aware of ways to achieve desired social ends.

Sociology, like other social science disciplines, does not educate students in specialized skills. Sociology and other liberal arts majors stress the ability to observe, organize, and write clearly, as well as the development of skills in the analysis of data and in collaborating with others.

Organizations that most commonly employ sociologists are advertising agencies, banks, businesses, childcare agencies, community organizations, correctional institutions, governmental agencies, hospitals and health care organizations, personnel departments, and social services.

Special Features

  • Special program features include internships in state and local agencies and in the private sector. The Department has also developed a special internship program with the Sacramento State Career Counseling and Placement Center for those students who are interested in an internship in business.
  • The Department offers special topics courses that provide a way for faculty, many of whom have international backgrounds, to introduce material not covered in the regular classes.
  • Majors learn statistical analysis of social data, computer processing of data and the SPSS computer program. Students are encouraged to learn several computer languages and the use of census data for social and regional planning. Student research projects may be selected for presentation in programs throughout the state.
  • Thematic areas of studies include crime and deviance, diversity and inequality, socialization and interaction, globalization, and social change.


The sociology major and minor have few specific requirements, allowing the student flexibility in selecting courses in the various subject areas covered in the program. The areas covered are 1) social theory and methods of inquiry; 2) social institutions, such as the family, education, politics, work, and religion; 3) thematic areas of: crime and deviance, diversity and inequality, socialization and interaction, globalization, and social change.

In collaboration with the College of Continuing Education, a Certificate of Academic Achievement in Bullying Perspectives and Prevention Strategies is offered.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree

Units required for Major: 43, includes 22 units of required upper division courses and 15 units of upper division electives (see below)
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (6 units)



Principles of Sociology

(3) Select one of the following:


Social Problems


Sense and Nonsense in Social Issues and Research

SOC 10

Issues in Crime and Social Control

B. Required Upper Division Courses (22 units)


SOC 101

Introduction to Statistics for Sociologists


SOC 102A

Research Methods in Sociology (SOC 101 or equivalent)


SOC 102B

Research Methods Lab (SOC 101 or equivalent; SOC 102A)


SOC 125

Social Inequalities (SOC 1 or equivalent)


SOC 150

Social Psychology


SOC 192

Sociological Theory (SOC 1)

(3) Select one of the following Advanced Study:


SOC 122

Immigration Studies

SOC 130

Political Sociology (SOC 1 or equivalent)

SOC 133

Sport in a Global Perspective



Environmental Sociology

SOC 140

Sociology of Education (SOC 1 or equivalent)

SOC 166

The Family


SOC 171

Sociology of Religion

C. Additional Upper Division Requirements (15 Units)

Select fifteen (15) units of any upper division Sociology courses including any Advanced Study course not taken as an Area Division requirement.

Crime and Deviance


SOC 155



SOC 156



SOC 157

Issues in Courts and Prisons


SOC 158

Sociology of Deviance

Diversity and Inequality


SOC 118

Chicano Community


SOC 120

Ethnic and Race Relations


SOC 123

Black Studies in Sociology


SOC 124

Social Justice in Interdisciplinary Perspective (Sophomore standing or instructor permission)


SOC 126

Sociology of Gender


SOC 127

Men, Masculinity and Society


SOC 160

Asian Societies

(3) SOC 162 Middle Eastern Societies and Culture

Socialization and Interaction


SOC 128

Sociology of Sexuality (SOC 1 or instructor permission)


SOC 134

Sociology of Film


SOC 135

Sociology of Popular Culture


SOC 146

Sociology of Aging


SOC 168

Self and Society (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)


SOC 170

Sociology of Children and Adolescents


SOC 190

Sociology of Small Groups (SOC 1 or equivalent)

Globalization and Social Change


SOC 106

Births, Deaths and Borders


SOC 110

Urban Life and Problems


SOC 136

Social Movements (SOC 1 or instructor permission)


SOC 144

Sociology of Health and Illness (SOC 1 or instructor permission)


SOC 163

Conflict, Oil and Development in the Middle East


SOC 164

Sociology of Globalization


SOC 169

Changing American Family


SOC 175

Work and Occupations


SOC 176/LBRS 100

Labor and the American Social Structure (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)



SOC 194

Special Topics in Sociology (SOC 1 or instructor permission)


SOC 195

Internship and Fieldwork (Instructor permission)


A 196 Series Course

Experimental Offerings in Sociology (Sociology major or instructor permission)


SOC 199

Individual Study Projects

SOC 195 or SOC 199 can be taken for 1-3 units of credit. A maximum of 3 units in SOC 195 or SOC 199 may be counted toward the major. Students may take up to 3 units of upper division courses outside the department in consultation with their undergraduate advisor.

Requirements - Minor

Units required for Minor: 21



Principles of Sociology

(3) Select one of the following:


Social Problems


Sense and Nonsense in Social Issues and Research

SOC 10

Issues in Crime and Social Control


Select 15 units of upper division elective courses.


The Master of Arts Program in Sociology is designed to provide a broad academic foundation for a variety of professional opportunities and community needs such as survey research, evaluation research, social problems analysis, career interest in community organizations, and teaching.

The program offers small seminars and allows for close student-faculty contact. The program encourages students to seek internships, fieldwork, and participate in observation experience among the many government, voluntary, and private agencies in the Sacramento area. Students concentrate on theory and research methods as well as areas of specialization. Following coursework, students write a thesis based on original research.

Some graduates of the program enter Ph.D. programs at a variety of universities throughout the United States and others are employed in many state, local, and city government agencies and private businesses doing evaluation research, systems analysis, social problems analysis, and social impact assessment.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Sociology requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted;
  • satisfactory completion of a minimum of 18 units of undergraduate work in Sociology, including one course each in theory, statistics, and methodology, with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • two letters of recommendation from faculty members in Sociology who know the applicant well enough to assess his/her potential for graduate study.

Students who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status. Any such deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the admission application.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as room for new students exists. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6470:

  • an online application for admission;
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State; and
  • two letters of recommendation from Sociology faculty members to the Graduate Coordinator in the Sociology Department.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 15 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • completed a draft of the thesis prospectus; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Advancement to candidacy forms are available in the Department Office. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with a Sociology Graduate Advisor. The completed form should be returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Arts Degree

Units required for the MA: 30
Minimum required GPA: 3.0

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Core Courses (15 units)


SOC 200A

Orientation to Graduate Studies in Sociology (Classified graduate status)


SOC 200B

Thesis Prospectus/Project Preparation Seminar (Six hours of graduate study; SOC 214, or concurrent enrollment, recommended)


SOC 214

Research Methods


SOC 215

Data Analysis (SOC 101 or equivalent, or instructor permission)


SOC 235

Social Psychology (Open to classified graduate students in Sociology)


SOC 240

Seminar: Sociological Theory (Classified graduate status)

B. Electives (9 units)

(9) Select 9 units from the following:

SOC 210

Urban Sociology (Classified graduate status)

SOC 220

Seminar: Social Change (Classified graduate status)

SOC 225

Social Stratification (Classified graduate status)


SOC 226

Sociology of Gender

SOC 230

Seminar: Social Organization (Classified graduate status or instructor permission)


SOC 238

Environmental Sociology


SOC 255

Social Research in Crime and Deviance

SOC 260

Contemporary Issues of the Middle East and North Africa


SOC 265

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOC 266

Sociology of the Family (Classified graduate status or instructor permission)

SOC 295*

Internship and Fieldwork (Instructor permission)

SOC 299*

Special Problems

*No more than 3 units of SOC 295 and SOC 299 may be counted toward the degree.

C. Culminating Experience (6 units)

(6) SOC 500 Thesis or Project (Advancement to candidacy, successful thesis prospectus hearing, and completion of all sociology required and elective seminars with a minimum 3.0 GPA)

Note: A foreign language is not required for the degree. However, students who plan further graduate study are encouraged to study French, German, or Spanish since proficiency in one of these is sometimes required in doctoral programs.

Career Possibilities

Public Health Statistician · Industrial Sociologist · Demographer · Recreational Specialist · Social Worker · Urban Planner · Correctional Counselor · Youth Counselor · Criminologist · Social Ecologist · Public Relations Consultant · Interviewer/Researcher · Statistician · Population Analyst · Public Opinion Analyst · Migration Specialist · Parole/Probation Officer · Employment Counselor · Teacher · Writer/Journalist · Management Analyst · Budget Analyst · Government Research Analyst


Ayad Al-Qazzaz, Manuel Barajas, Ellen Berg, Jackie Carrigan, Kathryn Hadley, Aya K. Ida, Judson Landis, Amy Qiaoming Liu, Randall MacIntosh, Cid Martinez, Todd Migliaccio, Jennifer Murphy, Mridula Udayagiri, Charles Varano, Kevin Wehr, Bohsiu Wu

Contact Information

Judson Landis, Department Chair
Laura Emerson, Administrative Support Coordinator
Amador Hall 450
(916) 278-6522; FAX (916) 278-6281