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Undergraduate Program

The Department of Sociology offers two majors: Sociology and Sociology-Organizational Studies.

Undergraduate Advising


The Sociology Major

Sociology covers a broad range of subject material and a wider range of theory and methods than most majors. Auguste Comte, a founding father of the discipline, referred to sociology as the "Queen of the Sciences" because it embodies the basics of all the other social sciences.

Policy for Declaring Major

For students to declare a major in Sociology, one SOC course, either lower or upper division, with a grade of “C” or better is required. If you have fulfilled this requirement, you may initiate a Change of Major petition at under the Forms and Petitions tab. It is strongly recommended that you make an appointment with one of the department undergraduate advisers to discuss your change of major in addition to submitting the online form.

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students majoring in Sociology will be able to:

•Engage in critical, analytical thinking and writing.

•Describe and analyze the connections between individuals, institutions, and social structure, which is fundamental to the sociological enterprise.

•Discuss and synthesize the leading sociological paradigms, including the foundational work of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx.

•Conduct original research and collect data using quantitative and qualitative methods.

•Understand the crucial role of gender, race, class, and ethnic diversity in major American institutions, including economic, educational, political, and health care institutions.

The department has developed four distinct programs of study within the sociology major. Students selecting the Sociology major may choose from four options (also referred to as "emphasis") within this major:

  • General
    Allows students to obtain a broad understanding of the concepts, methods, and theories of sociology in preparation for the pursuit of higher educational research opportunities.

  • Law and Society
    Designed for students interested in the study of law, politics, and research. This emphasis has flexibility; expect to take courses in violence of inequality, delinquency, deviance, the criminal justice system, probation, criminology and social problems.

  • Social Services
    Students interested in the study of social work agencies, public service, counseling, and healthcare should pursue this emphasis. Flexibility in course selection include social problems, social stratification, the family, social welfare, healthcare, research methods, and ethnic studies.

  • Comparative Studies and World Development
    This emphasis focuses on a regional area for students interested in the study of developing and newly industrialized societies. Particular attention focuses on the relationship between current developing countries and the more advanced nations of the international system. This course work is interdisciplinary, and students can expect to take classes in Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, History, Religious and Cultural Studies as well.

The Sociology-Organizational Studies Major

The Sociology-Organizational Studies Major is designed to develop a broad understanding of the political, social, and economic organizations that comprise modern society. The major introduces students to a range of theories and methods that social scientists use in the analysis of organizations. Students should expect to take classes from the disciplines of Economics, Political Science, Communication, Community & Regional Development, Agricultural & Resource Economics, American Studies, History, and of course, Sociology.

Policy for Declaring Major

For students to declare a major in Sociology-Organizational Studies, one SOC course with a grade of “C” or better is required. If you have fulfilled this requirement, please make an appointment with one of the department undergraduate advisers to complete the necessary paperwork to officially change into the major.

The John and Lyn Lofland Undergraduate Research Award

The Lofland Award celebrates John and Lyn Lofland's contributions to Sociology and in particular to the Undergraduate Sociology Program at the University of California at Davis. Read more!