Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Students interested in applying to the Sociology major are advised to complete GE Area A2 and one sociology course, earning grades of C or higher. Students new to SF State should follow the online application process and indicate Sociology as their choice of major.

Students are typically unable to enroll in SOC 300GW until the second semester of their junior year.

All courses numbered 300 and above require upper-division standing and completion of GE Areas A and B4 or equivalent. SOC 370, SOC 371, and SOC 392 require passing SOC 300GW. In order to take the final two core courses, SOC 393 or SOC 394 and the capstone, students must first complete SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371, and SOC 392. Students are allowed to take one course toward the major as credit/no credit (CR/NC). This course cannot be used as one of the required courses or to satisfy Areas 1 and 2. Students are also allowed to count 3-4 upper-division units outside sociology toward the major upon approval of a departmental advisor. A total of 12 lower-division units, including SOC 105, SOC 110, SOC 200, SOC 245, and those courses completed at community colleges, automatically apply toward the 23-24 units of electives required for the degree.

A total of 30 sociology units must be upper-division. University regulation requires 12 units toward the major must be completed in residence. It is strongly recommended that all 19 units of core courses are completed at SF State. Exemptions need to be approved by a Sociology faculty advisor and the department chair.

Please note that the department strongly encourages students to meet with an advisor early during their first semester at SF State, regardless of academic rank. All students should meet with a sociology advisor at least once by the time they have completed SOC 300GW.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand and identify the social origins and context of diverse individual and group experiences.
  2. Apply key concepts of sociological inquiry in social analysis. For some given social phenomenon, students will be able to:
    1. Construct a reasoned argument based on a theoretical perspective.
    2. Articulate the broader theoretical perspective, the social origins, and limitations of that perspective, as well as alternative perspectives.
    3. Utilize this theoretical perspective to illuminate the social arrangements and lived experiences of people.
  3. Collect and analyze information, including empirical data, and develop appropriate interpretations directly from the analysis. Students will be able to:
    1. Conduct a literature review of relevant information.
    2. Construct an appropriate research design taking into account the research question, previous research, methodological concerns, and material constraints.
    3. Articulate clearly their research methods, their findings, and the conclusions drawn from those findings
  4. Ability to identify and discuss fundamental social processes contributing to and the consequences of social inequality in the United States.
  5. Ability to identify and discuss fundamental social processes contributing to and the consequences of social inequality worldwide.

Sociology (B.A.) — 42–43 units

Required Courses (19 units)

SOC 300GWSociological Analysis - GWAR (Prerequisite for all other required courses)4
SOC 370Classical Theories of Society (Passing SOC 370 or SOC 371 is a prerequisite for SOC 392, SOC 500 and SOC 501/SOC 502)4
or SOC 371 Contemporary Theories of Society
SOC 392Introduction to Research Methods (Passing SOC 392 is a prerequisite for SOC 393, SOC 394, SOC 500, SOC 501/SOC 502, and SOC 503/SOC 504)4
SOC 393Quantitative Analysis of Social Data4
or SOC 394 Sociological Field Methods
Senior Seminar
Internship: Applied Sociology
and Internship Seminar: Applied Sociology
Research Internship Seminar
and Research Internship Experience

Electives (23–24 units)

In fulfilling the elective requirements students must complete at least one course from each of the following two areas1

Area 1: Inequalities in the United States

RRS/SOC 330Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.: Class, Gender, and Nation (AERM)(SJ)3
SOC 272Social Inequality: Poverty, Wealth, and Privilege4
SOC 362The Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity4
SXS 400/PSY 450/SOC 400Variations in Human Sexuality (SJ)3
SOC 455Punishment and Social Control3
SOC 467/SXS 667Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Cultures and Society4
SOC 469Gender and Society4
SOC 490Sociology of Popular Culture3
SOC 491/AIS 490/ANTH 490Ancestors or Data? Culture, Conflict, and NAGPRA3

Area 2: Global Inequalities

SOC 461Ethnic Relations: International Comparisons4
SOC 471Societal Change and Development4
SOC 477Environmental Sociology3
SOC 480/USP 470City in a Global Society4
SOC 482Global Immigration and Immigrants3
SOC 483Global Sociology4
SOC 484Population and Social Dynamics4
SOC 645Sociology of Latin America3

Note: A minimum of 30 upper-division units must be completed for the degree (including upper-division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper-division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper-division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

The department strongly encourages students interested in pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in sociology to take both SOC 370 and SOC 371 and all three methods courses (SOC 392, SOC 393, and SOC 394).

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of Complementary Studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

There are multiple options for Sociology majors to complete the Complementary Studies (CS) requirement. Sociology majors may mix and match between the following categories – minor courses, Ethnic Studies courses, and language courses. 

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement. Additional ways to complete complementary studies for students in the sociology major:

  • Option 1: 12 units of courses in departments or programs in the College of Ethnic Studies that are not cross-listed with SOC.
  • Option 2: Partial completion of any minor degree program approved by a sociology advisor
  • Option 3: 12 units of a single foreign language

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Government LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):

  1. Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
  2. Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
  3. Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.

For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.

Pathway QR Cat I/II QR Cat III/IV
ENG 114 Roadmap A Roadmap C
ENG 104/ENG 105 Roadmap B Roadmap D

*Composition for Multilingual Students: If taking ENG 209 as your first English course, choose the ENG 114 row. If taking ENG 204 for your first English course, choose the ENG 104/ENG 105 row.

SF State Scholar Roadmap

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

This roadmap opens in a new tab.

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AA-T in Sociology. This roadmap opens in a new tab..

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Sociology

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All Students Must Meet the Transfer Eligibility Requirements Outlined Below for Admission.

For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units.
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • Complete 30-semester units (45-quarter units) of General Education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (same as CSU GE Area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90-quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a C- or better grade in each basic skills course.