Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

The Sociology major is an impacted program, which means there are more students interested in the major than can be accommodated. Therefore, admission to the major is a selective and competitive process. The application period occurs once a year starting October 1 and ending November 30 for admission to the major for the following fall semester.

Students interested in applying to the major are advised to complete ENG 214 (or equivalent) and any two sociology courses, earning grades of C or higher. Transfer students and first time freshmen should follow SF State’s online application process. Transfer students should indicate Sociology as their first choice of major and first-time freshmen should indicate “undeclared with an interest in sociology”. Students who are already enrolled at SF State should bring a completed Change of Major form and a copy of their academic advising audits to the Sociology Department office in HSS 370. No exceptions will be made for students wanting to submit a change of major form after the November 30 deadline. See departmental website for supplemental program application

All courses numbered 300 and above require upper-division standing and completion of G.E. Areas A and B4 (formerly Segment I) or equivalent. SOC 370, SOC 371 and SOC 392 require passing SOC 300GW. 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 taken 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.

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 are required to have met with a sociology advisor at least once by the time they have completed SOC 300GW.

Sociology (B.A.) — 42 - 43 units

Required Courses (16 units)

SOC 300GWSociological Analysis - GWAR (SOC 300 GW is a prerequisite for all other required courses in the major)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 450Variations in Human Sexuality (SJ)3
SOC 400Variations in Human Sexuality3
SOC 455Punishment and Social Control3
SOC 467/SXS 667Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Cultures and Society4
SOC 468Social Aspects of Human Sexuality4
SOC 469Gender and Society4
SOC 490Sociology of Popular Culture3
SOC 491Ancestors or Data?: Culture, Conflict and NAGPRA3

Area 2: Global Inequalities

SOC 461Ethnic Relations: International Comparisons4
SOC 471Societal Change and Development4
SOC 477Environmental Sociology3
SOC 480City in a Global Society4
SOC 481Sociology of Brazil3
SOC 482Global Immigration and Immigrants3
SOC 483Global Sociology4
SOC 484Population and Social Dynamics4
SOC 645Sociology of Latin America3

The remaining units may include additional courses from these areas, 3-4 upper-division units outside sociology upon approval of a sociology advisor and any other course with a sociology prefix including SOC 105, SOC 110, SOC 200, SOC 245 and courses taken at other institutions.

Note: A minimum of 40 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 MA or PhD 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 twelve 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.)

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 in order 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
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
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
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 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), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 year)

This 2016 - 2017 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 sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. 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 is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on 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
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to 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

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters 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 course was not passed on 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 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 in order 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. As described above, 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 (GE 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. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

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 outlines 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 2.00 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, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and 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.