The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with three options: the General Sociology Option, the Law and Society Option, and the Inequalities and Diversity Option. Also offered are minors in Sociology, in Law and Society, and in Social Gerontology for students majoring in other fields.
The total number of units required for the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is 180 units, of which 68 units are in the major. Consult with an adviser for the specific number of units required in all areas of the degree, including GE and free electives.
All students desiring to undertake a major or minor in sociology must confer with a department adviser before or during their first quarter in the program and annually thereafter.
Advisement shall occur at these times:
- By the end of the first year in residence to establish a degree plan
- After reaching 90 units (and before 120 units) to review progress toward graduation
- Two quarters before completing degree requirements (and at least 135 units completed) to file a graduation application
To facilitate scheduling, specific prerequisites have been omitted from most courses. It is highly recommended, however, that suggested sequences be observed, since later coursework will assume familiarity with prior course material.
The following are strongly recommended or required:
Students who transfer without having completed equivalent courses should include SOC 201 and 210AB among their first courses at Cal State L.A.
- SOC 310 and SOC 390 should be taken soon after 210;
- Sociology majors should take SOC 412 before 414.
Requirements for the Major (68 units)
Major requirements combine a common set of 28 units of required coursework with 40 additional units of work relevant to one of the three options: General Sociology, Law and Society, or Inequalities and Diversity.
Required Courses (28 units)
By enrolling in SOC 398 or SOC 498 or in SOC 405 - Sociology Internships and Service Learning, sociology majors can earn up to 4 credits per quarter for a maximum of 8 credits in a directed internship program. Students must arrange a work agreement with any approved agency. See the Sociology internship coordinator or SOC 405 class instructor for specific prerequisites, list of approved agencies, workload agreement, and other program details.
Options (40 units)
The following courses in one of three options are required in addition to the required courses described above.
General Sociology Option (40 units)
Upper Division Electives
Select 40 units in sociology and other fields, in consultation with adviser; a program may include SOC 398 , SOC 498 , and SOC 499 , But no more than 8 units of any combination of these courses normally may be counted toward the major. With prior approval of adviser, students may select up to 8 units in other fields to complete a comprehensive sociological program with an interdisciplinary emphasis.
Note: may not be used as electives on the sociology major program.
Law and Society Option (40 units)
The Law and Society Option explores a broad range of critical social and scientific issues concerning multiple facets of the law, including crime, deviance, human rights, and legal institutions from a sociological perspective. It prepares students for a wide variety of careers and professional programs and informs them about how social forces influence the legal system and how the law affects society, definitions of deviance and crime, and explanations for why individuals engage in these activities. It is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced study in areas such as sociology, law, graduate law and society programs, public health, criminology, social welfare, education, and business administration; those who wish to do applied research on law-related issues; and those who wish to gain a sociological understanding of law and society before seeking careers in health professions, criminal justice, social work, politics, public policy or policy analysis, public administration, urban and environmental planning, counseling, and other service occupations.
Upper Division Required Course (4 units)
Upper Division Law and Society Electives (16 units)
Select 16 units from these courses. These may include up to 8 units of independent work in law and society (internship or directed study) or law-related coursework from other departments with the Law and Society adviser’s approval.
Upper Division General Electives (20 units)
Select 20 units in sociology and other fields, in consultation with adviser; a program may include SOC 398, SOC 498, and SOC 499, But no more than 8 units of any combination of these courses normally may be counted toward the major. With prior approval of adviser, students may select up to 8 units in other fields to complete a comprehensive sociological program with an interdisciplinary emphasis.
Note: SOC 325 and 330 may not be used as electives on the sociology major program.
Field Experience and Independent Study Opportunities
The directed study course (SOC 499) allows students to expand on their special interests in law and society. A directed study is usually in an area that the department’s normal course offerings do not cover. Students meet regularly with their faculty supervisor and earn 1 to 4 units of credit and up to 8 units if the course is repeated. Individual research projects may involve library or field research.
Students can earn up to 8 units in a directed internship program (SOC 398 or 498 ) or through the Sociology Internships and Service Learning (SOC 405 ) by arranging a work agreement with an approved agency (such as a government agency, business, or citizen group) and their faculty adviser the quarter before enrolling in the course.
Honors Program in the Law and Society Option
The Law and Society Option sponsors a senior honors program for our top undergraduates. During their final undergraduate year, students enroll in SOC 496 , conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the Sociology department, and write a senior honors thesis. Students who complete the honors program graduate with distinction in the Law and Society Option. Eligibility criteria are: a Law and Society Option student with senior class standing, minimum of 3.5 grade point average, and completion of specific courses required for the major and Law and Society Option (SOC 201 , SOC 488 , at least four upper division courses in the Sociology Major, and at least two additional upper division courses in the Law and Society Option). Diplomas and transcripts of honors program graduates are designated: “Graduated with Departmental Honors in the Law and Society Option in Sociology.”
Inequalities and Diversity Option (40 units)
Upper Division Required Course (4 units)
Upper division inequalities/diversity electives (16 units)
Select 16 units from these courses:
Upper Division General Electives (8 units)
Select 8 units of upper division courses in sociology in consultation with adviser; a program may include SOC 398 , SOC 498 , and SOC 499 .
Note: SOC 330 may not be used as electives on the sociology major program.
Upper Division Inequalities and Diversity Electives in Ethnic/Area Studies (12 units)
With adviser approval, select 12 units from outside of sociology that relate to the following areas. Courses must be taken from at least 2 different areas.
- Area I: Asian and Asian American Studies
- Area II: Chicano Studies
- Area III: Latin American Studies
- Area IV: Pan-African Studies
Note on theme courses: Courses from departments other than sociology being used to satisfy the GE Theme requirement cannot also be counted on the major.