Sociology Overview

The degree program in sociology provides students with the analytical tools to help them understand the links between individual experiences and the larger society.

NOTE: Many changes were made to the Sociology Course Offerings listed in the 2014-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin. To assist you with all these changes a complete listing of the new course designations, as well as the old course numbering, is available in pdf form at this link: New Courses/Old Numbering OR ReverseLookup--OldCourses/NewNumbers

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

The Sociology Major

The degree program in sociology provides students with the analytical tools to help them understand the links between individual experiences and the larger society. In examining social life and social change, the department focuses on questions of power, culture, and inequality in the U.S. and at the global level, combining a comparative-historical perspective with the scientific and humanistic vantage points of the social sciences. All students are exposed to classical and contemporary sociological theories and learn to apply both quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociological research.

The complexity of the field of sociology is reflected in the wide range of courses offered in the department and in the varied interests and backgrounds of the faculty. Professors in the USD Sociology Department specialize in global perspectives on power and inequality; stratification and poverty; immigration; racial, ethnic, and national diversity; spatial segregation; community activism and leadership; gender and sexuality; public health; global expansion of capitalism and democracy; crime, law, citizenship and social justice; environmental inequalities; social movements; and social change.

Careers in Sociology include work in non-profit sectors, education, counseling, research, administration, public service, criminology/criminal justice policy, public health, public relations, IT services, social services, management, sales, and marketing.

We share in USD’s mission to work towards peace and social justice, with a special emphasis on the Catholic intellectual and social tradition. Strong community service-learning components and field experience placements in community agencies provide an opportunity for students to link abstract sociological concepts to concrete social issues in the search for solutions to pressing societal problems.