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.

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 2018-2019, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on May 1, 2018. Access the catalog of record at

The Sociology Major

Major Requirements

Students majoring in sociology must satisfy the core curriculum requirements as set forth in this course catalog and complete all major requirements as presented in the following schedule:

Lower-Division Preparation for the Major
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology3
SOCI 201Quantitative Methods3
SOCI 202Qualitative Methods3
SOCI 270Law and Social Justice3
and select one of the following:3
Social Justice
Crime and Inequality
SOCI 301Sociological Theories3
SOCI 370Race and Ethnic Relations3
18 additional Upper Division SOCI units, at least 12 units of which must be selected from a single area concentration: Social Justice or Law, Crime, Justice 218
Total Units39

Recommended Program of Study, Sociology

Freshman YearUnits
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology3
Sophomore Year
SOCI 201Quantitative Methods3
SOCI 202Qualitative Methods3
or SOCI 210
Social Justice
Crime and Inequality
SOCI 270Law and Social Justice3
Junior Year
SOCI 301Sociological Theories (required)3
SOCI 370Race and Ethnic Relations (required)3
Three Upper-Division Electives9
One-Semester Study Abroad (optional) 
Senior Year
Three Upper-Division Electives9
Internship/Field Experience (optional) 

Area Concentrations

Social Justice Concentration

Power, difference, and inequality are at the heart of sociological inquiry. The Social Justice concentration focuses on social structures that serve as mechanisms for the creation and perpetuation of social disparities, while also studying the many ways that groups and organizations seek to create a more socially just world. We interrogate the complicated ways that human behavior is shaped by both structure and agency through a variety of theoretical vantage points with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, and sexuality. Courses address systemic inequalities both in U.S. domestic arenas as well as global and transnational dynamics, including issues of peace and war. Topics include education, democracy, citizenship, families, religion, global capitalism, urbanism, the environment and sustainable development, among others. We look at the role of social movements and community organizations in effecting social change. This concentration will be of interest to students planning careers in leadership, the non-profit sector, the labor movement, educational policy, human services/resources, public health, public administration, and business, as well as students pursuing graduate work or careers in law, education, public policy and related professional fields.

Social Justice Concentration Electives

SOCI 310U.S. Society3
SOCI 311Sociology of Families3
SOCI 312DGender Through the Prism of Difference3
SOCI 313DSexualities3
SOCI 314Sociology of Education3
SOCI 315Health and Society3
SOCI 410Social Change: Global Perspectives3
SOCI 411Work and Labor3
SOCI 412Community, Consensus, and Commitment3
SOCI 494Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology (approval of department chair required)3

Law, Crime, Justice Concentration

The Law, Crime, and Justice Concentration offers students a critical analysis of the relationship between law and society with a particular focus on legal institutions, public policy, crime, the criminal justice system and the production of social inequality. Courses in the concentration seek to reveal the origins and consequences of law by examining the various ways that law both shapes and is shaped by social and political forces. Various topics in the concentration include: the manifestations, causes, and consequences of criminal behavior; the relationship between law, social power, and persistent social inequalities; and the contested meanings of justice, rights and equality as they exist both inside and outside legal institutions.

Law, Crime, Justice Concentration Electives

SOCI 340Urban Sociology3
SOCI 341Criminology3
SOCI 342Juvenile Delinquency3
SOCI 343Corrections3
SOCI 344Social Deviance3
SOCI 345Theories of Crime3
SOCI 346Rights, Justice, Law and Social Change3
SOCI 440Race and the Criminal Justice System3
SOCI 441Drugs & U.S. Society3
SOCI 472Criminalizing Immigration3
SOCI 494Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology3

Additional Electives for either concentration:

SOCI 371Inequality and Social Change3
SOCI 372Politics and Society3-4
SOCI 373Social Institutions3
SOCI 374Social Movements3
SOCI 470Sexuality and Borders3
SOCI 471Environmental Inequality and Justice3
SOCI 472Criminalizing Immigration3
SOCI 493Field Experience in Sociology1-3
SOCI 498Internship in Sociology3
SOCI 494Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology3
SOCI 499Independent Study1-3