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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


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.


Major Requirements (39 units)

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 (15 units)

SOCI 101D Introduction to Sociology 3
SOCI 201 Quantitative Methods 3
SOCI 202 Qualitative Methods 3
SOCI 270 Law and Social Justice 3
and select one of the following: 3
Social Justice
Crime and Inequality

Upper-Division Preparation for the Major (24 units)1

SOCI 301 Sociological Theories 3
SOCI 370D Race and Ethnic Relations 3
18 additional Upper Division units 2 18

Students should plan their upper-division courses in consultation with their major advisor.


Residency Requirement: At least 15 of the  24 Upper-Division Units must be taken at USD. No more than 6 non-USD units taken abroad will be accepted for credit toward the sociology major


Recommended Sequence for Majoring in Sociology

Freshman Year Hours
SOCI 101D Introduction to Sociology 3
Sophomore Year
SOCI 201 Quantitative Methods 3
SOCI 202 Qualitative Methods 3
SOCI 210D 
or 240D
Social Justice
Crime and Inequality
SOCI 270 Law and Social Justice 3
Junior Year
SOCI 301 Sociological Theories (required) 3
SOCI 370D Race and Ethnic Relations (required) 3
Three Upper-Division Electives  
One-Semester Study Abroad (optional)  
Senior Year
Three Upper-Division Electives  
Internship/Field Experience (optional)


Undergraduate Bulletin Academic Regulations (Pass/Fail, Add/Drop, Grading, etc)

The Social Science Teaching Credential

Students wishing to earn a Social Science Teaching Credential may do so while completing a major in Sociology. The specific requirements for the teaching credential differ from the general requirements of the Sociology major. Students interested in pursuing a Social Science Teaching Credential should consult the Bulletin for the Liberal Studies major.

*Disclaimer: If there are any inconsistencies between what is posted on our web page and the language and text in the official undergraduate bulletin, the bulletin will always prevail.