Sociology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Sociology is an exciting degree that allows its students to pursue a multiplicity of careers and interests. With access to world-renowned faculty and one of the best graduate programs in sociology, undergraduates have a unique opportunity to engage in a lively academic environment.

Students intending to major in sociology are advised to prepare themselves by taking background work in such other areas as history, philosophy, cultural anthropology, psychology, economics, and political science.

Declaring the Major

Students are eligible to declare if they have a 2.0 cumulative and major grade point average (GPA) with at least one course completed in the major, and they have completed (or are in progress to complete) the prerequisites. For information regarding the prerequisites, please see the Major Requirements tab on this page.

It is recommended that students officially declare as soon as they are ready to do so. They may declare any time.

Once the prerequisites are completed or are in progress, complete the necessary paperwork, and bring it to the sociology advising offices during drop-in advising hours. The process to declare takes 10-15 minutes. Students must submit the following when they declare:

  1. The completed "Data Sheet for Sociology Majors," both sides completed before the appointment. This form is here, and it is also available outside 424/426 Barrows Hall. 
  2. A copy of their transcript (unofficial is okay) if they took any of the prerequisites at another college or university.

Honors Program

Majors who enter their senior year with a 3.3 grade point average (GPA) overall and a 3.5 GPA in the major may apply to the honors program, after conferring with a major adviser. Students will be required to submit an acceptable thesis proposal as part of their application and are encouraged to take advanced methods courses, such as SOCIOL 105, SOCIOL 106, and SOCIOL 108 during their junior year in preparation for conducting research for their honors thesis. Students earn honors by maintaining the minimum GPA for honors and by successfully completing SOCIOL H190A-SOCIOL H190B, Senior Honors Thesis, and Seminar.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in Sociology.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. Double majors can overlap two upper division courses between Sociology and their second major. Sociology majors who wish to complete a minor can overlap one upper division course between Sociology and the minor. Any exceptions to this policy will be made by the department offering the minor. 
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residency requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Prerequisites

SOCIOL 1Introduction to Sociology 14
SOCIOL 5Evaluation of Evidence4
Select one of the following:
Introductory Statistics course (recommended) 2, 3
Logic course 2
The Power of Numbers: Quantitative Data in Social Sciences [4] 2
1

If a student has taken two or more upper division sociology courses without completing SOCIOL 1 first, or has already taken SOCIOL 3AC, they should not take SOCIOL 1. Instead they are required to take an additional (third) survey course as a substitute for this prerequisite, to be completed sometime before graduation (see list of survey courses below).  The three surveys must be taken from three different substantive areas, distinguished by distinct second digits (e.g., SOCIOL 110, SOCIOL 180E, and SOCIOL 120, but not SOCIOL 110, SOCIOL 180C, and SOCIOL 180E). 

2

This course may be taken Pass/No Pass or for a letter grade.

3

A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics Exam will also satisfy this requirement. Please bring a copy of your score report when you declare.

Upper Division Requirements

Sociology Theory
SOCIOL 101Sociological Theory I5
SOCIOL 102Sociological Theory II5
Sociology Survey
Select two courses from the following, in two different substantive areas (distinguished by different second digits in the course number)
Organizations and Social Institutions [4]
Economy and Society [4]
Social Inequalities [4]
Politics and Social Change [4]
Social Psychology [4]
Sociology of Culture [4]
Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Culture [4]
Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Inequality [4]
Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Political Economy [4]
Sociology Electives
Select three or four* upper division or graduate courses in Sociology, not already used to fulfill other major requirements. *Students who declared before June 1, 2016 are required to complete 4 Sociology Electives Students who declare June 1, 2016 or after, are required to complete 3 Sociology Electives 1
Capstone Experience/Seminar 2
Select one of the following:
Seminar and Research in Sociology [4] 3
Senior Honors Thesis and Seminar [5] 4
1

Additional survey courses and SOCIOL 190 seminars beyond those required can count as sociology electives. Independent study courses or courses outside of the department do not fulfill this requirement.

2

Students should not necessarily wait until their last semester to take a seminar. It is recommended that students take it whenever they find a topic that interests them.

3

Students cannot enroll in SOCIOL 190 in Cal Central during Phase I; there are special enrollment procedures for these courses. To enroll, students must complete the Sociology 190 Enrollment Form online. For instructions, please click here  Graduating sociology majors who have not completed their seminar requirement are given priority for enrollment.

4

 Students must apply (in the prior academic year) and be accepted into the Senior Honors Program. Honors students participate in the year-long Senior Honors Seminar, Sociology H190A (4 units; can be used as a Sociology Elective) in the fall and H190B (5 units) in the spring

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Plan of Study

Each student’s plan will vary, depending on interests and class offerings. Plan on consulting your Letters & Science adviser and your major adviser on a regular basis or at least once a semester, especially if you are interested in applying for graduate school, studying abroad, attending summer school, pursuing a minor or second major, or have any concerns or questions about your major classes or your degree progress. 

Note: students must complete a minimum of 13 units per term to be considered full-time, with a total of 120 units needed to graduate. 

For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.), please see the Major Requirements tab.

Students who declared before June 1, 2016, are required to complete 4 Sociology Electives.

Students who declare June 1, 2016, or after, are required to complete 3 Sociology Electives.

First Year
FallUnitsSpringUnits
SOCIOL 1 (Social & Behavioral Sciences Breadth)4SOCIOL 54
Reading & Composition A4Reading & Composition B4
L&S Breadth4L&S Breadth4
Lower Division Elective3Lower Division Elective3
 15 15
Second Year
FallUnitsSpringUnits
Statistics/Logic Requirement4Lower Division Elective4
L&S Breadth3L&S Breadth3
Lower Division Elective4SOCIOL Survey 1 of 214
Lower Division Elective3Lower Division Elective3
 14 14
Third Year
FallUnitsSpringUnits
SOCIOL 101 (Philosophy & Values Breadth)5SOCIOL 1025
Upper Division SOCIOL Survey 2 of 214Upper Division SOCIOL Elective 1 of 44
L&S Breadth4Lower or Upper Division Elective4
Lower or Upper Division Elective3Upper Division Elective Outside of Major Department3
 16 16
Fourth Year
FallUnitsSpringUnits
Upper Division SOCIOL Elective 2 of 4 (American Cultures)4SOCIOL 1904
Upper Division SOCIOL Elective 3 of 44SOCIOL Elective 4 of 44
Lower or Upper Division Elective4Lower or Upper Division Elective4
Lower or Upper Division Elective3Upper Division Elective Outside of Major Department3
 15 15
Total Units: 120
1

Sociology majors are required to take two courses in two different substantive areas from the following list of sociology "Survey" courses. The two survey courses must be taken from two different substantive areas, distinguished by distinct second digits -- e.g. Soc 110 and Soc 180E, but not Soc 180C and Soc 180E.

Accelerated Program Plans

For students considering graduating in less than four years, it's important to acknowledge the reasons to undertake such a plan of study. While there are advantages to pursuing a three-year degree plan such as reducing financial burdens, they are not for everyone and do involve sacrifices; especially with respect to participating in co-curricular activities, depth of study,  and summer internships, which typically lead to jobs upon graduation. All things considered, please see the tables for three and three and a half year degree options.

3.5 Year Plan

3 Year Plan

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Understand and apply key sociological concepts and social theories
  2. Understand and be able to employ key research methods and data used by social scientists
  3. Be prepared to use a sociological lens and skills in future endeavors, in the workplace, or community
  4. Formulate a well-organized argument supported by evidence
  5. Develop effective written communication skills
  6. Develop the ability to use critical thinking and research skills to evaluate and understand complex situations
  7. Achieve an understanding of professional, civic, and ethical responsibility

Courses

Sociology

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Karen Barkey, Professor.

Irene Bloemraad, Professor. Immigration, social movements, political sociology, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, Canada, non-profit organizations, research methods.
Research Profile

+ Michael Burawoy, Professor. Sociology, Russia, capitalism, industrial workplaces, postcolonialism, socialism, global ethnography, Hungary.
Research Profile

Laura J. Enriquez, Professor. Social movements, political sociology, sociology, development in Latin America, rural sociology.
Research Profile

Neil D. Fligstein, Professor. Sociology.
Research Profile

Marion Fourcade, Professor. Culture, social theory, political sociology, economic sociology, comparative methods, knowledge and science.
Research Profile

Cybelle Fox, Associate Professor. Historical sociology, American welfare state, race and ethnic relations, immigration policy.
Research Profile

Thomas Gold, Professor. Post-socialism, China, sociology, East Asian studies, comparative institutions, Pacific Rim societies, Taiwan, globalization and development.
Research Profile

David Harding, Associate Professor. Poverty, inequality, causal inference, mixed methods, incarceration, prisoner reentry, education, neighborhoods, urban, community, adolescence.
Research Profile

Heather A. Haveman, Professor. Organizations, economic sociology, entrepreneurship, China, careers and social mobility, gender, social history.
Research Profile

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Associate Professor. Culture, population, social action, intentions, Africa, gender, fertility, marriage.
Research Profile

Armando Lara-Millan, Assistant Professor.

John Lie, Professor. Social theory, political economy, East Asia.
Research Profile

Mara Loveman, Professor.

Samuel R. Lucas, Professor. Research methods, demography, sociology, social stratification, sociology of education, and research statistics.
Research Profile

G. Cristina Mora, Associate Professor. Classification, organizations, race and ethnicity, Latino Migration.
Research Profile

Christopher Muller, Assistant Professor.

Trond Petersen, Professor. Inequality, comparative gender inequality, hiring, promotions, wages, quantitative methods, social stratification, economic sociology, comparative studies, and quantitative methods.
Research Profile

Raka Ray, Professor. Feminist theory, gender, social movements, South and Southeast Asian studies, relations between dominant subaltern groups in India, women´_s movements in India.
Research Profile

Dylan John Riley, Associate Professor.

Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, Professor. Sociology of poverty, gangs and crime, sociology of violence, race and ethnic relations.
Research Profile

Daniel J. Schneider, Assistant Professor.

Sandra Smith, Associate Professor. Trust, urban poverty, joblessness, race and ethnic inequality, social capital and social networks.
Research Profile

Ann Swidler, Professor. Religion, culture, Africa, AIDS, political sociology, theory, development, NGOs.
Research Profile

Cihan Ziya Tugal, Associate Professor. Political sociology, social movements, religion, Islam and the Middle East, culture, poverty and class, social theory, ethnography.
Research Profile

Kim Voss, Professor. Sociology.
Research Profile

Loic Wacquant, Professor. Sociology.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Jill A. Bakehorn, Lecturer.

Andrew Barlow, Lecturer.

Laleh Behbehanian, Lecturer.

Christoph Hermann, Lecturer.

Linus B. Huang, Lecturer.

Szonja Ivester, Lecturer.

John W. Kaiser, Lecturer.

+ Mary E. Kelsey, Lecturer.

Edwin K. Lin, Lecturer.

Tiffany L. Page, Lecturer.

Brian A. Powers, Lecturer.

Joanna M. Reed, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Nissim Mizrachi, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Victoria Bonnell, Professor Emeritus. Labor history, sociology, Russia, comparative development, Soviet Union.
Research Profile

Manuel Castelis, Professor Emeritus.

Nancy J. Chodorow, Professor Emeritus. Sociology, psychoanalytic theory/psychoanalytic sociology/clinical methods, feminist theory and methodology, psychoanalysis and feminism.
Research Profile

Robert Cole, Professor Emeritus. Japan, management of technology, Japanese work organization, organizational learning, knowledge management, organizational transformation.
Research Profile

Troy Duster, Professor Emeritus. Ethnicity, law, sociology, science, deviance.
Research Profile

Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus.

Peter Evans, Professor Emeritus. Sociology.
Research Profile

Leo Goodman, Professor Emeritus. Sociology, statistics, log-linear models, correspondence analysis models, mathematical demography, categorical data analysis, survey data analysis, logit models, log-bilinear models, association models.
Research Profile

Arlie R. Hochschild, Professor Emeritus.

Michael Hout, Professor Emeritus. Demography, sociology, social mobility, higher education policy.
Research Profile

Jerome B. Karabel, Professor Emeritus. Political sociology, sociology of education.
Research Profile

Kristin Luker, Professor Emeritus. Social policy, jurisprudence.
Research Profile

David Matza, Professor Emeritus. Social change, sociology, deviant behavior, poverty and working class life.
Research Profile

Richard J. Ofshe, Professor Emeritus.

Neil J. Smelser, Professor Emeritus. Psychoanalysis, social theory, social change, social movements, economic sociology, comparative methods, sociology of education, terrorism.
Research Profile

Barrie Thorne, Professor Emeritus. Feminist theory, gender theory, ethnography, qualitative methods, sociology, women, sociology of gender, sociology of age relations.
Research Profile

Margaret M. Weir, Professor Emeritus. Political science, political sociology, sociology, American political development, urban politics and policy, comparative studies of the welfare state, metropolitan inequalities, city-suburban politics in the United States.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Sociology

410 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-4766

Fax: 510-642-0659

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Sandra Susan Smith

sandra_smith@berkeley.edu

Director of Student Services

Carolyn A. Clark

410 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-643-4630

Fax: 510-642-0659

carolync@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser

Cristina Rojas

424 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3330

cmrojas@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser

Seng Saelee

426 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-643-5815

ssaelee@berkeley.edu

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