The Sociology Major 2012-13
Sociology is the study of social interaction, social groups, institutions, and social structures. Sociologists examine the contexts of human action, including systems of beliefs and values, patterns of social relations, and the processes whereby social institutions are created, maintained, and transformed.
The sociology major at UC Santa Cruz is a rigorous program of study that retains enough flexibility to accommodate students with diverse career goals and plans. It ensures that all students are trained in the main theoretical and methodological traditions of sociology, yet permits considerable variation in students' own areas of specialization. The combined sociology and Latin American and Latino studies major is an interdisciplinary course of study addressing the changing political, social, economic, and cultural realities transforming both Latin America and Latina/o communities. Sociology also sponsors an intensive sociology major and minor in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES) in partnership with the Global Information Internship Program (GIIP). GISES is a service learning program that aspires to create a new generation of well-trained advocates for social justice and sustainable development who use tools of infotech and social enterprise to solve global problems.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A., Ph.D., undergraduate minor
- Intensive sociology B.A., undergraduate minor in GISES
- Combined B.A. major in sociology and Latin American and Latino studies
High School Preparation
High school students planning to major in sociology should obtain a solid background in English, social sciences, and writing skills while completing the courses required for UC admission. Students considering a combined major in sociology and Latin American and Latino studies (LALS) should also acquire as much proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese as possible before attending UC Santa Cruz.
Junior transfer students expressing an interest in sociology should obtain a solid background in English, social sciences, and writing skills while completing their course work in their community college. It is common for transfer students to have completed courses equivalent to Sociology 1, Introduction to Sociology, Sociology 10, Issues and Problems in American Society, or both at their previous school. Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
- Business administration
- Criminal justice
- Crisis center counseling
- Family/marital counseling
- Intergroup relations
- Justice system
- Juvenile delinquency counseling
- Legal aid
- Mental health
- Public administration
- Public health
- Public relations
- Rehabilitation counseling
- Social work
- Sociological research
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities
Associate Professor Deborah Gould was awarded the 2010 Ruth Benedict Book Prize from the Association for Queer Anthology, for Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
Associate Professor Miriam Greenberg was awarded the Robert Park Award from the American Sociological Association in 2009 for the best book on community and urban sociology published in the last two years, Branding New York: How a City in Crisis was Sold to the World (New York/Routledge, 2008).
Professor Andrew Szasz was a finalist for the 2009 C. Wright Mills book award for Shopping our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves (Minneapolis/University of Minnesota Press, 2009).
Associate Professor Steven McKay was awarded the 2007 Sociology of Labor Book Award from the American Sociological Association for his book, Satanic Mills or Silicon Islands? The Politics of High-Tech Production in the Philippines (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006).
Professor Andrew Szasz was the 2011 recipient of the Frederick Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award of the Environment, Technology, and Society section of the American Sociological Association. The Buttel Award is the highest honor bestowed in American environmental sociology. He is the author of Ecopopulism: Toxic Waste and the Movement for Environmental Justice (1994) and Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves (2007).
Many of our faculty have been honored and received outstanding teaching awards over the years.
Rachel Harvey (B.A., sociology and economics, ’95) accepted a two-year appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar with the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University after receiving a Ph.D in Sociology from University of Chicago. Harvey also served on the start-up committee for the new Center on Global Legal Transformation at Columbia Law School.
Annette Lareau, (B.A., sociology, ’74) is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and an expert in the study of childrearing in families of differing ethnicities and social classes. She is the author of two books, Home Advantage and Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life.
Carrie Lee Smith, (B.A., sociology, ‘96) is an associate professor of sociology at Millersville University. With an M.A. and Ph.D from Vanderbilt University, she is also the 2010-12 Chair for the Teaching Social Problems Section, Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), 2010-12 Co-Chair for the Committee on the Status of Women, Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), and 2009-12 Secretary, Board of Directors, Mid-Atlantic Council on Family Relations.
Robin Toma (B.A., sociology and economics, ’82) is the executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. With a master’s degree in urban planning and a law degree from UCLA, Toma, who is Japanese American, played an instrumental role in a class action lawsuit and a political campaign for redress for more than 2,200 former Japanese American internees.
UC Education Abroad Program (EAP)
The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study at more than 100 host universities and colleges worldwide as part of their regular UC academic program. Interested students should meet with an EAP adviser, as well as their College Academic Preceptor, early in their academic career. It is important for sociology students to plan ahead so as to fulfill the necessary major requirements before going abroad.
Academic year programs. The Sociology Department requires majors to pass their lower-division sociology courses (see the Major Course Requirements section below), and three upper-division core courses (103B, 105A, and 105B) prior to study abroad. Up to three approved courses may be used toward the sociology major.
Semester programs. For fall semester, majors must complete their lower-division sociology courses (see the Major Course Requirements section below), and one upper-division core course (105A). For spring semester, majors must pass their lower-division sociology courses and two upper-division core courses (103B and 105B).
Major Course Requirements
The sociology major consists of three lower-division courses, ten upper-division courses, and a comprehensive requirement. The three lower-division courses are Sociology 1, 10, and 15. The ten upper-division courses include four core courses (Sociology 103A, 103B, 105A, and 105B), and six additional upper-division courses. The comprehensive requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways: by taking the Capstone Course or by writing a Senior Thesis.
Major Course Requirements for the Combined Major
The combined major consists of three lower-division courses, seven upper-division core courses, four upper-division elective courses, a language requirement, and a comprehensive requirement. The three lower-division courses consist of two from Sociology, out of Sociology 1, 10 and 15, and one from LALS, either LALS 1 or an LALS 80 series course. The ten upper-division courses include seven core courses, LALS 100 (also required to declare), LALS 100A, 100B, Sociology 103A, 103B, 105A, and 105B, two upper-division elective courses from LALS, and two upper-division elective courses from Sociology.
To satisfy the language requirement, students must demonstrate language proficiency equivalent to the completion of Spanish 6 or 56 or Spanish for Spanish Speakers 63 or Portuguese 65A-B. The comprehensive requirement may be satisfied in one of three ways: by taking a senior seminar in LALS, by taking two additional sociology upper-division courses in Identity and Social Change, or by writing a Senior Thesis.
Major Course Requirements for the Intensive Sociology Major
The intensive sociology major consists of six lower-division courses, 11 upper-division courses, a project practicum, and a comprehensive requirement. The six lower-division courses are Sociology 1, 10, 15, 30A, 30B, and 30C. The 11 upper-division courses include four core courses (Sociology 103A, 103B, 105A, and 105B), seven additional upper-division elective courses, and a project practicum course, Sociology 196G. The comprehensive requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways: by taking the Capstone Course or by writing a Senior Thesis.
Declaring the Major
All students who listed sociology as their major on their admissions application enter UCSC with the status of proposed sociology. This status is considered undeclared. A GPA of 3.0 in the required lower-division sociology courses is required for acceptance to any sociology major or minor.
The Undergraduate Advisor for Sociology provides academic advising on major requirements, recommends specific courses and areas of study, helps organize the student’s overall curriculum, addresses administrative and academic difficulties, and assists with administrative paperwork and petitions. During the sociology declaration sessions held each quarter, students eligible to declare are given an overview of the program and begin the steps to declare. Additionally, every student is paired with a faculty adviser for additional advising (e.g., course content, independent studies, graduate school).
Sociology Department Undergraduate Advisor
226 College Eight
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064