Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor in GISES
Academic Division
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology

Program Overview

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.

Student in front of mural

Learning Experience

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 a major concentration and minor in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES) in partnership with the Everett Program. The Everett Program 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
  • Sociology B.A.
  • Sociology Ph.D.
  • Sociology B.A. with Intensive Concentration in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES)
  • Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies (GISES) Minor
  • Latin American and Latino Studies and Sociology Combined B.A.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

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.

Kresge students studying

Transfer Requirements

This is a screening major. Transfer students expressing an interest in sociology should obtain a solid background in English, social sciences, and writing skills prior to transfer. Students must complete courses equivalent to Sociology 1, Introduction to Sociology, and Sociology 10, Issues and Problems in American Society, at their previous school. Students may also complete the equivalent to SOCY 3A, The Evaluation of Evidence, and SOCY 3B, Statistical Methods, prior to transfer.

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.

Students on the Porter squiggle

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • City Planner
  • Climate Justice
  • Criminologist
  • Counselor
  • Food Justice
  • Governmental Agency
  • Higher Education
  • Housing Justice
  • Human Resources
  • Labor Relations
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aid
  • Non-Profit
  • Peace Corps
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Research
  • School Administrator
  • Social Work
  • Teacher

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.


Program Contact



apartment 226 Rachel Carson College
phone (831) 459-4888

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