View information for the Department of Sociology and Gerontology , including Learning Objectives for the department and its programs.
View the degree program Roadmap, which provide recommended advising maps to complete the degree program. Please consult your academic advisor as you develop your academic plan.
Sociology is the scientific study of human social interaction and institutions. From its origin in nineteenth-century industrializing Europe, sociology developed as a methodologically rigorous, empirically based analysis of social structure.
The study of Sociology provides students with a rewarding academic experience as well as a variety of career possibilities. Recent graduates of the department have applied their training to enter prestigious graduate schools or to obtain entry-level management and administrative positions with such varied organizations as large and small businesses; criminal justice agencies; child welfare organizations; local welfare and mental health departments, the criminal courts, and social service agencies.
The pivotal sociological concept, social structure, rests on the observation that something exists in society more than simply the sum of individuals. As humans interact, they create social structure - a real “thing,” not directly visible but nevertheless observable in its consequences. The concept of social structure denotes interaction networks, social organization, and power relationships. Social structure is essential to understanding human life inasmuch as it shapes humans’ options, actual choices and resultant biographies.
What often appear to, and are taken for granted by, the non-sociological eye simply as personal troubles are in fact the result of social structural tensions. From the sociological perspective, effecting change necessarily involves understanding social structure.
Sociology majors receive a strong grounding in traditional and contemporary social theory, methods of conducting social research, and techniques of analyzing social data. Students can select elective courses from areas including social institutions such as the family, religion, and medicine, and social processes such as social change, social deviance, personality and society, and drug use.
Program Learning Outcomes
Sociology majors will:
- Achieve knowledge competency in sociology.
- Achieve an awareness of the diversity of social institutions, social forces, and structural forms found in contemporary societies both locally, regionally, nationally and global
- Understand the sociohistorical and theoretical groundings of sociology as a field of study and practice and apply these theories to social phenomena.
- Demonstrate personal transformation as a result of sociological knowledge acquired through the sociology major.
- Develop facility for critical thinking, with the ability to separate fact from fallacy, myth from reality.
- Learn to analyze the complexity of society and social structure, particularly questions of social control and power relations.
- Learn analytical skills and research methodologies, including statistical computer applications, appropriate to the practice of sociology methodologically.
- Develop and apply a sociological perspective professionally and as an active participant in society.
- Communicate effectively in both written and oral form.
- Develop an increased appreciation for human diversity.
- Develop the ability to apply a sociological imagination to one’s personal life.
1. Complete the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements.
A student must comply with all University regulations and satisfy the following requirements:
- Units and Residency (minimum of 120 units: 40 units of upper division coursework and 30 semester units at Stanislaus State. At least 24 of these 30 units must be earned in upper-division courses, at least 12 must be in the major, and at least 9 must be applicable to General Education-Breadth requirements)
- Grade Point Average (minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better)
- General Education (minimum of 49 units)
- Upper Division Writing Proficiency (minimum of 3 units)
- Writing Proficiency (WP) Course (may double count in the major)
- United States Constitution and California State and Local Government (minimum of 3 units)
- Multicultural Requirement (minimum of 3 units) (may double count with General Education requirements or in the major)
Subsequently all students must submit an application for graduation and receive approval from the major advisor, department chair, and Director of Academic Advising. For more information see the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements .
2. Complete the following courses:
(3 units minimum)
Note: MATH 1600 (Statistics), 4 units, is recommended.
3. Complete the major of not less than 38 upper-division units in sociology.
Of which no more than 8 units of CR-graded coursework in courses graded exclusively CR/NC may apply toward the major. Maintain an average grade point average of 2.0 and a grade of C or better in core courses.
4. Completion of a minor is not required.
(38 units minimum)
1. Complete the following core courses:
2. Select one of the following concentrations:
a. General Major Concentration
i. Required Course (4 units):
ii. Select 14 units of upper-division Sociology electives
b. Criminology and Society Concentration
(18 units minimum)
i. Core Courses (9 units required)
ii. Select three courses from the following (9 units required):
c. Human Services Concentration
i. Required Courses (12 units):
ii. Select two courses from the following (6 units):
d. Social Justice Concentration
(19 units minimum)
i. Required Courses (16 units minimum):
ii. Select one course from the following (3 units):