What is Sociology?

According to the American Sociological Association, Sociology is:

  • the study of society
  • a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies
  • the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes
  • the scientific study of social aggregations, the entities through which humans move throughout their lives
  • an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology, and economics

Major or Minor in Sociology

Sociology students at Cal Poly Humboldt find an active and supportive departmental culture that surrounds coursework in sociological theory, methods and current social issues. Department faculty members have a strong commitment to social justice that shapes course offerings and content. Students prepare themselves for sociology-related careers as well as graduate studies. Service learning is integrated into the curriculum through the social issues and action course that includes volunteering with local community-based organizations. Sociology students at Cal Poly Humboldt have access to a variety of hands-on learning and research experiences. While most universities save these opportunities for grad students, our students are working alongside their professors from the undergraduate level.

The Sociology and Criminology Club creates additional opportunities for students to connect with each other, faculty and local community organizations. Because of the breadth, adaptability and practical applications of Sociology, students with a BA in Sociology choose to work in many different sectors: non-profit, private business, social services, education, health services, public relations, criminal justice and government.

The Sociology major requires 28/29 units in core classes, four courses (16 units) in three different knowledge areas, and a Capstone Experience. Learn more about the major requirements by reviewing the Loading... and Major Planning Guide.

The Sociology minor has two required courses, plus students must successfully take twelve units of upper division sociology coursework. SOC 225S (4) Social Issues & Action SOC 382 (4) Intro to Social Research

How can I prepare to major/minor in Sociology?

In high school, take math, writing and any available social science courses (such as history, psychology, or sociology).

What can I do with a B.A. in Sociology?

Graduates with a B.A. in Sociology from Cal Poly Humboldt have solid skills that look good on a resume, but also have the critical thinking skills to be successful in a wide variety of careers. By the time you complete your degree, you will have experience with designing and conducting your own research, performing data analysis, making presentations, and reading and writing at a high level. You will be well prepared to enter a Master’s or Ph.D. program, or enter the workforce with the ability to think critically about social forces and how they impact our daily lives.

Former Sociology graduates from Cal Poly Humboldt have gone on to be social workers, to work for non-profit agencies, to work in law enforcement, and to work in various academic jobs—just to name a few!

Learn more about what you can do with a degree in Sociology:

From the American Sociological Association:
Careers in Sociology
Undergraduate Student Resources
Research on Jobs and Careers
The Undergraduate Sociology Degree’s Real-World Application
Famous Sociology Majors
Sociology Majors on the Job Market

Plan Your Coursework

Picking Courses: Each semester, you will want to check in with your Academic or Major Advisor, and plan what to take next semester. The Humboldt Class Schedule is usually updated close to the time registration opens to show dates and times for courses offered the following semester.

Major Planning Guide: These forms will show you all of the courses you must take to get your degree in Sociology or Criminology and Justice Studies. You will use this form with your Academic or Major Advisor to map out a plan for completing the degree.  The Humboldt Catalog and Major Planning Guide will assist you in completing your DARS and preparing for graduation.

Course Rotations: These show you what the Department of Sociology plans to teach each semester for the next five years. Use this for short term and long term course planning.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Think critically about social and environmental justice efforts and inequalities in communities and environments.
  2. Make linkages between empirical data and theoretical concepts.
  3. Develop the ability to critically engage with research methodology.
  4. Communicate effectively orally (a) and in writing (b).

Capstone Planning

Your capstone experience is the culminating project you complete as you finish your degree in Sociology and Criminology and Justice Studies. You will choose between completing a Thesis, an Internship, or a Community Action Research project. Click here to learn about your BA capstone.