Sociology Major

42 units

Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from crime to religion, and from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture. In fact, few fields have such a broad scope and relevance.

Both academic sociology and Christian faith offer perspectives on human behavior and social life—partner perspectives in a dialogue meant to express a more complete and unified picture of the truth about social reality and human experience. Biblical insights and values clarify understanding of sociology, and sociology in turn teaches more about Christian faith.

“Christian sociology” provides an intellectual and spiritual foundation for personal development and service. Self-understanding comes from discovering connections with other people. It is through interaction in families, schools, churches, and communities that individuals develop as persons, and it is this mutual dependence that forms the basis for moral life. The heart for service, an important outcome of dependence on God and relationships with others, is practically manifested and modeled as God’s love through the actions of those who serve.


In keeping with the principles of liberal arts education, the mission of the sociology program is to lead students in exploring the relationships between individuals, groups, social institutions, and culture, to facilitate the development of skills necessary for the study and critical analysis of these relationships from the perspective of Christian faith, and to develop a community of scholars who have a solid grasp of social theory and research, and who are prepared to systematically confront social problems and enact change at all levels of society.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the sociology major will be able to:

PLO 1: Understand and evaluate social research and develop well-designed research projects.

PLO 2: Recognize the influence of race, class, and gender on human behavior and social conditions.

PLO 3: Articulate the role of social institutions—family, religion, and government—in shaping social life and identity.

PLO 4: Utilize the comparative and historical perspective to evaluate the effects of the social context on cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, and practices.

PLO 5: Gain a sociological perspective on human behavior and the social order—including social structures and institutional practices—that empowers them to act in response to the Scriptural mandate to work for peace and justice.

PLO 6: Describe their sociological education and the development of a sociological imagination in relation to Christian faith and life.

Career Opportunities

As a strong liberal arts major, sociology provides several options for students who complete their B.A. degree.

  • A B.A. in Sociology is excellent preparation for future graduate work in sociology to become a professor, researcher, or applied sociologist.
  • The undergraduate degree provides a strong liberal arts preparation for entry-level positions throughout the education, business, social service, and government arenas. Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides.
  • Sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in ministry, teaching, journalism, politics, public relations, business, criminal justice, or public administration—fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups.
  • Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.


A total of 42 units is required for the major. A minimum grade-point average of 2.0 is required in these courses.

Core Courses
Required courses should be taken in the following sequence:
SOC 120Introduction to Sociology 13
SOC 298Basic Sociological Theory3
SOC 358Human Diversity 23
MATH 130Introduction to Statistics 33
Select one of the following:3
Writing 3: Qualitative Social Research Methods 4
Quantitative Social Research Methods
Elective Courses
Select 27 units from the following:27
Anthropology for Everyday Life 2
Social Psychology 5
Contemporary Social Problems
Comparative Family Systems
Immigrant L.A.
Sociology of Religion
Education and Society
The Sociology of Gender
Field Internships
Social Movements
Crime and Delinquency
Social Stratification
Contemporary Social Theory
Special Topics
Senior Seminar: Faith and Social Issues
Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues 6
You may add up to 6 units from the following:
The Asian American Experience
The African American Experience
The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience
Community Transformation
Senior Seminar: Church and Society 6
General Psychology 1
Social Welfare Policy and Service
Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice
Child Welfare
Family Violence
Total Units42