Sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior. It considers how society influences individuals, and how individuals influence society. Sociologists describe and explain the actions of persons, groups, organizations, classes, and entire societies. They also design and evaluate social programs and public policy. The study of sociology includes social theory, research methods, social stratification, race relations, social change, criminology, demography, gender roles, religion, social psychology, and the environment.
The undergraduate sociology program at CU-Boulder leads to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree. It requires courses in social theory, research methods, and statistics plus a variety of elective courses dealing with social structure, human culture, individual interactions, and social change. Majors must take the research methods requirement, Sociological Research Methods, before their senior year. This course teaches students how to design and execute their own research projects.
In addition to formal course work, the degree offers opportunities for internships with various organizations, including social service agencies, the criminal justice system and non-profit organizations. There is also the opportunity to design and complete an honors thesis based on your own original research, as well as to work closely with one of our faculty members through the UROP program.
Sociology Major Requirements
Specific courses required for the major (12 credits):
1. SOCY 1001 – Introduction to Sociology, 3 credits
2. SOCY 2061 – Introduction to Social Statistics, 3 credits* (See below for possible exceptions)
3. SOCY 3001 – Classical Theory, 3 credits (Prereqs: SOCY 1001; sophomore or above.)
4. SOCY 3201 – Sociological Research Methods, 3 credits (Prereqs: SOCY 1001; statistics, sophomore or above.)
Elective course work (24-33 credits):
1. Lower-division OR upper-division SOCY electives, 9 credits
2. Upper-division SOCY electives, 15 credits
* (Note: 27 hours of electives minimum if taking non -SOCY statistics.)
Note: SOCY 4932 (Internship in Care, Health, & Resilience) does not count toward the SOCY major or minor.
Sociology Major continued
- Complete a minimum of 36 hours (maximum 45) in Sociology. Students doing SOCY honors are allowed a maximum of 51 hours in Sociology. A minimum of 75 hours must be non-SOCY.
- At least 21 SOCY credits must be upper-division (3000 and 4000). A minimum of 15 of these upper-division credits must be taken through UCB (or through a UCB Study Abroad program).
- All major courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
- Minimum SOCY GPA at the time of graduation must be 2.000 minimum.
- *Students may substitute a non-SOCY statistics course for SOCY 2061 (C- minimum required). An additional SOCY elective course (3 credits) must be completed. Consult your advisor.
- Consult your CU catalog for course prerequisites. Past course syllabi are also available online.. If you have questions about prerequisites, contact the instructor and/or advisor.
- Internship credit: Students may earn up to 6 credits through an internship experience. Visit
- Honors: For seniors only. 3.3 cum GPA and 3.3 SOCY GPA required. Visit
- Websites: http://advising.colorado.edu
Sociology Minor Requirements
Required course - SOCY 1001
(Introduction to Sociology)
18 hours total
9 hours upp-div
Note: SOCY 4932 (Internship in Care, Health & Resilience) does not count toward the SOCY major or minor.
To declare the major in Sociology, please visit MyCUHub for information on New Majors/Minors meetings for Sociology.
To declare a minor in Sociology, students can attend a New Majors/Minors Meeting, or they can email Michael.Lynn@colorado.edu from their CU email account. Students will need to include their student ID number along with a request to add the SOCY minor.
Sociology majors have the academic background suitable for a variety of jobs and careers. Sociology graduates work in government as researchers or data analysts; in business as managers, writers, or editors; in social services as caseworkers or program directors; in public health as interviewers or demographers; in the criminal justice system as probation and parole officers and mediators; and in community relations as neighborhood organizers. These are just a few of the many possibilities! Graduates may also wish to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in order to teach at the university level, design and supervise research projects, or act as a private consultant to government agencies, industries, families, and organizations engaged in research, community service, or social change.
Career Services helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work.
Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.