College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2018-2019

Department of Sociology

Sociology, Bachelor of Science

Sociology is an academic program in the liberal arts tradition that emphasizes the development of essential skills (such as writing, communication, analysis, and research) in the context of in-depth study of human social behavior and the dynamics of human societies. A bachelor's degree in Sociology provides you with the flexibility to focus on special areas of interest, and internships are available to add to your interests in a variety of settings.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology?

How does social context affect how you think and how you act? How do we shape social change? How does a society become religious or secular, liberal or conservative? How do communities organize? Why do humans usually follow the “rules” of society? If these questions interest you, then you are interested in what C. Wright Mills has called the “Sociological Imagination.” This “Sociological Imagination” allows you to grasp the intersection of both your own personal biography and the historical/social context of the society.

The sociology program at Northern Arizona University will help you learn to apply sociological theory and methods to the study of issues in contemporary society and culture. You'll sharpen your critical thinking skills and gain knowledge about diversity, individual behavior, and group dynamics. Whether your career takes you into public service, private industry, or a non-governmental organization, the university's sociology program will help you understand-and act effectively-in the world around you.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Policy research and analysis
  • Social services
  • Victim advocacy
  • Probation work
  • Community organizer
  • International health advocate
  • Human resources

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Attorney
  • Counselor
  • University professor
  • Researcher
  • Foundation program director
  • Librarian

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 36 units of major requirements
  • At least 18 units of minor requirements or an approved certificate of at least 15 units

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science in Sociology program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter the world of social and government services, business, industry, and organizations. The sociological perspective is essential for succeeding in today’s multiethnic and multinational work force. Our sociology major stresses an awareness of social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class that both influence and are affected by social structures. This perspective is an excellent preparation for a wide variety of occupations.
This degree builds a strong foundational knowledge in the study of social life, social change, diverse communities and their interactions. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that students have a strong substantive understanding in one of our concentration areas: social justice and inequality; culture and community; environment, globalization, and sustainability; or, health. Our curriculum further ensures that students can use scientific methods to find empirical answers to complex social questions. In addition, they will be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work orally and in writing. Students will leave this program with an ability to make sense of the shifting social world and contribute solutions to difficult social problems.
The faculty of this department are innovative teachers and researchers who engage students in and out of the classroom. Our students are encouraged to participate in independent research projects with faculty, study abroad programs, internships, and student clubs and learning communities.
Sociology graduates are critically informed, value diversity and equality, and use their knowledge of sociology to pursue careers that promote these ideals. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the B.S. degree in Sociology, students will have demonstrated competency of the following: 

  1. Foundational sociological knowledge by:
  • Explaining sociology as a discipline, including how it is a unique social science, how it contributes to a liberal arts education, and how the sociological imagination applies to reality;
  • Explaining the role of theory in sociology, including defining the major theories and their role in building sociological knowledge, comparing and contrasting them, explaining the context in which they were developed, applying them to social reality within a global context;
  • Applying basic concepts, such as culture, social change, socialization, stratification, social structure, institutions, and differentiations (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality) and their theoretical interrelations to analyze social trends, conflicts, reciprocal relationships between individuals and society, and social policies; and
  • Evaluating the internal diversity of the United States and its place in the global context. 
  1. Effective communication—orally, written, and visually—of foundational sociological knowledge and methodology by:
  • Describing, explaining, and critically analyzing major sociological concepts and theories; and
  • Producing research proposals, presentations, and reports, individually and in research teams of diverse groups of people. 
  1. Critical use of scientific methods to develop empirical explanations of social phenomena by:
  • Assessing perspectives and approaches best able to research a particular phenomenon;
  • Developing research designs to discover, describe and/or analyze specific social components;
  • Applying and utilizing qualitative and quantitative techniques as part of the research design;
  • Demonstrating effective use of technology to retrieve data and information from databases in order to assess relevant research found in research publications and other sources; and
  • Analyzing and evaluating data to inform the explanation of the phenomenon being studied.


Major Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

    • SOC 101, SOC 201 (6 units)
    • SOC 365 or STA 270 (3 units)
    • SOC 355W (3 units)
    • Additional units of sociology courses, which may include up to 6 units of SOC 408 (Additional units of it may be taken for elective credit upon faculty advisor approval) (21 units)
    • SOC 498C (3 units)
    Please note that you must take at least 9 of the 36 units required for this major at Northern Arizona University.

    In addition, we recommend that you take no more than 6 units of sociology courses as web-based courses. Engagement with the community of sociology majors and faculty is a critical component of your education, and participation in the sociology learning community is best achieved by participating in face-to-face Northern Arizona University courses.

Minor Requirements
  • You must complete a minor of at least 18 units from those described in this catalog. In consultation with your advisor, you should select a minor that's appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs. Your minor advisor will advise you about this part of your academic plan.

  • Please note that you may substitute an Northern Arizona University certificate plan of at least 15 units for this minor requirement.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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