Sociology, Bachelor of Science

Department of Sociology and Social Work

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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.

  • 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 diversity, liberal studies, 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.

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
Progression Plan Link Not Available
Student Learning Outcomes


The outcomes below are adapted from the American Sociological Association’s Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major Updated, Kathleen McKinney, Carla B. Howery, Kerry J. Strand, Edward L. Kain and Catherine White Berheide, 2004.
By the time of graduation, sociology majors should be able to demonstrate understanding of the following:

  • The discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to our understanding of social reality such that the student will be able to:
    • describe how sociology is similar or different from other social sciences and give examples of these differences;
    • articulate the contribution of sociology to a liberal arts understanding of social reality; and
    • apply principles, concepts and the sociological imagination to at least one area of reality.
  • The role of theory in sociology such that the student will be able to:
    • define theory and describe its role in building sociological knowledge;
    • compare and contrast basic theoretical knowledge;
    • show how theories reflect the historical, cultural, and global context in which they were developed; and
    • describe and apply basic theories or theoretical approaches in at least one area of social reality.
  • Sociological theoretical perspectives on the process of globalization such that the student will be able to
    • articulate how globalization influences social identities, social stratification and communication worldwide and within societies;
    • appreciate the impact of globalization on workplaces locally and transnationally; and
    • use their knowledge of how socio-historical forces influence contemporary societies to identify approaches and actions that would address issues of power, inequality, racial and ethnic relations and stratification.
  • The role of empirical evidence and qualitative and quantitative methods in sociology, such that the student will be able to:
    • identify basic methodological approaches and describe the general role of methods in building sociological knowledge;
    • compare and contrast the basic methodological approaches for gathering data;
    • design a research study in an area of choice and explain why various decisions were made; and
    • critically assess a published research report and explain how the study could have been improved.
  • The technical skills involved in retrieving information and data from various social science databases and using computer software appropriate for data analysis. The student should also be able to do (social) scientific technical writing that accurately conveys data findings and to show an understanding and application of principles of ethical practice as a sociologist.
  • Basic concepts in sociology and their fundamental theoretical interrelations, such that the student will be able to define, give examples, and demonstrate the relevance of culture; social change; socialization; stratification; social structure; institutions; and differentiations by race/ethnicity, gender, age, class and nationality. The student will be able to apply these concepts to contemporary society to analyze social trends, conflicts and the effectiveness of social policies.
  • How culture and social structure operate, such that the student will be able to:
    • analyze how institutions interlink in their effects on each other and on individuals;
    • evaluate how social change factors such as population or urbanization affect social structures and individuals;
    • use data to analyze how culture and social structure vary across time and place and the effects of such variations; and
    • evaluate specific social policies using reasoning about social-structural effects.
  • Reciprocal relationships between individuals and society, such that the student will be able to:
    • explain sociologically how the self develops;
    • analyze how societal and structural factors influence individual behavior and the self’s development;
    • analyze how social interaction and the self influences society and social structure;
    • distinguish sociological approaches to analyzing the self from psychological, economic, and other approaches and
    • demonstrate compassion in analysis and action based on awareness of the social origins of disadvantage.
  • The internal diversity of U.S. society and its place in the international context, such that the student will be able to:
    • evaluate the significance of variations by race, class, gender, age and national origin;
    • appropriately assess generalizations across groups; and
    • craft policies and social actions that ameliorate or aggravate harmful effects of discrimination based on these variations.
  • The relationship between sociological knowledge and successful communication of ideas such that the student will be able to:
    • make public presentations in written, oral, and visual formats;
    • work in teams of diverse people;
    • prepare proposals for projects and funding; and
    • compose effective reports for professional and community-based organizations.

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 is 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 of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

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