About the Sociology Program

Sociology is the study of social life, seeking to develop theories about how social life works and test these theories against evidence. It seeks to understand all aspects of human social behavior, including the behavior of individuals as well as the social dynamics of small groups, large organizations, communities, institutions, and entire societies. Students of sociology study a broad array of topics including social networks, gender roles and relationships, family structure and behavior, interpersonal relationships and processes, urban development, historical societies and economies, rural social trends, social movements, gang violence, current immigration issues, race and ethnic relations, and crime and incarceration. Sociology looks for what is universal as well as what varies across societies and groups and courses explore social change and provide a lens into the complexity of the causes and consequences of human behavior. The results of sociological investigations help develop new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws.

Sociology crosses with many other disciplines, but it is unusual in its concern with the interrelation of social forces studied in isolation elsewhere. Economics and politics, for example, are common concerns of sociologists; but the difference is that Sociology tends to approach these issues as part of a complex whole rather than independent features of humanity. It is concerned foremost with social interactions. Sociology’s breadth seems particularly valuable in our increasingly global, inter-dependent world.

Students who major in sociology learn to deal creatively with new and challenging problems and are typically motivated both by the desire to better understand the fundamental principles of social life as well as by the conviction that an understanding of these principles may aid in the formulation of more enlightened and effective social policy.

Sociology thus provides a strong intellectual background for students to enter a wide range of occupational areas, in government agencies, social service institutions, law enforcement agencies, and business. Sociologists may conduct training programs and contract research for businesses and organizations. They may propose and evaluate various personnel and industrial relations programs and some are labor relations experts who serve as mediators of work disputes. Many work in the non-profit sector, some launching their own philanthropic organizations.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Arts Transfer Degree Icon Associate in Arts - Transfer More information on the Associate in Arts Degree

Gain the skills needed to excel in your desired field without completing general education requirements.

Estimated Timeline:
1+ years, 24+ units

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Associate in Arts for Transfer - SociologyAssociate in Arts Transfer Degree Icon

18 units + General Education Requirements

This program involves the scientific study of society, social institutions and social relationships. The course of study provides students the opportunity to acquire skills in research, information gathering, analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving, and written and verbal communication.

PDF FileView Requirements Associate Degree for Transfer in Sociology

Program Level Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will:

  1. Exhibit strong academic behaviors, evidenced by their timeliness, regular attendance, participation in class activities, adherence to the College Honor Code, and awareness of their opportunities and obligations as students.

  2. Demonstrate through oral and/or written work knowledge of society and human social interaction, including cultural development, the process of socialization, social structure, social stratification, particularly in the areas of social class, race and ethnicity, and gender, and social change.

  3. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate evidence and make compelling arguments that identify the social forces impacting a given social problem and advance reasonable conclusions concerning the explanatory value of dominant sociological paradigms for a given social issue.​

Other Resources

Special departmental programs

Other programs

  • Transfer Preparation

Related programs

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Equal Opportunity Representatives and Officers Bachelor's Degree $82,240
Labor Relations Specialists Bachelor's Degree $83,547
Climate Change Analysts Master's or Professional Degree $82,039
Sociologists Doctoral Degree or More $101,425
Historians Master's or Professional Degree $69,065
Social Science Research Assistants Bachelor's Degree $82,240
Sociology Teachers, Postsecondary Doctoral Degree or More $82,451