Sociology: Structures of Opportunity and Inequality, BA

The Sociology major helps students identify and explain patterns of social life and human behavior by emphasizing how large-scale social phenomena (such as class, race, and gender inequality) affect the everyday experiences of individuals and vice versa. The major prepares students for a career in a variety of fields such as law, medicine and healthcare, marketing, education, scholarly and applied social research, social work, demography, journalism and media, management in the public and private sectors, administration, and government. The program offers comprehensive advising and significant research and independent study opportunities. Our program is dedicated to nurturing a strong community of scholars, helping them grow academically and professionally under the large-scale mission of the College of Arts & Sciences.

What is the balance of individual self-determination and institutionalized constraint in shaping people’s lives? Social institutions such as the educational system and the economy sort people and distribute rewards, but their workings are profoundly shaped by persistent inequalities of class, ethnicity, gender, age, race, and nationality. How and why do such inequalities persist? How might opportunities be more fairly distributed? What sorts of individual and collective action affect existing structures of constraint?

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 34. Double majors may entail more course units.

A minimum of 11 course units must be in Sociology.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Introductory Course
SOCI 1000Introduction to Sociology1
Sociological Theory
Select 1 course unit in Sociological Theory1
Social Research Methods
SOCI 2000Sociological Research Methods1
Select 1 course unit in Advanced Research Methods1
Select 1 course units in Statistics1
Structures of Opportunity and Inequality Concentration
Select 3 course units in Concentration3
Race and Ethnic Relations
Social Stratification
Class Matters: Poverty, Prosperity, and the American Dream
Discrimination: Sexual and Racial Conflict
Work in a Changing World - The Sociology of Work
Sociology of Gender
Social Movements
The History & Theory of Community Organizing
Select 4 course units in SOCI Free 24
SOCI or Related Courses
Select 2 course units in SOCI or Related2
Research Poster
Complete Research Poster
Total Course Units34

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Students are encouraged to take some courses outside of their concentration.


Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of 3.5 in the major.

SOCI 4100Thesis Workshop I.5
SOCI 4101Thesis Workshop II.5
SOCI 4998Honors Independent Study (Or Approved Course)1
Senior Thesis

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.