SOCIOLOGY MAJOR (BA)
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND WORKSHEET
Requirements to Complete the Sociology Major
SOCIOLOGY (BA) WORKSHEET [PDF]
The Sociology Worksheet is an aid to complete the major declaration form and keep track of completing the requirements of the major.
Before declaring a major in Sociology, a student must first complete SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology and one other course (three credits) in Sociology, with a grade of “C” or better in each course. SOC 3020-Introduction to Social Theory or SOC 3120-Sociology Research Workshop may be used to fulfill the second prerequisite requirement.
Third-year transfer students may declare a major in Sociology if they have completed a course in Introductory Sociology and one other Sociology course at their previous institution, with a grade of “C” or better in each course.
REQUIREMENTS TO COMPETE THE MAJOR
Sociology majors are required to complete 30 credits of coursework approved by their faculty advisors or the Director of Undergraduate Programs (DUP). Normally, students meet this requirement by completing ten courses. Courses taken before declaring the major can be counted.
Four core courses are required for the Sociology major:
- SOC 1010 Introductory Sociology (3-credit course)
- SOC 3020-Introduction to Social Theory (3-credit course)
- SOC 3120-Sociology Research Workshop (4-credit course)
- SOC 3120 should be taken in the fall of the thrid year.
- SOC 3130-Introduction to Social Statistics (4-credit course)
- Note that SOC 3120 is a prerequisite for SOC 3130.
Majors must also complete six elective courses (18 credits). Four of these elective courses (12 credits) must be at the 3000 level or above, including two courses (6 credits) at the 4000 or 5000 level. Students should note that all 4000- and 5000-level courses require at least two prior Sociology courses (6 credits) as prerequisites.
All courses used to meet the 30- credit requirement must be letter-graded. Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis do not count toward the major. Note: The Sociology Department waived this rule during the 2020-2021 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Courses completed during the 2020-2021 academic year with grades of CR will be counted toward the major.
A grade of “C” or better is necessary in every course to be counted toward the major. Students receiving less than a “C” in one of the four required courses must retake the course and receive a grade of “C” or better. Students receiving less than a “C” in an elective course will be required to take another Sociology course for the major. (Elective courses where a student receives an unsatisfactory but passing grade still count toward the College’s requirement of 120 credits for graduation even though they do not count toward the major. Because the College will not give credit for taking a course twice, re-taken required Sociology courses do not count toward the 120- credit requirement.)
Students are required to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in Sociology courses. In addition, students may not receive grades of “C minus” or lower in three or more Sociology courses. Students who fail to meet these requirements will be dropped from the major. A student who has been dropped may petition the Director of Undergraduate Programs for readmission. Any such petition should include both (a) an explanation of what occurred and (b) a plan for avoiding further low grades in the future.
Note: The online Student Information System (SIS) sometimes calculates the major GPA incorrectly by ignoring courses that cannot be applied toward the major due to low grades. The Department’s calculation of the major GPA includes all Sociology courses and thus may be different.
Exemptions and Waivers
Exemption from SOC 1010
Transfer students who have transferred credits for a course in Introductory Sociology taken at another institution prior to matriculation at the University are exempt from the requirement to take SOC 1010. However, the Introductory Sociology course taken at the previous institution does not count toward the 30 credits required for the completion of the sociology major. Thus transfer students must take an additional Sociology course at any level.
Exemption from SOC 3130
Students may be exempted from the requirement to take SOC 3130 - Introduction to Social Statistics, if one of the following circumstances applies:
1. The student has completed PSYC 2005 & 3006 with a “C” or better and either (a) is double-majoring in Psychology or (b) completed those courses prior to declaring a major in sociology.
2. The student has completed ECON 3710 with a “C” or better and either (a) is doublemajoring in Economics or (b) completed that course prior to declaring a major in sociology.
3. The student has completed STAT 2020, STAT 2120, or STAT 3120 and either (a) is double-majoring in Statistics or (b) completed that course prior to declaring a major in sociology.
Exemption from SOC 3130 does not reduce the total 30 credits required for completion of the major. Thus, exempted students must complete an additional Sociology course at any level.
Other Exemptions and Waivers
Students in unusual circumstances may petition the DUP and the Undergraduate StudiesCommittee for an exemption from a requirement or a waiver of any departmental policy relating to the major. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the Committee has all appropriate materials.
Requirements to Complete the Sociology Minor
Sociology Minors are required to complete six courses (18 credits) in the program.
Students must complete the following course with a grade of “C” or higher:
SOC 1010: Introductory Sociology (3-credit course)
Introduces the fundamental concepts and principles of sociology and the major subfields of the discipline.
Minors must also complete two elective courses (6 credits) at the 4000 or 5000 level. The remaining three elective courses (9 credits) can be taken at any level.
Sociology Minors are required to complete 18-hours (generally 6 classes) in the program. No more than 3-hours of SOC 4970-Special Studies in Sociology may be included in the 18-hour requirement for the sociology minor. As part of the 18 hours for the minor, students must complete the following:
- SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology (3-hour course)
NOTE: If you have already received transfer credit for SOC 1010 from another institution by the time you declare a minor, you may be exempt from taking this course in the department; however, in this case you must take a 3-credit Sociology course at any level to make up the required number of credit hours.
- Minors should also complete 6-hours (normally 2 courses) at the 4000 or 5000 level. The remaining 9-hours (normally 3 courses) can be taken at any level.
All courses must be taken for graded credit (except during Covid) and must completed with at least a "C" or better.
Prospective minors will be assigned to a member of the Undergraduate Studies Committee once your form has been submitted through DocuSign to the Academic Administrative Assistant. You should contact your minor advisor to set up an appointment for form approval.
Additional Program Information
Second Writing Requirement
Most 4000-level Sociology courses and some 3000-level courses can be used to meet the College’s Second Writing Requirement (SWR). If a course meets this requirement, the syllabus should make that clear. In case of uncertainty,students should ask the instructor whether a particular course meets the SWR.
Summer Session and J-Term Courses
Sociology courses taken during the summer session at the University of Virginia are equivalent to academic-year courses and count toward the major in Sociology. Thus, both required and elective courses may be taken during the summer session.
J-Term courses do not count toward the major.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, J-Term courses taken in January 2021 only will be counted toward the major.
Courses in Other Departments of the University or Other Institutions and Programs
Required courses and the required six credits at the 4000 or 5000 level must be completed in the Sociology Department. For other electives, up to two courses (six credits) may be taken outside the Sociology Department. These may include courses in other departments and programs at the University of Virginia or courses taken at another institution or program. Courses taken at another institution or program would normally arise in the case of (a) transfer students; (b) students who wish to take a summer course closer to home; and (c) students who wish to participate in a study-abroad program.
All requests to count courses taken outside the Sociology Department toward the major, whether taken at the University of Virginia or elsewhere, must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs.
Students who wish to count summer or study-abroad courses at another institution or program toward the major must request and receive written pre-approval from the Director of Undergraduate Programs in advance of enrollment.
Four-year students with a strong academic record (a Sociology GPA of 3.2 or higher) may wish to pursue an independent study under the supervision of a faculty member (SOC 4970 - Special Studies in Sociology). Three credits of SOC 4970 can count towards the major. Enrollment in SOC 4970 requires prior approval by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. To apply for approval, a student should first develop a syllabus with the instructor who will supervise the independent study. This syllabus should indicate the planned learning goals, readings, activities, frequency of meetings with your instructor, and modes of learning assessment. The student should also complete the Independent Study Form, which is available on the Sociology website. The form and syllabus should be submitted to the DUP, who may ask for revisions before approval.
Graduate Courses and Dual-Level Courses
Although Sociology courses at the 5000-level are designed for graduate students, some of these courses may be of interest to fourth-year students with an exceptional academic record (a Sociology GPA of 3.4 or higher). Undergraduate enrollment in a 5000-level course is at the discretion of the instructor. Undergraduate students should not normally take a 5000-level course until they have completed SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology and six courses (18 credits) in Sociology.
Occasionally the Department offers courses that have a dual listing, e.g. SOC 4053/8053. These courses are open to both undergraduate and graduate students with distinct requirements for each. Undergraduates should enroll in the lower-level course listed.
Distinguished Majors Program
The Department of Sociology participates in the College’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The DMP provides qualified and motivated students with the opportunity to design and carry out an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member over the course of two semesters. This effort culminates in writing an honors thesis. Click here for more info on the DMP.
Note on Major Advising
The first meeting with your Sociology advisor where you declare your major marks the beginning of a long-term relationship that can be extremely important and valuable to you. You are expected to meet with you advisor at least once during the semester to discuss your choice of courses or any other question or problem concerning the major. You are the one who should take the initiative in arranging these meetings. The best time for meeting with your advisor is during his or her office hours; it is important to respect your advisor’s research and teaching commitments.
* Faculty are not obligated to meet with students during the summer months; if prospective majors cannot declare the major by the end of Spring semester, they may need to wait until the start of Fall semester to meet with a faculty advisor to declare the major.
Contact the Academic Administrative Assistant to answer your questions.