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This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Declaring the Major in Sociology — To declare a major in Sociology, students should declare the BA in Axess, then download the major declaration form from the department website. Complete the top portion of the form, sign, and email the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sociology to set up an entrance advising meeting.

Major Requirements — A 3.0 GPA is required to enter the Sociology major. The BA in Sociology requires 60 units of course work. Units applied to the major must be taken for a letter grade (except for independent study or directed reading), and all earned grades must be 'C' or better.


Students are encouraged to complete some course work at the 200-level. Sociology majors are encouraged to participate in directed research or undertake independent research with Sociology faculty. See the department web site for additional information.

Units required for the Sociology BA are:



Sociology Core Courses


Sociology Foundation Courses


Social Science Electives




Total units required for the major



The following core courses are required of all Sociology majors.

  1. SOC 170. Classics of Modern Social Theory
  2. SOC 180A. Foundations of Social Research
  3. SOC 180B. Introduction to Data Analysis
  4. SOC 200 or SOC 202. Junior/Senior Seminar for Majors or Preparation for Honors Thesis.
    • It is recommended that students take this required course during Junior year or as early as possible during Senior year. Students pursuing the regular B.A. should take SOC 200. Students considering honors are encouraged to enroll in SOC 202 instead of SOC 200.

Sociology majors must complete 15 units of foundation courses; one course in three different areas for a total of three courses. For further information about Sociology areas of study, see the department web site.

Foundation courses, classified by area of study, are as follows:

Organizations, Business, and the Economy

Social Movements, Comparative Politics, and Social Change

Social Psychology and Interpersonal Processes

Social Inequality

Race, Gender, Immigration, Identity, and Policy


Four Social Science electives (20 units) are required for the major. You may take all four courses in Sociology if you wish. Students may choose their elective courses according to personal interest. Non-Sociology courses must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies. A maximum of 10 units taken in other Social Science departments (Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Political Science, Psychology) may be counted towards the 60 units required for the Sociology B.A.


Sociology majors are required to take at least one statistics course (5 units). The department suggests the courses listed below, or other comparable course with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

Suggested Statistics courses for Sociology majors:


Sociology majors who wish to complete an independent scholarly project under the direction of a faculty member are encouraged to apply for admission to the department's honors program. Admission to the program requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher in courses taken within the major, and an overall GPA of 3.3 (B+) or higher in all undergraduate course work. Applicants are required to identify a Sociology faculty member to advise on the research and writing of the essay. With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students may work with faculty advisors in other departments.

Students are encouraged to begin planning their honors thesis in their junior year; at this time they should enroll in SOC 202, Preparation for Honors Thesis or SOC 200, Junior/Senior Seminar. Students begin designing their honors project in connection with this seminar and in consultation with the seminar leader. To apply for the honors program, students should complete the honors application, obtain an advisor's approval and signature, and submit the application with a brief description of the proposed project, and a copy of the student's unofficial undergraduate transcript, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Prospective candidates are asked to submit an honors application as soon as possible in their junior or senior year, ideally no later than the end of the fourth quarter prior to graduation (typically Spring Quarter of the junior year). Honors students may earn up to 12 independent study units for work leading to completion of the required honors thesis, excluding units associated with the Junior/Senior Seminar.

If the student is admitted to the program, students will be directed to declare the B.A.H. in Axess and drop the general B.A. Completion of honors in Sociology requires:

  1. Application and acceptance into the Sociology Honors Program
  2. Completion of all requirements of the Sociology major
  3. Completion of an honors thesis with a grade of A- or higher
  4. Participation in the Sociology Honors Colloquium in the Spring quarter prior to graduation.

If honors program requirements are not met, students must drop the BAH degree program in Axess and declare the BA before applying to graduate.

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