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Sociology Major

The study of Sociology will provide you with the tools you need to understand today’s most vexing social problems. From inequality to immigration, poverty to mass incarceration, Sociology teaches skills for thinking critically, collecting and interpreting data, and making evidence-based arguments. Sociology is the study of the social causes and consequences of human behavior.

Sociologists study a wide range of subjects: family, education, health, sex, race, religion, law, crime, poverty, inequality, immigration, rights, labor, organizations, globalization, and much more. This broad scope gives Sociology majors the unique opportunity to study many aspects of social life. In addition, Sociologists adopt a variety of social science methods to collect and examine empirical data critically and rigorously, including quantitative data analysis, survey research, content analysis of written and visual materials, in-depth interviews, ethnography, and historical analysis.

Prerequisite to Declare

Before declaring the Sociology major, students must complete one pre-requisite course with a C- grade or better:

- First and second year students should enroll in either SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology or SOC 102 Introduction to Sociology: Special Topics

- Third and fourth year students should enroll in either SOC 300 Sociological Principles and Problems or SOC 302 Health and Society: An Introduction to Sociology

Note that students should only take ONE prerequisite course (SOC 100, 102, 300, or 302); no credit will be granted for the second prerequisite course taken (the second course will have a “Not For Credit” designation on the transcript).

Sociology Major Requirements

The Sociology major provides a strong foundation in sociological research methods and theory while also allowing students to choose from a broad range of elective options to explore specific interests.

Students must complete at least 33 credit hours of Sociology coursework (excluding the prerequisite), which consist of:

  • Three required courses - SOC 210 or STATS 250 (Statistics), SOC 310 (Sociological Research Methods), and SOC 305 (Sociological Theory)

  • Electives (200-level or above), with a minimum of 14 elective credits elected at the 300-level or above (excluding SOC 300 and 302)


Major Example:

Prerequisite to declare - SOC 100 or 102 or 300 or 302 (choose one)

SOC 210 or STATS 250 (4 credits)
SOC 310 (4)
SOC 305 (4)

SOC 200-level or higher elective (3)
SOC 200-level or higher elective (4) – optional LJSC or SHM subplan

SOC 300-level or higher elective (3)
SOC 300-level or higher elective (3)
SOC 300-level or higher elective (4) – optional LJSC or SHM subplan
SOC 300-level or higher elective (4) – optional LJSC or SHM subplan
___
33 total major credits
 

Explore the LSA Course Guide > Subject > LSA: Sociology for course options and descriptions.

Students must earn at least a C- grade in major courses.

A maximum of 8 credits in the major may come from Experiential Learning or Independent Study style courses. This includes but is not limited to SOC 225, 325, 391, 394, 395, 396, 468, and 488.

For a complete list of Sociology major requirements, guidelines, and credit limitations, please carefully read the 'Sociology Major Requirement Information Sheet' linked below.

Students who major in Sociology cannot add a minor in the same department (please choose a sub-plan). 

Optional Submajors

A submajor (or subplan) is a purposeful selection of electives focused on related topics. A submajor does not require additional credits and is not a separate degree/certificate.

Sociology majors have the option of completing a submajor within their major in:

  • Law, Justice, & Social Change Submajor (LJSC),
  • Sociology of Health & Medicine Submajor (SHM), or
  • Sociology & Social Work (SSW).

Students may only complete one submajor.

I have questions about the major

If you have questions about your Sociology Major requirements or progress, schedule an advising appointment or email socadvisor@umich.edu.

If you have questions about your LSA or distribution requirements, your should contact your general advisor (LSA, RC, CSP, Honors). 

Use the My LSA Audit Checklist tool to get a snapshot of your degree progress and requirement groups.