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Department Overview

211 Savery

The Department of Sociology has a strong commitment to research, publication, and training and is dedicated to providing a rich undergraduate program, both for students majoring in sociology and for others who wish to learn about human society and social relations.

Undergraduate Program

211 Savery, Box 353340
(206) 543-5396

The Department of Sociology offers the following program of study

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in sociology

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: SOC 110, SOC 212, SOC 240, SOC 270, or any 200-level sociology courses. General coursework developing critical thinking or analytical skills.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. Introductory courses (10 credits): Minimum grade of 2.0 in SOC 300 and any additional 5 credit sociology course, one of which may be in progress.
  2. Minimum 2.0 grade for each course required for admission. Minimum cumulative UW GPA of 2.0.
  3. Application: See department website for information required as part of application packet. Exceptions based on special circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Application deadlines are the first Friday of each quarter. All applicants who meet the qualifications stated above are admitted in time to register as sociology majors for the following quarter.

Major Requirements

50 credits as follows:

  1. Introductory courses (10 credits): SOC 300 and any additional 5 credit sociology course
  2. Statistics and theory (10 credits): 5 credits from STAT 220, STAT 311, SOC 221/STAT 221/CS&SS 221, or SOC 321/STAT 321/CS&SS 321; and 5 credits for SOC 316
  3. Upper-division sociology electives (20 credits); Any 300-level or 400-level sociology courses, excluding SOC 316, SOC 395, SOC 399, SOC 499, and including a maximum of 5 credits of SOC 494
  4. Sociology electives (10 credits): Any additional sociology courses, with a maximum of 5 credits of either SOC 399 or SOC 499, and a maximum of 5 credits of SOC 494
  5. Academic standards: Minimum grade of 2.0 in any course applied to major requirements. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 for courses applied to major requirements. 25 of 50 required sociology credits completed in residence at UW.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The Department of Sociology's undergraduate degree is designed to teach majors to think systematically about the relationships among individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Sociology majors engage current research in political sociology, social stratification, race and ethnicity, deviance and social control, demography and other areas, and develop quantitative and analytical skills in research methods and social theory courses.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The Center for Social Science Computing and Research (CSSCR) maintains an extensive data archive, and offers consulting support and computer lab access to students in sociology courses. The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE) and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) provide interdisciplinary courses, seminars, and research opportunities for sociology students.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Sociology majors participate in a variety of internships each quarter. Students can receive academic credit under the supervision of a Sociology faculty member. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: None offered.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: A chapter of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society organizes events involving undergraduates with faculty and graduate students.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
211 Savery, Box 353340
(206) 221-3280

Sociology seeks to explain social structure, social institutions, and social interaction. There are three emphases in the graduate training program at the University of Washington: understanding and critically evaluating social theory and empirical research; doing theoretically guided research that explores, assesses, and further develops explanatory theories; and developing communication skills (with emphasis on teaching and scholarly writing) that are useful in transmitting sociological knowledge. The department has graduate program specialization in demography and ecology, deviance and social control, race and ethnic relations, family systems, gender studies, institutional analysis, quantitative research methodology, sociological theory, and stratification.

Emphasis is on empirical research aimed at developing explanatory theories. Students are trained in problem formulation, research design, data gathering and analysis, and bringing data to bear on significant questions. Instruction is offered on various methods: statistical, survey, demographic and ecological, field research, and historical. Students learn social research by participating in faculty projects or developing their own studies. The program also offers instruction on effective teaching techniques.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants are evaluated on undergraduate performance, Graduate Record Examination scores, statement of educational plans, recommendations, and samples of written work.
  2. Application Deadline: December 15. Admission offers are made for autumn quarter only. The UW Graduate Admissions Office strongly recommends that international applicants submit required application materials by November 1
  3. Application Materials: All information about the University of Washington Department of Sociology graduate program and the application materials are online. The Department of Sociology no longer sends out printed information or application materials. All applicants use the web-based application. Applying to the sociology graduate program involves application to both the University of Washington Graduate School and the Department of Sociology. See departmental website ( for more information.

Degree Requirements

The master's program, designed primarily as preparation for PhD work, is not a terminal degree, although it may serve as good training for non-academic research. The MA program consists of three elements:

  • Substantive training: coursework in substantive areas and social theory
  • Methodological training: work in social statistics, general social science methodologies, and a data analysis practicum
  • The master's thesis: independent empirical research conducted under the supervision of the MA committee.

Students working toward an MA degree must complete 45 graduate credits or more with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30:

  1. Sociological Theory -- SOC 510 (3)
  2. Statistics -- SOC 504, SOC 505, SOC 506 (3, 3, 3)
  3. Logic of Social Inquiry -- SOC 508 (3)
  4. Proseminar -- SOC 501 (1, 1, 1)
  5. MA Thesis -- SOC 700 (9)
  6. Electives -- 18 credits.

A minimum of 12 graded elective credits must be in courses offered by the Sociology Department. All courses should be at the 500 level or above, although a student may petition for inclusion of a 400-level course. No more than 3 elective credits may be assigned a letter grade (e.g., S or CR) in place of a numerical grade. Minimum GPA of 3.30.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Completion of an MA degree in sociology in the UW Sociology Department or elsewhere. Occasionally MA degrees in other fields are accepted. The department encourages applications from minority students.

See above under Master of Arts section for admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits, to include:

45 credits beyond the Master of Arts requirements (above) as follows:

  1. 3 graded credits in theory
  2. 6 graded credits in approved methods courses
  3. 9 elective credits
  4. 27 dissertation credits

Additionally, students must maintain a GPA of 3.30, pass a minor area examination, pass a major area examination, pass the general examination (prospectus defense), pass the final examination, and submit an approved dissertation to the Graduate School.

Financial Aid

Fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships are available to qualified graduate students including those in their first year of training.