Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Degree Programs 


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

203 Savery Hall, 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): SOC 300 (may be in progress at time of application). Any additional 5 credit sociology course.
  2. Minimum 2.0 grade for completed course(s) required for admission. Minimum 2.00 cumulative UW GPA.
  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

  1. Introductory courses (10 credits): SOC 300 and any additional 5 credit sociology course
  2. Statistics and theory (10 credits):
    1. one of STAT 220, STAT 221/SOC 221/CS&SS 221, STAT 290, or STAT 311 (5 credits)
    2. SOC 316 (5 credits)
  3. Upper-division sociology electives (20 credits): Any 300-level or 400-level sociology courses, excluding SOC 316, SOC 395, SOC 399, SOC 499
  4. Sociology electives (10 credits): Any additional sociology courses, with a maximum 5 credits of either SOC 399 or SOC 499
  5. Maximum 10 credits from sociology practicum coursework (SOC 402, SOC 403, SOC 404, or SOC 494) may apply to elective major requirements. Maximum 5 credits from sociology practicum coursework may apply toward the upper-division elective requirement.
  6. Academic standards: Minimum 2.0 grade in any course applied to major requirements. Minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA for courses applied to major requirements. 25 of 50 required sociology credits completed in residence through the 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: 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 particular strengths in social and formal demography, deviance and social control, stratification and inequality, health, comparative and historical sociology, family and gender studies, and quantitative methods.

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.

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 is for autumn quarter only. International applicants should submit required application materials by November 1.
  3. Application Materials: All applicants use the web-based application. See departmental website ( for more information.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 45 credits

The master’s program, primarily 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
  1. Sociological Theory - SOC 510
  2. Statistics - SOC 504, SOC 505, SOC 506
  3. Logic of Social Inquiry - SOC 508
  4. Proseminar - SOC 501
  5. MA Thesis - SOC 700
  6. Electives - 18 credits.

Minimum 12 graded elective credits 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 3.30 cumulative GPA.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Completion of an MA degree in sociology. Occasionally MA degrees in other fields are accepted.

See above 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. Eight graded Sociology courses beyond the required first-year required courses. Electives taken while completing the MA can be counted. Minimum 24 credits overall.
  2. PhD training plan – four methods/skills/knowledge courses focusing on particular advanced methodological skills (broadly defined) or knowledge necessary to undertake dissertation research. Up to two of these courses may also count as part of the required eight graded sociology courses.
  3. Comprehensive examination
  4. General examination
  5. Final examination
  6. Dissertation (27 credits)
  7. Minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA

Financial Aid

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