Undergraduate Studies

The Department of Sociology has over 1,600 undergraduate majors — one of the largest programs in the country. The Department is a leader in the areas of gender, sexualities, and feminist theory, the sociology of culture, race and ethnicity, Latinx studies, globalization and its effects, social movements, conversation analysis, and social networks. It is well known for its cutting edge research, diversity of perspectives, support for emerging areas of study, and innovative approaches to the discipline. Faculty and students study topics ranging from the effects of gender ideologies and sexual identities in everyday life, to the effectiveness of housing policies, to the social consequences of AIDS, to the effect of the internet on society. They explore economic factors in urbanization, the structure and dynamics of the Chicanx family, and the history and politics in Third World countries.

The requirements of the sociology major are designed to provide a thorough grounding in sociological theory and methodology, while also allowing students to explore specific interests. In addition to providing a core foundation of a liberal arts education, a sociology major can serve as preparation for careers in such fields as law, management, urban and environmental planning, corrections, journalism, education, social work, counseling, and other service professions.

Undergraduate Advising

Assistance is available for changing majors, running major-related progress checks, enrollment procedures, course substitutions, and studying abroad.


3119 Social Science & Media Studies Building

Drop-In Advising Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am-12pm & 1pm-3:30pm

Scheduled Advising Hours

Thursdays & Fridays: schedule an appointment for remote advising via Zoom

Phone Number**

(805) 893-3314


**We do not provide any advising over the phone. Please reach out through any of the other methods mentioned above. Phone calls should only be used for extremely broad or quick questions.

Honors Program

The Sociology Honors Program provides students with the opportunity to graduate from UCSB with "Distinction in the Major" upon completion of at least one graduate seminar and the two quarter practicum with grades of B or better. In addition, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. Students may elect to participate in the Practicum only and not take the graduate course. However, students will not receive "Distinction in the Major."

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I declare the pre-major?
    You must have completed at least one of the pre-major GPA requirements in areas A and/or B at UCSB with a 2.3 (C+) GPA. Please email us at ugrad-soc@soc.ucsb.edu or come into our office to obtain the necessary forms. When approved, you will be officially declared a pre-sociology major. It takes 4-6 weeks for the paperwork to process through the Registrar's Office. You will remain in pre-major status until you complete all pre-major requirements and subsequently petition for full major status. Students must complete pre-major courses and achieve the minimum GPA requirements. Courses in Area A and B must be completed with a grade of "C-" or higher.
  2. How do I declare the full major?
    You must have completed the entire pre-major with the required GPA, all of your grades must be posted in GOLD under your course history, and then you need email us at ugrad-soc@soc.ucsb.edu or come into our office to obtain the necessary forms. Students must complete pre-major courses and achieve the minimum GPA requirements.  Courses in Area A and B must be completed with a grade of "C-" or higher.
  3. Will grades from my community college count toward the pre-sociology major grade point average?
    No. Grade points from other institutions (except other UC’s) do not transfer with you, only units and subject credit. When you begin at UCSB, you start with a 0.0 GPA.
  4. Will the Social Problems, Marriage and Family, or Human Sexuality courses I took at the community college count toward the sociology major?
    No. All courses taken at a community college are considered lower division level courses. The human sexuality course at UCSB is an upper division course and if you choose to take it, you will receive upper division credit for it.
  5. Can I take upper division sociology courses even though I am still in the pre-major?
    Yes. Some upper-division sociology courses are open to pre-majors and most pre-majors supplement any remaining pre-major classes with upper division courses. However, most classes are blocked for full sociology majors only. Check GOLD for any restrictions.
  6. Do I have to complete the pre-major right away, or can I go ahead and take upper division sociology classes instead?
    It is not in your best interest to delay completing the pre-major. If the pre-major courses are offered, you should take them instead of putting them off. The longer you take to complete the pre-major, the more frustrating it will be for you when trying to enroll in classes that are blocked for full majors only. While Sociology 1 and statistics are offered every quarter, the history courses are only offered during certain quarters. If your remaining pre-major classes are not offered, you should supplement your schedule with upper division classes. An advisor in the sociology department can help you with your schedule if you are at all uncertain as to what to enroll in.
  7. If I can’t get the sociology classes I need, what should I enroll in?
    You will need 60 upper division units in Letters and Science, of which 36 will come from the sociology major. That leaves you 24 units (6 classes) that can come from other departments. Consider taking courses in other departments that might interest you or help you with your career goals. Or, if you are planning on pursuing a double major or minor, you should fit those courses in as well.
  8. How do I “crash” a class in the Sociology Department?
    Crashing refers to attempting to get into a class that is full. You can get on online waitlists as they open up, email an instructor to be placed on a waitlist if there is not one online, or sign up on a list on the first day of class. You must go to the first day of class to see what your status is. Every instructor has their own policy for adding students.
  9. Where can I find descriptions of Sociology courses?
    Please see the UCSB General Catalog here.