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Bachelor of Arts
in Sociology

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Explore the Science of Human Relationships

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology engages you in the study of social groups, social structure, and social change. Sociology addresses the origins of and solutions to many of the most challenging social problems of our time. These include the birth of new social and political movements tied to race, class, religion, gender, and sexuality; demographic changes in the US and abroad; contemporary public health issues; and technological innovations in the digital age. Sociologists study these and other topics so as to affect positive social change in their communities at the local, national, or global level.

Designed for working adults, the program emphasizes real-world skills taught by experienced NU faculty. The program offers training in qualitative methodologies and digital literacy, providing students with important job skills. By applying research methods, theory, and knowledge about social life, you’ll learn to understand the structure of groups, organizations, and societies. You’ll explore human relationships from those as close as the intimate family to those as broad as global interactions among nations.

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Course Details

Course Listing

Prerequisites for the Major

  • 2 courses; 9 quarter units

Course Name

PrerequisiteENG 102

Critical introduction to basic sociology concepts. Examination of major theoretical perspectives and research methods. Topics include: economic stratification, race, gender, family, deviance, complex organizations.

PrerequisiteMTH 12A and MTH 12B, or Accuplacer test placement evaluation

An introduction to statistics and probability theory. Covers simple probability distributions, conditional probability (Bayes Rule), independence, expected value, binomial distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, hypothesis testing. Assignments may utilize the MiniTab software, or text-accompanying course-ware. Computers are available at the University’s computer lab. Calculator with statistical functions is required.

*May be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Requirements for the Major

  • 9 courses; 40.5 quarter units

Course Name

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines the institutions of marriage and family structures and their historical development. Topics include kinship, changing gender roles, changing family forms, divorce, domestic violence, and economic structure.

PrerequisiteENG 102; SOC 100

Employs a critical sociological approach to deviance and social control in contemporary society. Topics to be considered include the origins and functions of deviance in society, the institutional production and categorization of deviance, the impact of deviance on personal and social identity, deviant careers, and deviance and social change. Considers major theoretical sociological perspectives on deviance; makes use of current data on crime and current research in sociological and criminological journals and websites; and examines portrayals of deviance and social control in literature, film, and popular culture.

PrerequisiteENG 102; SOC 100

Research design and methods including survey, network, experiment, qualitative, quantitative, and collection, organization and interpretation of research data.

PrerequisiteENG 102; SOC 100

The study of social structure is central to sociology, and the study of work, the workplace, and various forms of organizations is fundamental for understanding the contemporary social world and the individual and society. Students will study the major theoretical approaches to the sociology of work and organizations, the evolution of the modern workplace and organizations, contemporary debates about work and in organizational theory, careers in sociology, and preparation for the job market. While grounded in sociology, the course examines contributions from economics, management and leadership studies, and psychology.

PrerequisiteSOC 100 and ILR 260

This course examines the foundational theories that have engaged social theorists. It analyzes the historical, cultural, social, economic, political, intellectual, and biographical contexts within which they developed, and appraises the extent to which they continue to inform sociological research and thinking.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines the origins of cultural pluralism in the USA and the valuing of diversity as a socio-cultural imperative. Explores the social history of race and ethnic relations in the USA from Colonial America to the present. Topics include voluntary and involuntary immigration, internal colonization, theoretical frameworks for understanding prejudice and discrimination, master narratives, the US Census, eugenics, immigration policy, and how gender and class complicate understandings of race and ethnicity in the USA.

PrerequisiteENG 102; SOC 100

Examines the major social theories that have engaged social theorists from the mid-twentieth century onward. The course also investigates the historical, sociological, intellectual, and biographical contexts within which contemporary social theories have developed and the extent to which they inform current sociological research and thinking.

PrerequisiteENG 102

A critical examination of theories of power, including the relationship of power to culture, social class, the economic order, government, ideology, poverty, race, sex and other topics. Studies community, national and international power structures and institutional leaderships.

PrerequisiteSOC 100 and ENG 240 or equivalent; SOC 385

The senior project is taken near the end of the student’s degree program after completion of the 40.5 units of core required courses for the major. Students will become familiar with the value of the BA Sociology degree and the diverse career pathways open to them. Students will conduct a senior capstone study and present that study in written and oral forms. The project is designed to deepen the sociological understanding of students as they develop a research problem, question, and hypothesis; write a literature review; choose an appropriate method for studying the problem; answer the research question by testing the hypothesis; report and discuss the findings; and adopt theoretical perspectives to analyze the problem and the findings. Grading is H, S, or U only.

**SOC 499 is taken toward the end of the program after completion of the 40.5 units of required courses for the major, and after completion of six or more electives.

Upper-Division Electives

  • 7 courses; 31.5 quarter units

Students must complete a minimum of seven courses (31.5 quarter units) of electives from the list below. *Students wishing to complete a minor in any field may substitute the minor-required courses to fulfill the elective requirements in Sociology. Suggested areas of minor are: Criminal Justice, Global Studies, and History.

Course Name

An examination of the history of substance use and abuse in the United States. Examines individual and institutional values that underpin chemically dependent behavior as well as socio-cultural factors, including media images, consumer product advertising, myths and stereotypes and subculture/life-style issues. Provides an overview of the social services structure, including outreach, education, prevention and treatment models.

An exploration of methods, patterns and meanings of individual and collective violence. Focuses on gangs, terrorists and the assaultive individual. Students analyze the causes of violence, attitudes toward violence and methods of controlling violence as well as the impact of gun control.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines how international cinema represents various aspects of societies and cultures outside the U.S. Representative films of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Oceania, and Canada may be studied.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines the sociological and historical experiences of sex, sexuality, and gender in the USA, focusing on their intersectionality with race, class, and other social variables. Analyzes dominant representations of gender roles and stereotypes in public culture as well as LGBTQ and other representations that challenge prevailing power structures.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines the relationships between humans and the natural environment over the last 500 years. Topics include conceptions of nature, the use of resources in different societies, the consequences of various forms of economic organization (particularly capitalism) on the environment, and the impact of technological change on the world’s ecology.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines changes associated with globalization since World War II, including changes in technology, urbanization, finance, markets, lending, the internationalization of production, the organization of work, and power relations among nations and world cultures. Investigates both theories of and popular responses to the new global economy.

PrerequisiteMTH 215, or MTH 301, or MTH 216A and MTH 216B

Examines currents in the development of mathematics and throughout ancient Egypt, Babylon, China, and the Middle East. It studies math’s influence on society through the major events of Europe, contemporary developments, and some projections into the future, including the women and men who played key roles in evolution of mathematics.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are surveyed in their historical, literary, and historical contexts. The sociology of religion is extensively addressed, and parallels in myths, rituals, conversion, and rites of passage are compared. Recent and contemporary religious trends are also addressed.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An exploration of ethical theories as they inform and are applied to contemporary environmental issues such as animal rights, habitat loss, species extinction, pollution, industrialization, population control, ecofeminism and political ecology. Western cultural and ecological assumptions are examined through the lenses of humanitarian, eco-centric, utilitarian, deontological, and ethics-of-care perspectives.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduction to social movements and collective action, covering several theoretical perspectives on how to understand and analyze social movements in recent global history, from their origins to their demise; a global survey of the processes of social and political awareness, mobilization, and development of such movements.

Examination of relationships between geographical features of the earth and human societies. Includes the study of map construction, mapping tools, geographical data, and the influence of geomorphological features on the development and spatial distribution of political systems, languages, and religions.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces students to the concept and origins of popular culture and to social theories used by academics to analyze its impact on self and culture in modern consumer societies. Topics include mass media, TV, the internet, video games, sports, leisure, fashion, celebrity, shopping, advertising, and youth culture.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An expansive overview of world consciousness, drawing upon the significant, creative contributions of men and women from varied cultures and different fields of learning. Emphasizes the approach of comparative synthesis. Studies the world’s outstanding creative thinkers and the interconnectedness of their works.

PrerequisiteENG 102; SOC 100

Employs “the sociological imagination” to explore issues of health, illness and medical practice. It examines the social contexts of physical and mental health, illness and medical care and gives prominence to the debates and contrasting perspectives which characterize the field of medical sociology. Exploring the social, environmental, and occupational factors in health and disease, the development of health professions and the health care workforce, doctor patient relationships, the structure and processes of health care organizations, health care and social change, it is designed for students interested in the organization and analysis of health care in the U.S.

PrerequisiteENG 102

A critical examination of the complex relationship between film and society and the processes by which film both influences and is influenced by society. Emphasizes the importance of locating the meaning of film texts within social and historical perspective and identifies how the film industry influences the presentation of different groups of people and issues in society. Explores the interrelationship between film and technology, the impact of narrative and the institution of Hollywood on the sociological imagination and the nature of representation, particularly as it applies to race, class and gender.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines race, gender, ethnicity and class in 20th century American society. Introduces students to methods for studying the changing nature of our society and explores ways in which our increasingly urbanized and technological culture affects all aspects of professional and unskilled work. May involve work in oral history.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Uses the functionalist, conflict and interactionist perspectives, this course explains how human conditions come to be perceived as social problems, and how to evaluate their proposed solutions.

Individual study under direction of instructor. Requires prior approval of appropriate academic department.

Degree and Course Requirements

To be awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and a minimum 69 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Students are required to complete a capstone project as part of the degree program. It is strongly suggested that students save all graded work. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

A bachelor’s in Sociology provides a foundation for a variety of career fields and for continued studies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sociology graduates find employment in a range of positions such as:

  • Social work*
  • Education*
  • Counseling*
  • Management and Administration*
  • and the full range of academic, governmental, and business professions open to college graduates

To learn more about career opportunities and benefits of a bachelor’s in sociology, read our post: What Can You Do With Bachelor’s in Sociology?


* SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, on the internet, at 
https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2017/article/liberal-arts.htm (viewed May 6, 2021) Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Sociology students are interested in understanding the causes of and remedies for social problems. They tend to be both intellectually curious and idealistic, with a stated goal of wanting to create a better world. For these reasons, the career paths they choose are likely to be satisfying, fulfilling, and personally rewarding.

According to the American Sociological Association (ASA)*, a BA in Sociology broadly educates students for an ever-changing job market. Using one’s sociological imagination can be a steppingstone to a variety of careers, helping one understand different viewpoints.

Majoring in sociology is conducive to the 21st century labor market for it emphasizes critical analysis and written and oral communication. Moreover, it encourages students to ‘think outside the box,’ not only about their communities and nation, but globally.

A degree in sociology familiarizes students with theoretical frameworks that help them understand the social structures in the world around them. It introduces them to qualitative and quantitative sociological methods, which are useful job market skills, which students should emphasize on their resumes. The degree prepares students to be creative problem solvers, make evidence-based arguments, work with diverse groups of people, evaluate the validity of different research methods, and identify ethical issues in sociological research.

NU’s sociology students are already work in or are planning careers in public policy, social services, counselling, public health, law enforcement, administration, and marketing, and with charitable organizations, government agencies.

*Source: American Sociological Association (ASA) careers page (https://www.asanet.org/careers-sociology). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. The ASA sources insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and experts of the sociology industry. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s BA in Sociology program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and distinguish among sociological research methods
  • Describe the roles of individuals and groups in the social construction of reality
  • Apply major sociological theories to real-world situations
  • Identify the roles of gender, race, ethnicity, and social class in social change at the micro- and macro-social levels

Hear From Our Faculty

Jacquelynn Foltyn
Professor of Sociology, Program Director BA Sociology headshot

“Sociology students are intellectually curious, idealistic, interested in understanding the social world around them, and the causes of and remedies for social problems. They are committed to  creating a better world. For these reasons, the career paths they choose are likely to be satisfying, fulfilling, and personally rewarding.”

-Jacquelynn Foltyn
Professor of Sociology, Program Director BA Sociology

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/program qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure as those policies are subject to change.

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