Current Majors

The UW Sociology major provides students with a framework for developing deep knowledge of social life and an appreciation for the rich variety that forms of social organization take, as well as how these structures are implicated in durable patterns of social exclusion, inequality and injustice. 

Required courses in social theory (SOC 316) and methods of social observation and analysis (SOC 300, SOC 221) give students a foundation for thinking sociologically as a general habit, as well as important tools for the critical analysis of new ideas and information. These required courses also prepare students for more-advanced study in substantive areas; examples include criminal justice and social control, the relationship between new technologies and society, and the formation and contestation of social identities.

As students progress through the major, opportunities open up for community-based research, internships, and individual research projects where students gain course credit and apply what they’ve learned to local settings and real-world problems. The Sociology major also supports a vibrant Undergraduate Honors program for students interested in conducting closely-supervised original research in the form of an honors thesis.        

Major Requirements

The Sociology major requires 50 credits, including the following:

  • Introductory Coursework (10 credits)
    • Soc 300: Foundations of Social Inquiry (offered AUT and WIN quarters)
    • One other 5-credit course in Sociology
  • Statistics Course (5 credits)
    • SOC 221: Social Science Statistics. Offered jointly with CS&SS/STAT 221
    • STAT 220 or AP STAT 290 may be used in place of SOC 221
  • Sociology Theory Course (5 credits)
    • SOC 316: Introduction to Sociological Theory (offered WIN and SPR quarters)
  • Advanced Sociology Coursework (20 credits)
    • Any UW Sociology 300- or 400-level courses, except SOC 395, SOC 399, and SOC499
    • Students may also apply 5 credits of Practicum coursework toward this requirement. (SOC 3xx/4xx -- transferred courses -- may not be used.)
  • Sociology Electives (10 credits)
    • This includes sociology coursework at any level. (Maximum 5 credits total of SOC 399 or SOC 499.)

The minimum grade required for an individual course to count toward the major is a 2.0. The minimum UW Sociology GPA requirement for graduation is 2.50. 

For more information on major requirements, download the Sociology Major Requirements Checklist.

Course Levels


SOC 110

Provides an introduction to Sociology and what we can learn about the world we live in from thinking sociologically. Topics might include race and racism, poverty, housing, immigration, deviance and social control, and social and cultural change. Course content may vary, depending on instructor.


Provide opportunities to learn about the core concepts of sociology and substantive areas of study, through the lens of a particular topic of common interest


Provide opportunities to use core concepts of sociology, learn about substantive areas within the discipline, and learn about and use analytical thinking skills. These courses expect that students understand core sociological concepts and can apply them with relative ease to a new substantive area of study. 


Provide opportunities to use core concepts of sociology, undertake deep critical learning in substantive areas, practice using evidence and theory in critique, develop independence in thought and work, and receive training on oral and written communication skills.

Required courses: SOC 221, 300, 316
Quarters offered:

  • SOC 221: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
  • SOC 300: Fall, Winter, Summer
  • SOC 316: Winter, Spring, Summer 

We encourage students to take required courses as soon as possible. Material covered in 300 and 400 level sociology courses will make more sense and provide a richer experience for students who have taken these courses.

Special Topics courses: SOC 201, 301, 401
Quarters offered: Vary by instructor and may only be offered once

Elective courses are highly dynamic and change from quarter to quarter. Summer quarter often features courses rarely available during the regular academic year; such as courses on Social Psychology, Medical Sociology, as well as unique Special Topics coursework.

View Current Course Offerings Here
View Course Details Here

Repeating a Required Sociology Course

If you previously earned credit for SOC 221, 300, or 316 but your grade was below 2.0, you will need to retake the course to raise your grade for it to count toward the sociology major. However, students may only earn credit for a given course once. In other words, unless you earned a 0.0, NS, or withdrawal (W) for the required course, retaking that course will not give you additional credits; you are repeating the class for an improved grade only.

  1. Complete the Petition to Repeat promptly, as it requires a meeting with your former TA. 
  2.  If you are petitioning to retake SOC 316, schedule an appointment at the Writing Center. Click here to make an appointment. 
  3. Schedule an appointment with a Sociology advisor to strategize academic success. 
  4. Once petition is approved, Advising staff will register you for the class you are retaking. 

SOC 221 is jointly listed with STAT 221 and CS&SS 221; a degree audit will recognize any one of the three as meeting the sociology statistics requirement. STAT 220 or STAT 311 are permitted alternatives to SOC/STAT/CS&SS 221. However, because of significant overlapping content among SOC/STAT/CS&SS 221, STAT 220, and STAT 311, a student may earn credit for only one of these courses. Retaking one of the statistics courses does not require a petition; students are able to register themselves but will not earn credit for the course.

Final Year Residence Requirement

Students are sometimes surprised to learn about the UW’s Final Year Residence Requirement – reprinted on students’ DARS – which states, “45 of the final 60 credits of a student's degree program must be UW residence credits.”

Residence credits are credits students earn from courses taken in a classroom on the UW-Seattle campus. Foreign study credit earned through UW-sponsored programs are also transcribed as UW residence credit. Check with the Study Abroad office if you are considering a Study Abroad program. Non-residence credits are all other types of credits! It is important to note that non-residence credits include courses taken by UW-Seattle students at the UW Bothell and/or Tacoma campuses.

If you have questions about UW residence-credit policy, you should schedule an appointment with a departmental advisor.

The International Sociology Honors Society

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD)

Alpha Kappa Delta is the International Sociological Honors Society, (not to be confused with Sociology’s departmental Honors program.) AKD was founded in 1920 in order to acknowledge and promote scholastic excellence in the study of sociology. Membership in AKD is limited to the top 25% of Sociology majors, based on overall GPA and overall Sociology GPA. Every Spring quarter, qualifying Sociology majors are invited to join the University of Washington’s Alpha Chapter of AKD. Invitations to prospective members are extended after Winter quarter grades have posted.

Applying to Graduate

The conferral of a UW degree does not happen automatically after completing degree requirements.  You must file a graduation application with the Sociology Advising Office  for your degree to be awarded. Degree applications are due no later than the third Friday of the quarter in which you plan to graduate. We recommend that you file two quarters in advance (e.g., Autumn quarter for Spring graduation). This allows time to deal with any unexpected DARS issues. It also means you can use Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) registration status for your final two quarters. GSP lets graduating seniors register for courses the Friday before general registration opens.

For more information, see our Graduation page.