Current Majors

Major Requirements

The Sociology major requires 50 credits. 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. A checklist of all current requirements can be found here:  Current Major Requirements Checklist

Sociology Advising Office

The Sociology Advising Office is an important resource for current Sociology majors. We are located in 203 Savery Hall. We can be reached at 206-543-5396 and at For information regarding Advising Appointments and Drop-In hours, please see the Advising page.

Current Course Offerings

Sociology’s current schedule of courses is available on the UW Time Schedule. Required courses (SOC 221, 300, 316) are offered every quarter, including Summer. Sociology’s elective offerings are highly dynamic and change from quarter to quarter. Special Topics courses (SOC 201, SOC 301, and SOC 401) vary by instructor and these courses may only be offered once, so do not delay if one of them catches your interest.  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.


Popular Sociology courses are regularly restricted to Sociology majors only, at least for Registration Period 1. This is one of the advantages of being a major! In some instances, we may set aside discussions sections in some of our larger courses exclusively for Sociology majors.

If the system does not allow you to register for a specific Sociology class, it likely means that you do not meet the criteria for registration. Please click on the course SLN which will show you the registration restrictions in place for that course.

If the class you wish to register for is full, please subscribe to the Seat Availability Notification feature for that course.

For any courses requiring add codes, please note that those are normally administered through the Sociology Advising Office, not the instructor.

Students who are pursuing independent research projects with a Sociology faculty member should contact for registration information regarding SOC 499.

Repeating a Required Sociology Course

SOC 221, SOC 300, and SOC 316 are all required courses for the sociology major and we encourage students to take them as early 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.

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

Students who wish to retake SOC 300 or SOC 316 need to complete the Petition to Repeat SOC 300 or 316.  We recommend that students begin working on the petition as soon as possible since it requires students to reflect on their past performance by meeting with their former TA, scheduling a Writing Center appointment if the petition is for SOC 316, as well as meeting with an academic counselor. The petition process is intended to help students familiarize themselves with departmental resources and devise a plan for academic success. Once the retake petition has been completed and approved, staff in the Sociology Advising Office will register the student for SOC 300 or SOC 316.

SOC 221 is jointly listed with STAT 221 and CS&SS 221; this means the course is split/shared among three departments and a degree audit will recognize any one of the three as meeting the sociology statistics requirement.  STAT 220 or STAT 311 or STAT 290 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 290, a student may earn credit for only one of these courses.  This does not apply to STAT 311.  Retaking one of the statistics courses does not require a petition; students are able to register themselves but see previous sentences for credit restrictions.


DL-Courses Can be Dangerous!
The Final-Year Residence Requirement

We frequently see students who are 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.” The term “residence credit” is confusing in that it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the student is a resident of the state of Washington.

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 International Programs and Exchanges (IPE) 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 UW distance-learning (DL-prefix) courses, as well as credits taken by UW-Seattle students at the UW Bothell and/or Tacoma campuses.

Current majors should schedule an appointment with a departmental advisor if they are considering taking DL courses in their final year or if they have questions about residence-credit policy.

The International Sociology Honors Society:
Alpha Kappa Delta

Not to be confused with Sociology’s departmental Honors program (below), Alpha Kappa Delta is the International Sociological Honors Society; eligibility for membership is based on GPA. AKD was founded in 1920 in order to acknowledge and promote scholastic excellence in the study of Sociology. Every Spring quarter, high performing Sociology majors who meet the appropriate requirements are invited to join the University of Washington’s Alpha Chapter of AKD. Membership in AKD is limited to the top 25% of Sociology majors, based on overall GPA and overall Sociology GPA. Invitations to prospective members are extended after Winter quarter grades have posted. In 2016, 71 students with a UW GPA of 3.00 or greater and a UW Sociology GPA of 3.45 or more were invited to join UW-AKD. The Department’s annual AKD induction Ceremony and Dinner takes place each Spring quarter and is an occasion for inductees and their guests to celebrate alongside Sociology faculty and staff.

Sociology Honors Program

The Sociology Honors Program is a year-long academically rigorous program, designed for students who want closer intellectual contact with faculty, as well as students who are interested in graduate work in Sociology or related fields.  We encourage interested students to read more about the program here. Sociology’s advising staff is always happy to meet with interested students in person to discuss program requirements and answer additional questions.

Applying to Graduate

The conferral of a UW Degree does not happen automatically after students complete all degree requirements – students need to file a graduation application with the Sociology Advising Office in order for their degree to be awarded. Degree applications are due no later than the third Friday in which the student plans to graduate but we recommend that students file 2 quarters in advance (e.g., Autumn quarter for a planned Spring graduation). This allows the students sufficient time to deal with any unexpected DARS issues and also means they can take advantage of Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) registration status for their final two quarters. GSP enables graduating seniors to register for courses the Friday before general registration begins.

Undergraduate Student Awards

Every year, the Department of Sociology is proud to recognize the achievements of its graduating seniors during our annual Graduation Celebration, held at Meany Hall on the UW Campus on Wednesday evening of Finals’ week in Spring quarter.

Albert W. Black Undergraduate Community Service Award

A great many Sociology undergraduate students believe strongly in the importance of Community Service and we are often happily surprised by the level of commitment to community service our majors exhibit. The Albert W. Black Undergraduate Community Service Award is intended to celebrate that commitment and honor a graduating Sociology major.

Albert W. Black, Jr., is an Emeritus Principal Lecturer in the Department of Sociology.   His areas of interest are the sociology of religion and race relations.  Professor Black is a highly respected leader and role model in the local community and his commitment to community service, in particular his work with gang members, is legendary.  He was a founding member and Chair of the Franklin Fathers Group, has led interventions into local schools, and has challenged the at-risk students with a message of zero tolerance for the disruption of the learning process.  He has been invited into numerous school and civic environments as mentor, educator, leader, and parent. 

The Albert W. Black Undergraduate Community Service Award is a merit-based award for an undergraduate Sociology major serving as a volunteer or participating in an internship with a Puget Sound area community service organization working with disadvantaged populations and having a positive impact on the local community.  Any graduating Sociology major may submit materials to become a candidate for the award. In 2016, the Award amount was $1,000.

All candidates are reviewed by the Department’s Undergraduate Program Committee which makes its recommendations to the Chair.

  • 2017-2018 Academic Year Recipient: Abigail Sloan
  • 2016-2017 Academic Year Recipient:  Carol Xie

Howard B. Woolston Award for Academic Excellence

Howard B. Woolston was the Chair of the Department of Sociology from 1919 - 1929, and was an Outstanding Teacher at the University.  The Woolston Award was established in 1956 and is the first - and thereby oldest - endowed fund in the department.

Students who are nominated for the award by Faculty, Instructors and TAs in the department become finalists for the award which in 2016 was for $1,000. Students must be graduating seniors to be eligible.  Normally they will have at least a 3.70 grade point average in sociology, and a GPA of at least 3.50 overall.  A combination of three criteria is used in selecting the recipients of this award; the nominations from instructors, grades, and papers the students have submitted from their courses, and recommendations from their instructors.

All nominees are reviewed by the Department’s Undergraduate Program Committee which makes its recommendations to the Chair.

  • 2017-2018 Academic Year Recipients: George Rhodes and Abigail Sloan
  • 2016-2017 Academic Year Recipient:  Lauren Halle

Graduation Celebrations

The Sociology Department’s Graduation Celebration takes place at Meany Hall on the Wednesday evening during Finals week of Spring quarter and graduating majors are encouraged to attend with their families and friends. Current majors who are getting ready to graduate and are interested in participating in the UW Sociology Graduation Celebration can find out about event details here. For additional questions about the event, please visit the Graduation FAQ.

The University of Washington Commencement Ceremony takes place at Husky Stadium on the Saturday afternoon at the end of Finals week of Spring quarter and is a historic tradition with over 5,000 students walking across the stage each year.  Please visit the Commencement website here for all details about this event including cap/gown ordering, tickets, parking/transportation, and more.

Both events occur only once a year at the end of Spring quarter, however students from the previous Autumn and Winter quarters as well as the current Spring and the upcoming Summer who have graduation applications on file are welcome to attend both.

Additional information about graduation related matters (Commencement, diploma, degree verification, etc.) can be found here.



Page Last Updated 3/2019.