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Sociology program

Sociology, BA

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Overview

Sociology is the critical study of the social world. As a sociology student, you will gain a rich understanding of a range of social processes and concerns, including such pressing issues as public health crises to social movements for racial justice. Through your course work, you will develop skills to examine social problems and work collaboratively to identify solutions. You will also gain experience and apply insights to important social issues through community engagement.

Our online BA in Sociology is a program for undergraduate students who want to earn a valuable, high-quality degree in a field that is full of professional opportunities. We offer three optional certificates for our majors as well as non-majors, including Families & Social Welfare, Criminology, and Sociology of Health and Medicine. The BA in Sociology program is designed for traditional undergraduate students as well as working adults who wish to pursue a new credential or complete college coursework. Thus, it is for students who are returning to coursework after a long break, transfers from other universities and community colleges, and high school graduates who want to complete their degree entirely online.

Although the BA in Sociology is entirely online, the program is taught by the same high-quality award-winning faculty as the on-campus program. Most of our courses are taught by full-time doctoral-level faculty, the majority of whom are actively engaged in social research. Their expertise and experience offer online students the opportunity to complete faculty-supervised research remotely and graduate with university honors, which is very uncommon for an online program.

A BA in Sociology will provide you with numerous professional opportunities and career options. You could work as a human resource manager, urban planner, criminologist, policy analyst or social science researcher, among many other roles in corporations, education, government and nonprofit organizations. Some sociologists also work in higher education as researchers, writers and professors.


Program Details

The BA in Sociology requires 120 credits, 32 of which come from required sociology courses. The remainder of the coursework comes from CU Denver requirements, including mathematics and writing competencies. Of the 32 sociology credits, at least 16 must be in upper-division, 3000 or 4000-level courses. In order to graduate with a BA, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their sociology courses.

The BA in Sociology courses cover the basics of sociology as well as a number of focal areas. Students also can choose to complete one of three specialized certificates, based on their interests or career plans:

  • Families & Social Welfare
  • Criminology
  • Sociology of Health & Medicine

Award of a certificate is noted on the student’s transcript immediately upon its completion, even if the student is still working toward the BA degree.

Is this program right for you?

Students come to our sociology program with many different career goals. Some plan to be social workers, supporting vulnerable populations such as children, people with disabilities, older adults and victims of violence or abuse. Others plan on a career in human resources, law enforcement or the business world. We also educate graduates who are ready to pursue a career in public policy, business management, and other fields, or who plan on graduate study or professional school, such as law school.

Online programs are a newer, but completely valid, way to earn a traditional academic degree. CU Denver’s Sociology Department has successfully engaged in online education for well over 15 years and they are knowledgeable about what it takes for students to complete an online degree. Choosing an online program means you will need to prioritize your time effectively, as you won’t be meeting on campus in a traditional classroom setting. Online college students need to be detail-oriented, organized and self-motivated to complete work on their own.

The BA in Sociology program can be completed at the same pace as any traditional undergraduate degree or at your own pace. Students taking a full course load (at least 12 credit hours per semester) can expect to graduate in 4 years, or 8 semesters. For students who want to graduate as quickly as possible, 3-week Maymester courses and 8-week summer courses are also available. Students who transfer credits via the university’s flexible transfer system are able to finish earlier than those who start with zero credits. After graduation, you’ll be able to immediately go to work in sociology-related fields.


Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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Timeline

The BA in Sociology program can be completed at the same pace as any traditional undergraduate degree or at your own pace. Students taking a full course load (at least 12 credit hours per semester) can expect to graduate in 4 years, or 8 semesters. For students who want to graduate as quickly as possible, Maymester and summer courses are also available. Students who transfer credits via the university’s flexible transfer system are able to finish earlier than those who start with zero credits.

After graduation, you’ll be able to immediately go to work in sociology-related fields.


Admissions

Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student. 

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.


Career Outlook

What sort of career options exist for you after receiving your online bachelor’s degree in sociology? The opportunities are almost limitless. A degree in sociology can prepare you for a career in a number of industries, including business, human resources, criminal justice, and law enforcement, policy and government, social work and education.

Sociologists play an important role in our ability to understand the various forces that influence our society. This social science requires a strong command of both empirical research processes and critical analysis, which can then be applied to countless career paths. For example, a sociologist working in the public sector might be a social worker or city planner, whereas a sociologist working for a business could be a human resources director or market analyst. You could also help develop good public policy on the local, state, and federal levels. Many sociologists also choose to remain in academia as professors, researchers, and writers. Non-profit directors also often have a background in sociology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for sociologists in the United States in 2017 was $79,650 per year, but many sociologists don’t work with the job title of “sociologist.” Rather, they apply their transferable skills, research experience, and sociology expertise to the field where they are employed. Some sociologists go on to pursue additional education, adding a master’s degree or PhD to their credentials.

Sociology positions are expected to remain stable between 2016-2026. Sociologists can be found working in any field, but here are some standard career paths median salaries:

  • Academia: $87,401
  • Corporate Sales Manager: $56,332
  • Public Policy Analyst: $56,224
  • Social Worker: $44,351

Courses

The BA in Sociology program offers relevant, high-quality coursework that satisfies every requirement in preparing you for a career in sociology. Out of the 120 required credits for graduation, 34 come directly from the sociology program.

Sociology students study social problems, social systems, race, ethnicity, gender, social inequalities, institutions (e.g. family, law, health care), research methods and more. Because our students get the opportunity to participate in authentic, original research as part of the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program, graduates go into the field with everything they need to be successful.

Example Courses

SOCY 1001 — Understanding the Social World
This survey course provides an introduction to the sociological study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. Typical course topics include socialization, the family, criminology, deviance, inequalities, sex and gender, race and ethnicity, health and medicine, self and identities, and globalization. Students gain an understanding of how organizations, institutions, and structures of society shape individual and group experiences.

SOCY 2001 — Inequalities in the Social World
This course examines different forms of deviance and how deviant categories are created. Emphasis is on how groups gain control over social definitions and the consequences these definitions have in the form of norms, laws, and informal social sanctions.

SOCY 2462 — Introduction to Social Psychology
Studies the development and functioning of persons, especially within a group context, and the dynamics of small groups. Emphasis is on import of symbols for human behavior, development of self-concepts, and the processes of competition and cooperation in group dynamics.