Department of Sociology
Matthew Jendian, Chair
Social Science Building, Room 227
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Sociology, B.A.
MN in Sociology, Minor
MN in Philanthropic and Community-Based Leadership, Minor
Sociology majors receive strong grounding in traditional and contemporary social theory, methods of conducting social research, and techniques of analyzing social data. Courses with a service-learning component provide students with an opportunity to engage in participant-observation studies, while the Social Research Laboratory (SRL) gives them a chance to participate in survey research. Encouraging student research is one of the hallmarks of sociology at Fresno State.
The program also offers advanced courses on topics ranging from medical sociology, religion, and family to popular culture, deviance, and social movements and social change.
Sociology Minor Requirements
Sociology upper-division electives (15 units)
Students may substitute SOC 3 for 3 units of upper-division electives
Total (22 units)
Note: The Sociology Minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the Sociology Minor, except for courses offered only under CR/NC grading.
All full-time faculty hold Ph.D.s and share a commitment to excellence in teaching. Their areas of special interest are diverse, including social change, deviance, women in society, social stratification, social psychology, social theory, and research methods. All are involved in the Center for the Study of Social Life in the San Joaquin Valley, which promotes scholarship and research with a regional focus. Most of the faculty are actively involved in research. Recent faculty research has included studies of opinions on women's issues, willingness to pay additional taxes, prayer, stereotypes and ethnic prejudice, and the social organization of sport.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.
Sociology is the scientific study of human social life. Sociologists seek to describe and explain patterns of human activity. Some sociologists study small groups, while others study organizations, institutions, or entire societies.
The findings from sociological research often challenge common-sense explanations. The practice of becoming a sociology student will challenge your thinking and increase your skills. Please consider joining us for the surprising study of social life!
The Sociology Department currently offers a B.A., minor degree, and two certificates:
1) the Humanics Certificate in Administration and Leadership for Community Benefit
Organizations (CBOs); and 2) the Certificate in Applied Sociological Research.
Humanics is a certificate program offering students specialized training in administration and leadership for community benefit organizations (CBOs). The Humanics program works with hundreds of CBOs in the region to prepare leaders for service to humanity.
Applied Sociological Research
Those students interested in earning a Certificate in Applied Sociological Research complete 12 units of special study to gain skills in behavioral statistics (SOC125), quantitative and qualitative research methods (SOC 175 & 176), learn program software used in computer data analysis (SOC174), and may present their research at an undergraduate research conference. The opportunity to gain practical research experience by working closely with faculty adds a special dimension to the Sociology Department and assists our students as they enter professional lives after graduation or seek graduate study in a field of their choice (including sociology, social work, counseling, criminology, public administration, public health, and business).
What You Can Do
Students trained in sociology at California State University, Fresno have entered a wide variety of occupations. A few have become professional sociologists. While most professional sociologists teach at colleges and universities, an increasing number hold research, administration, or policy positions in a variety of settings. Many students have used sociology as a preparation for law or other professions such as social work, counseling, public health, library science, criminology, and public administration. Students who begin work immediately after completing a bachelor's degree in sociology usually enter careers in human services, administration/management in public or private agencies, or research in a variety of organizations.
Interesting Classes You Might Take
- Critical Thinking About Society
- Sociology of Popular Culture
- Medical Sociology
- Sociology of Religion
What You Can Learn
- Causes of the growth and decline of social organizations
- Interdisciplinary social science methods for approaching local and national social problems.
- Dominant and minority group relations historically, cross-culturally, and in contemporary American society
- Theory and practice in basic skills of critical thinking and sociological analysis
About the College
The College of Social Sciences studies the human experience, including the depth of the past and the breadth of the entire planet.
We place emphasis on learning practical skills to aid you in your career. Our students do internships, participate in archaeological digs, or do service-learning projects with a non-profit agency. Students can assist on research projects or organize a social change project.
Whatever a student's major, they enjoy our witty and talented faculty and our caring staff as they discover our social world.
College Contact Information
Phone: (559) 278-3013
FAX: (559) 278-7664
5340 N. Campus Drive MS/SS91
Fresno CA 93740-8019
Department Contact Information
Department of Sociology
5340 N. Campus Dr. - Mailstop SS97
Fresno, CA 93740