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.
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
1. Major requirements (45 units)
Tier One Lower-Division: SOC 1 (or 1S) and 3 (or 3S) (6 units)
Tier Two Upper-Division: SOC 125 and 130W (or 130WS ) or Upper-Division Writing Exam (See Major Advising Note 2) (4-8 units)
Tier Three (Theory and Methods): SOC 151; 152 or 153; 175; and 176 (16 units)
Sociology Upper-Division electives (15-19 units)
2. General Education requirements (49 units)
3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)
4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
(See Degree Requirements); may be used toward a double major or minor
5. Total units (120)*
* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. This total indicates that 6 units of SOC 3 or 3S in G.E. Foundation A3 and SOC 1 or 1S in G.E. Breadth D3 may be applied to the sociology major. Consult the department chair, faculty advisor, or College Advising Center for additional details and guidance on electives.
Major Advising Notes
- Tier One Lower-Division courses — SOC 1/1S and SOC 3/3S — must be completed with a grade of C or better before enrollment in Tier Two Upper-Division courses.
- Tier Two Upper Division courses — SOC 125 and 130W/WS — must be completed with a grade of C or better completed before enrollment in Tier Three courses, generally before the second semester of the junior year.
- Tier Three Theory and Methods Core — SOC 152 or 153, SOC 151, SOC 175, and SOC 176 — must be completed with a 2.0 GPA.
- Upper-division electives may be taken in any sequence.
- Students majoring in sociology are permitted to pass the Upper-Division Writing Examination (UDWE) in lieu of taking SOC 130W/WS, thus completing only one course for 4 units in Tier Two Upper Division Core. However, students must still complete a minimum of 45 units of sociology coursework for the B.A. If the student requests 1 unit of ENGL 100W for passing the UDWE, that unit will be applied to the overall elective unit total for the B.A.
- CR/NC grading is not permitted in the sociology major, except for courses offered only under CR/NC grading.
- General Education and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (see double major or department minor). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for further information.
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.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.
Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.
If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.
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