What is Sociology?

Sociology is the scientific study of society and the various groups that make up a society. Sociology majors develop strong research and analytical skills while exploring the social causes and consequences of human behavior. They study the structure of societies and groups and explain how social change occurs within them. Sociologists both develop theories about social behavior and apply these theories to solve social problems and form social policy.

Sociology majors have good critical-thinking abilities and are concerned with understanding society and improving social institutions and the well-being of individuals. Strong writing, math and computer skills are important for sociology majors in their education and subsequent career work. The skills of analysis, research, reading and writing that a student majoring in sociology acquires are highly valued in a wide range of business positions. Sociology is an excellent major for students who are interested in working with people and groups in a variety of fields, e.g., business, social work, law and medicine.

Career Possibilities

Like students who graduate with other liberal arts majors, graduates with a BA in sociology are prepared for many different career options. The skills and interests of a sociology major could lead to careers in:

  • sociologist (requires graduate training)
  • human services
  • administrative support
  • management
  • sales
  • market research
  • social science research
  • career counseling
  • public health
  • law
  • ministry
  • medical services

Master’s graduates may:

  • teach in community colleges
  • assist with research and planning in government agencies, private corporations or civic organizations

A PhD is usually required for:

  • teaching and research at the university level
  • directing research programs

Majoring in Sociology

Students should plan on entering the major as early as possible so that they can sequence their course work. During the first two years, sociology majors take courses designed to meet the curriculum requirements of the UC College of Arts and Sciences and should begin sociology course work. During the junior and senior years, they focus more directly upon sociology. The major is designed to introduce students to the diverse aspects of society as well as to the methods used to explore them. Course topics are varied and include family, work and industry, gender and race relations, social inequality, drugs and society, migration, education, urban problems, populations and environment, criminology, deviance, social movements, religion, small group behavior, health and illness, and the socialization of children and adults.

UC College of Arts and Sciences' flexible degree requirements allow for and highly encourage students to pursue multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.

  • Africana studies
  • Anthropology
  • Asian studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • International affairs
  • International human rights
  • Journalism
  • Languages
  • Latin American studies
  • Organizational leadership
  • Psychology
  • Women's, gender, and sexuality studies
  • Health planning

Minoring in Sociology

A minor in sociology is often of interest to students in allied behavioral and social sciences, including criminal justice, social work, journalism, psychology and other fields.

Course requirements (18 hours):

  • SOC 1001, Introduction to Sociology (3 hours)
  • SOC 3005, Survey of Sociological Theory (3 hours)
  • Sociology Electives (12 credit hours at or above 2000-level):

Click here to declare the minor online



For more details on majoring or minoring in Sociology, please contact the Department of Sociology to schedule an appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  (513) 556-4700 or

Special Programs

Students who declare sociology as their major early in their academic career may combine the sociology major with certificates in other disciplines. The sociology major works well with a certificate in business for students planning business careers. Adding a certificate in planning offered by DAAP can lead to careers in community, government and business. The major also can be used with a certificate in journalism for a future in professional writing or majors can select the criminal justice track for careers in areas such as law enforcement or parole.

UC’s Sociology Department has strong emphases in social inequality, work and family, social psychology and population and urban research. Students get strong grounding in theory, statistics and research methods, culminating in a research-oriented capstone experience. This is a relatively small department with excellent teachers, about 90-100 majors and an active undergraduate sociology club.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information. Current Freshmen Class Profile is 3.044-3.660 (on a 4.0 scale) HS GPA with an ACT combined score 21-26.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution

Transfer students should apply using our transfer student online application

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

For any inquiries, please contact us at 

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the university.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years


Uptown Campus West


1018 Crosley Tower
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0378
Phone: (513) 556-4700
Gerald Reid