Why study sociology?

The study of sociology provides valuable insights into the social institutions and processes that shape human behaviors, histories, and opportunities.  Sociologists focus on the actions, beliefs, values, norms, organizations, institutions, and other social forces that characterize a society and shape people's lives.  It directs attention to how the parts of society fit together as well as the causes and consequences of social change.  The insight gained from the study of sociology leads to a greater understanding of how formal and informal rules of society contribute to different opportunities and constraints for different groups of individuals, and how these change over time.  As a scientific discipline, sociology teaches students how to use empirical data to understand current social realities and act effectively on the central issues of our time. Few academic disciplines have such a broad scope and relevance.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Admission GPA

  • Satisfied by a minimum 2.5 GPA in required admission courses designated below.
  • University Course Repeat Policy will apply.

Admission to the Major

Admission Requirements

Course Requirements

Math Requirement. Satisfied by one of the following:
College Algebra
Precalculus Mathematics
Equivalent ACT/SAT, equivalent course, or higher course
Elements of Sociology. Satisfied by one of the following:
Elements of Sociology
Elements of Sociology, Honors
Principles of Sociology
Sociology Admission Elective. Satisfied by sociology elective course.

Grade-Point Average Requirements

  • Satisfied by a minimum 2.5 GPA in required admission courses designated above.
  • University Course Repeat Policy will apply.

Application Term

Students should apply to the major during the semester in which major admission criteria will be completed, normally no later than 60 hours, or for transfer students, during the initial term at KU. Application to this major after completion of 60 hours, or the initial KU term for transfer students, will likely delay graduation.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Sociology Core Knowledge and Skills (12)
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
Elements of Sociology. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Elements of Sociology
Elements of Sociology, Honors
Principles of Sociology
Introduction to Social Research. Satisfied by:
SOC 310Introduction to Social Research3
Elementary Statistics & Data Analysis. Satisfied by:
SOC 510Elementary Statistics and Data Analysis3
Sociology Theory. Satisfied by:
SOC 500Sociological Theory3
Sociology Required Electives (21)
Majors must complete an additional 21 hours of sociology courses beyond the core courses above. At least 15 hours of these must be at the junior/senior (300+) level. Up to 3 hours may be chosen from SOC 490 or SOC 698, and up to 6 hours from SOC 499, to be applied to this requirement.21
Upper-level sociology electives. Satisfied by 15 sociology hours at the Junior/Senior (300+) level
Additional sociology electives. Satisfied by 6 additional sociology hours at the upper or lower level

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. At least 15 credit hours at the 300+ level, including SOC 310, SOC 510, and SOC 500, must be taken at KU.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for sociology.

Double Majors

Sociology majors may want to consider a second major in philosophy; history; women’s studies; area studies; or one of the natural or social sciences; or a second degree in journalism or other professional disciplines.

A sample 4-year plan for a BA degree in Sociology can be found here: Sociology, or by using the left-side navigation.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Sociology can be found here: Sociology, or by using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Working under the supervision of a faculty mentor, the undergraduate student must complete 6 hours of work in SOC 499 culminating in a superior thesis. The thesis must be certified by 3 members of the College faculty, at least 2 of whom must be from sociology, nominated by the candidate and approved by the departmental honors coordinator. The student also must achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in sociology and 3.25 overall.