What will I learn?

Sociology is the systematic study of social life. Through empirical inquiry, sociologists seek to understand the process by which societies, communities, institutions, and organizations are created, maintained, undermined, and transformed, and the ways in which social life shapes individuals.

The Department of Sociology is composed of scholars who are internationally recognized contributors to the discipline. It is known for its diversity of perspective and particularly for its support for emerging areas of study and innovative approaches to theory, method, and empirical inquiry. The department has distinctive strength in quantitative methods of research and analysis. The department is also affiliated with the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research, which conducts global policy related research in the social sciences.

The requirements for the sociology major are designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in the theory and methodology of the discipline and their rigorous application to empirical inquiry. In addition to providing the core of a liberal arts education, the sociology major can also serve as preparation for graduate study for a career as a professional sociologist. Finally, the major may be used as preparation for a career in such fields as law, management, urban and environmental planning, corrections, journalism, teaching, social work, and other service professions.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in sociology who are interested in pursuing a California Teaching Credential should contact the Credential Advisor in the Graduate School of Education as soon as possible.

Which department am I in?

College of Letters and Science

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 180 quarter units)

Tuition fees
US$29,754.00 per year
Start date

Expected October 2021


College of Letters and Science

2217 Cheadle Hall, MC 2080,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have a paper-based TOEFL score of 550 or better.

For international students

You are considered a freshman applicant if you have completed secondary school and have not enrolled at any college or university.

English Language Proficiency

The minimum accepted score for admission consideration for the TOEFL is 80 or better on the Internet-based test and 550 or better on the paper-based test.

The minimum accepted score for the IELTS is 6.5 or better band score (academic modules).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.