Santa Clara University

Sociology department

Developmental Curriculum

Our curriculum is developmental in character.

  • Introductory courses expose students to basic concepts.
  • Theory and research courses hone skills in data gathering and analysis of complex problems, and policy formulation.
  • Substantive topic courses apply disciplinary concepts and analytical tools to real world problems.
  • Outward bound experiences, such as special projects and internships related to, among other things, policy formulation and program implementation, as available for students who are close to graduation.

We pursue the developmental curriculum in the spirit of the Jesuit goals of educating for competence, conscience, and compassion.  Students in our program prepare to help shape a more humane world by putting their disciplinary knowledge, tools, and sensibilities to work in business, social services, government, law, and the media, or by pursuing graduate studies leading to a college teaching career.


Transferring to SCU

Before applying for transfer to Santa Clara, students who are interested in pursuing sociology are strongly encouraged to complete Principles of Sociology. This course serves as a prerequisite for three required sociology courses (Sociology 118, 119, 120) that are offered only once a year (119 and 120 in the winter term, and 118 in the spring term). Transfer students who are enrolling for the fall of the junior year and need Principles of Sociology should see the department chair immediately. Incoming transfer students should contact the department as soon as possible to be assigned a department advisor and begin department advising. This advising will cover a number of topics, including student selection of other upper-division sociology courses. A total of nine upper-division sociology courses are required in the major, and these courses are divided into cluster concentrations.


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