CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF NATURAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY
Department Office: King Hall C3093 Phone: 323-343-2200 Fax: 323-343-5155
The primary mission of the Sociology Department is to provide students with sociological perspectives and sociological techniques of inquiry designed to enhance their intellectual, personal, and occupational lives. Part of this mission is to offer academic programs appropriate for students with a wide variety of backgrounds in order to address the diverse needs for higher education in our community, and to provide courses that are designed to enhance individual student understanding of interactive, institutional, and macro-level aspects of our diverse world. A further aspect of the mission is to provide opportunities for students to connect sociological understandings to community experience and to enhance such understandings through service to the community. The Department mission includes the encouragement of faculty engagement in instruction, curricular development, professional activity, and governance in order to promote a strong teaching and learning environment.
According to the American Sociological Association (sociologists' primary professional organization): "Sociology is the Study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes." Sociology is a social science involving the study of the social lives of people and groups, in all social contexts. Sociology is the scientific study of the changing groups and institutions shaping human experience throughout people’s lives. It is a social science that links all studies of humankind, including communications, economics, history, and psychology. The Sociology provides excellent preparation for the workforce and continued education due to the program learning outcomes (PLOs) anchoring our curriculum. These are the official BA PLOs and MA PLOs.
Undergraduates majoring in sociology choose ONE of the FOUR Sociology BA Program options: The General Sociology Option, the Inequalities and Diversity Option, the Law and Society Option, or the Social Gerontology Option. Clicking on the blue hyperlinks above will take you to the BA Program options effective as of Fall 2019.
MA students majoring in sociology follow the same basic MA Sociology Program, but choose ONE of THREE culminating options: Option A Thesis, Option B Comprehensive Examinations, or Option C Project (portfolio). Each of these three options has a dedicated canvas support site that may be accessed by any CSULA student at any time.
Community Engagement and Applied Sociology
UNDERGRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES: Part of the Department mission is to "connect sociological understandings to community experience and to enhance such understandings through service to the community." For this reason, the Department offers multiple opportunities for community engagement in addition to the Sociology BA Major requirement of SOC 3700, Civic Learning. The Department offers classroom-supported opportunities through elective courses such as SOC 4050, Sociology Internships and Service Learning and SOC 4700, Applied Sociology through Civic Engagement, as well as one-on-one faculty supervised internships with a community agency or organization through the SOC 3980 and SOC 4980 Cooperative Education courses. Opportunities to work one-one-one with faculty on research projects is also available thorough SOC 4990, Undergraduate Directed Study. A limited number of supervision experience credits may be used toward the Sociology BA major program.
GRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES: Graduate student are considered pre-professionals and have several opportunities to work on increasing their professionalism. Students may undertake independent research projects under faculty supervision or may work one-one-one with faculty engaged in ongoing research through SOC 5980, Graduate Directed Study. They may also undertake internships with social agencies, community organizations, or non-departmental research organizations thorough SOC 5950, Graduate Field Experience. Students interested in working at non-profits, community agencies and social institutions benefit from these experiences. Currently 26% of our recent MA Program graduates participating in the 2019 alumni survey report having jobs of this type.
Students interested in teaching at the college level may also gain experience as Teaching Interns in undergraduate classes to combine elements of a TA experience with individualized mentorship from the course professor through SOC 5940 Teaching Sociology Internship or SOC 5941 Sociology Internship. An MA seminar on teaching skills, philosophy and career preparation is also offered (SOC 5930, Teaching Sociology at the College Level). Currently 21% of our recent MA Program graduates participating in the 2019 alumni survey are teaching at the college level without having PhDs. Another two are teaching in K-12.
BA and MA COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND APPLIED SOCIOLOGY AWARDS: The Sociology Department also formally recognizes those students who have made exceptional contributions through independent work. Recently BA and MA sociology students won Service to the Community Awards for their work with organizations such as: 1736 Family Crisis Center; A Place Called Home; Behavior Respite in Action ; Better Learning for All Students Today (BLAST); Children’s Institute; Chrysalis; Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Suicide-Prevention Center; Downtown Women’s Center; East Los Angeles Women’s Center; Free Arts Courthouse Programs ; Lake Avenue Church; Los Angeles Police Department; Project NEO; R. D. White Elementary School; S.O.B.E.R. International; St. Francis Center; Thomas Edison Elementary School and Volunteers of America, Los Angeles (VOALA). Several of our students also won Service to the Department Awards for leadership level work when serving as officers or organizing events for the Sociology Club; MA students also earned this award for their exceptional work as teaching interns, research assistants.
The Sociology Club
The Sociology Club is an official student organization and holds multiple events every term. Some examples include: Locating Internships, Resume Building, Student-Professor Meet and Greet, and various informational events on applying to further educational programs. Dr. Giarrusso, the Sociology Department Chair, is the faculty mentor. Click to download Sociology Club Membership Form.
The Sociology Club Mission: To promote a positive academic attitude and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning and growth by emphasizing the critical importance of scholarship, networking, and community involvement. To establish programs to encourage and assist members in pursuing higher education, as well as encouraging students to work closely with faculty and staff to establish and cultivate mentor relationships. Provide mentorship and friendship while attending various events that serve as forums for debate, discussion, and the stimulation of interest in sociological issues, events, and developments.
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Jobs Held by Cal State Los Angeles Department of Sociology Alumni.
Graduates of our programs have gone on to careers in an array of fields. According to the Sociology Department’s last two sociology “recent alumni” surveys, alumni reported working in the following areas (for specific examples, click on blue): social services and agencies (24%); instruction and education-related (17%); legal issues-related (15%); organizations and labor-related (15%); counseling (12%); research (6%); and other discipline-related work (5%).
Our most notable alumni include: Maxine Waters, US Congresswoman, Rosario Marin, Former US. Treasurer, and Stuart K. Spencer, Political Consultant for Presidents and Governors.
The Sociology Department is on Twitter! @CSULASociology
~ CSULA Department of Sociology ~
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