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The Sociology Department

We invite you to join the world community of students and scholars who share a desire to better understand society, and through that understanding make the world a better place. We are among the newest sociology departments in the United States, and have shaped our curriculum to address the problems and potentials of twenty-first century social life.  We help students develop strong sociological theory, research, and advocacy skills that empower them to engage and improve their spheres of social experience — from the local to the global.


Sociology Offerings

Undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees:

Master's Degree program:

Sociology Minors:

Both of our bachelor's degree programs combine strong core skills development with opportunities to develop expertise in one or more specific content areas. The master's degree program builds professional-level competencies in applied sociological theory and research. Most masters students complete terminal research projects that provide crucial information to local social services agencies and communities. We also offer two undergraduate minors that students use to enhance course work in a major.

We offer excellent programs of study to help you reach your educational and career goals. Our graduates are well prepared for a broad array of careers. Our alumni have used the skills acquired in our programs as springboards to successful careers in such diverse areas as human and social service administration, education, law enforcement, health care, counseling, business, politics, and the arts.

CSUSM Extended Learning also offers a fully-online Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies at our Temecula Campus.



Black Lives Matter: Resources and Taking Action

Black Lives Matter BannerLetter from the Chair: Black Lives Matter

Department Initiatives

  • UndocuStudent Scholars
     UndocuStudent Scholars

    Members of the research collective, UndocuStudent Scholars, presented in a one-hour session titled, "Identifying Ways to Support Undocumented Students." The student team presenting included: Josefina Espino, Maira Guadalupe, Xiomara Herrera, Lizeth Ortiz, Selina Paniagua, Perla Perez, and Lucas Schacht. Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez and Carolina Valdivia (doctorate student at Harvard and CSUSM Alum) are coordinating the research team. The conference, geared toward school counselors and immigrant advocates, was SDSU's 3rd Annual Conference "Supporting Access to Higher Education for Immigrant and Undocumented Students" (Monday, April 16, 2018).

  • Democracy in Action

    Department Statement:  Standing Up for Social Justice

    As a community of scholars/teachers who engage social justice issues in our courses, research and creative activity we are compelled to speak as we witness the rise of anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideology and continuing repression of our communities. How do recent executive decisions reflect the ideas engraved on the Statue of Liberty from Emma Lazursus’ poem?


    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"  

    Our society is rapidly moving backwards. We have seen presidential edicts for a “Muslim ban,” and a “border wall,” the rollback of access to healthcare and education, the refusal to stand against neo-Nazis and white supremacy, and most recently, the plan to repeal DACA.

    We are proud to serve a diverse student body and we are particularly proud of our students’ success despite their struggles against so many forms of injustice—racism, sexism, and economic oppression. DACA students represent the perpetual striving to “make a way out of no way”—despite the slim promise of a future, they have committed themselves to work and school and they are succeeding. We have seen this year after year. 

    We are dreamers, too. We dream of: Bridges not walls. Religious freedom, not intolerance and fear. Free education. Free healthcare. Affordable housing and childcare. Open borders. Right to a “living wage.”

    The “Mother of Exiles” must be mighty angry to see how far astray we have moved. May her torch light our way to resistance, to secure social justice for all.

    September 25, 2017