The Penn Sociology Major Program


To declare, you must fill out the "Declare/Update Field of Study" form that can be found here:

It is recommended that whenever you first start considering Sociology as an option for your major, you should schedule a meeting with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, who can be reached at In this meeting the Associate Director will go over the requirements of the major and our programmatic offerings for Penn students. This is your opportunity to share how you became interested in the Sociology major and what you aspire to achieve while in the program (and post-graduation, if you have an idea of what you'd like to do. However, please remember that it is 100% okay if you're not quite sure what you'd like to do post-graduation when you are thinking about which major to choose).

We work closely with our majors to help them create a fulfilling academic and personal experience that will serve as a valuable foundation for their professional and academic careers.


1. SOCI 1000: Introduction to Sociology
2. SOCI 2000: Sociological Research Methods
3. SOCI 2010: Social Statistics
4. SOCI 3000: Sociological Theory 
5. One advanced research methods course in Sociology, such as SOCI 2220: Health of Populations; SOCI 3200: Qualitative Methods; SOCI 3210: Sample Survey Methods; SOCI 3220: Basic Demographic Methods; SOCI 3250: Methods of Investigation, or other advanced methods course in Sociology at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Students must complete at least 3 courses listed under one of our areas of concentration:
1. Applied Research and Data Analysis
2. Cities, Markets, and the Global Economy
3. Culture and Diversity
4. Education and Society
5. Family, Gender and Society
6. Law and Society
7. Medical Sociology
8. Structures of Opportunity and Inequality

Students are encouraged to combine a variety of Sociology courses and experiences to complement their academic, professional, and research interests. The following can count for this requirement:
1. All courses with a SOCI course code that are not already being counted for other requirements for the major. In addition to our traditional course offerings, we occasionally offer Academically Based Community Services (ABCS) courses and First-Year Seminars.
2. All cross-listed courses with a SOCI course code at the time the course is taken, even if Sociology is not the primary section
3. All independent studies that are completed under a SOCI course code (SOCI 3998)
4. All independent studies completed for the honors program (SOCI 4998)
5. The Honors Thesis Workshop part 1 (SOCI 4100 for .5 CU) and part 2 (SOCI 4101 for .5 CU)

Subject to the discretion of the Associate Director and Undergraduate Chair, these may be courses in Sociology, and/or courses offered in other departments at Penn, that are directly related to sociology or the student's concentration. 
1. If the course the student would like to count is not in Sociology or crosslisted with Sociology, students must submit the course description to the Associate Director for department review.
2. Students can either send courses for approval that they have already taken, or courses that they are interested in taking in the future.

Every graduating senior in Sociology is required to submit a poster based on a paper or project they completed in a Sociology class, or with a Sociology faculty member. All posters are displayed at the annual Graduation Luncheon at the end of the academic year. The creation of this poster gives students a chance to critically display and demonstrate their knowledge in a visual context. It also allows students to bring to bear a sociological problem or phenomenon to the larger University community. To complete the poster, seniors are required to work closely with the undergraduate coordinator and the faculty member under whom their paper or project was completed. All posters are graded Pass/Fail and seniors must pass in order to complete the requirements of the major for graduation.


*Sociology at Penn is now designated as a STEM degree. International students who major in Sociology are eligible for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). For more information on this, please visit the following link:

*It is recommended that students take Introduction to Sociology (SOCI 1000) as early as possible in their Penn careers if they are considering Sociology. Sociology majors should take Introduction to Sociological Research (SOCI 2000) before taking the advanced research methods course in order to put the concepts learned in the advanced methods course into proper context. In general, Penn Sociology majors should attempt to complete the 5 CORE REQUIREMENT courses as soon as possible due to the high demand of some of the courses, and the fact that some of the courses are not offered every semester.

*The Sociology department will accept up to 2 non-methods study abroad courses (that are given SOCI equivalency through XCAT) toward the major.

*Students who major in Sociology cannot minor in Sociology, Law and Society, or Medical Sociology (students interested in these disciplines should consider the Law and Society concentration or the Medical Sociology concentration in the major). 


Updated 11.9.23