Course Requirements, AY 2024-2025

The curriculum has been carefully designed to provide students with instruction on essential aspects of the discipline: theory, research logic, methods, and real-world applications. To preserve its coherence, we strongly discourage petitions to get out of taking a course requirement or to substitute a non-SOCI course for a required SOCI one.

Please plan ahead! Because several course requirements are offered concurrently, it will be difficult to take them all in one year without overloading.

Finally, please join our undergraduate listserv so that you don’t miss important news and reminders.

The Curriculum is available below and as a downloadable Word document

Students discuss in a methods class

Course Requirements
1.     Introduction to Sociology (choose one)
2.     Sociological Theory (choose one)
3.     Quantitative Methods (choose one)
4.     Qualitative Methods (choose one)
5.     Logic of Social Inquiry (choose one)
6.     Four courses in sociology (i.e., prefaced by SOCI)
7.     BA project (optional)

For a list of which courses satisfy these requirements, see the Sociology department’s curriculum page.

It is strongly recommended that the requirements be taken in the following sequence: (1) Intro, (2) Theory, (3) the two methods courses, (4) Logic, and (5) the BA project (seminar and paper), with the four electives taken throughout. 

Complete this checklist of requirements. It must be submitted for inspection in order to graduate as a sociology major.

Qualifying Courses, AY 2024-25

1. Introductory courses

  • SOCI 20002. Society, Power, and Change (Autumn)
  • SOCI 20282. Immigrant America (Autumn)
  • SOCI 20175. The Sociology of Deviant Behavior (Autumn) **cancelled**
  • SOCI 20506. Cities, Space, and Power (Winter)
  • SOCI 20555. The Sociology of Work (Winter) **cancelled**
  • SOCI 20295. Morrissey’s America: Contemporary Social Problems (Spring)
  • SOCI 20258. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance (Spring)
  • Any theory course (in addition to the one taken to fulfill the Theory requirement) 

2. Sociological theory courses

  • SOCI 20005. Sociological Theory (Autumn)
  • SOCI 20574. How to Think Sociologically (Winter)
  • SOCI 20591. Introduction to Critical Social Theory (Spring) **cancelled**
  • SOCI 20576. Social Theory for the Digital Age (Spring)

3. Quantitative Methods

  • SOCI 20004. Statistical Methods of Research 1 (Autumn)
  • SOCI 20602. Introduction to Computational Social Science (Autumn) 
  • SOCI 20596. Social Networks: How Networks Shape Integration and Inequality in Diverse Societies (Spring) 
  • Students may also take STAT 22000, STAT 23400, and above to satisfy this requirement. Note that this is the only requirement that can be satisfied with a non-SOCI course.

4. Qualitative Methods

  • SOCI 20547. Involved Interviewing (Autumn)
  • SOCI 20599. The Logic and Methods of Historical Research (Winter)
  • SOCI 20548. Coding (Winter) – third and fourth years only
  • SOCI 20140. Qualitative Field Methods (Spring)

5. Logic of Social Inquiry

  • SOCI 20575. Logic of Social Inquiry (Winter) 

6. Four courses in sociology

  • These electives can be satisfied by taking any course in the major, including cross-listed ones—i.e., they must have a course number prefaced by SOCI. 

7. BA Project (optional)

  • Students pursuing this option must register for the BA Seminar and BA Project in their fourth year. They should have fulfilled their Methods and Logic requirements beforehand—ideally, no later than the Autumn quarter of their fourth year.
  • SOCI 29998. BA Seminar: This course is taken throughout the senior year. Students should register for it in the Spring quarter but take it all three quarters (Autumn, Winter, and Spring). They will receive their course grade in the Spring. See description below. 

See course descriptions here.

BA Project Guidelines

The BA project is optional. Students traditionally write an academic thesis for their projects, but now they have the option to complete an internship or apprenticeship.  

Track 1: Thesis
Here students complete a 30-40 pp. paper based on substantial research. We recommend this track for most students and especially those pursuing academic or research-based professions.

Their research efforts are structured by the BA Seminar. Typically, students enroll for the seminar in the Spring quarter of their fourth year but take it all three quarters(This is so that they can drop the seminar without penalty should they change their minds about writing a thesis.) Students will receive their course grade at the end of the Spring quarter.

Students will need to secure a faculty advisor from within the Sociology department.

Ideally, students will have taken the relevant methods course before taking the BA seminar—i.e., if planning to conduct qualitative research for their thesis, they will have already completed the Qualitative Methods requirement.

Ideally, students will have started doing research in the summer before their fourth year. In order to prepare them to do so, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will hold a meeting in the spring quarter for all sociology third years interested in pursuing a BA project. 

Track 2: Internship
Students may complete a BA project in the form of an internship in an organization or an apprenticeship with professionals in various fields. They may work in non-profits or government agencies or apprentice with policymakers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, artists, investors, and others. The goal of this track is to get students to think about these endeavors sociologically. To this end, they will be required to produce a review of the “literature” on their chosen field or organization, a series of sociologically minded reflection papers, and a final report considering their activities from a sociological perspective.

  • Students pursuing this track must take the BA Seminar. They will be grouped into a particular section.
  • They must obtain two advisors: a faculty advisor from within the Sociology department and someone to advise their internship or apprenticeship from within their chosen organization or field.
  • Their internship/apprenticeship will last for a period of six months, typically beginning in mid-October and ending in late April.
  • Students may enroll for the BA Seminar without having secured an internship/apprenticeship, but they should have a good idea of the organization or field they want to work in. The first month of the seminar will be devoted to securing an internship/apprenticeship.
  • For more information, see the BA seminar/internship curriculum and sample syllabus.
  • We encourage students interested in pursuing this track to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido (

Want to get an idea of previous BA projects? BA Project Symposium


Students will receive a grade on their transcript for the BA seminar (SOCI 29998). This grade will reflect the faculty advisor’s evaluation of the student’s thesis.


To attain honors in the major students will need to meet all four conditions: (1) a GPA of 3.25 in the college, (2) a GPA of 3.5 in the major, (3) completing a BA project, (4) their advisor’s determination that the project merits Honors, and (5) their advisor's determination that the project merits Honors.

Research Funding

We are able to make available five small grants of around $1,000 each to students conducting research associated with their BA project during the summer months. Students will complete a brief application in the Spring quarter of their third year. Their preceptors will recommend a set of applications to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The DUS will review the applications and determine which merit funding. Students may also apply to the Dean’s Fund for research funding. For research grants and research opportunities, see here.

IRB Approval

If you aim to eventually publish results from your BA Thesis in a peer-reviewed academic journal, you will need to obtain approval from the UChicago Institutional Review Board (IRB) before commencing data collection. The IRB oversees research ethics. You can learn how to navigate the IRB here: How to IRB.

Study Abroad

We support sociology students wishing to study abroad during their time at UChicago. However, if you plan to study abroad in your fourth year, we ask that you participate in the BA seminar remotely. This means keeping up with the readings via Canvas, completing assignments on time, participating in the discussion boards, and attending office hours with your assigned preceptor as needed. 

Policy for Students Pursuing a BA/MA Thesis

Undergraduate sociology majors enrolled in the four-year BA/MA program typically write an MA thesis in their fourth year. They cannot also write a BA thesis. The reasoning is as follows: To preserve the integrity of the BA and MA programs, the BA and MA theses must be distinct intellectual products. It is very difficult, and, in any case, ill-advised, to pursue two separate research projects in the same year. Thus we ask students to choose: pursue the BA thesis for honors in the major or the MA thesis for an MA degree.

Students enrolled in a five-year BA/MA program (such as MACSS and CMES) may, if they so choose, write a BA thesis in their fourth year and then an MA thesis in their fifth. But again, the two theses should represent distinct research projects. While the two projects may be related, the MA thesis should not be a duplication of BA work.

Students must complete all BA/MA requirements, including the MA thesis, by June in order to graduate by August.


For substantive questions, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido ( You can also save your questions for the quarterly town halls (pizza with the DUS!). For administrative matters, email Pat Princell (