Academic Catalog 2021-2022


This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Sociology

Program Description

The study of Sociology offers students the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of social processes and structures, so as to be able to live and work in our diverse global society and to apply the tools of social analysis to a broad range of professional, academic and community situations. The methods and knowledge developed by sociologists reflect the complexity of human organization, social life, inequalities and social justice. The newly emerging patterns of social change continue to alter our life, making the effective applications of social analysis more important than ever before in solving problems of inequalities, human organization and justice at a local and global level.

The department of Sociology at CSUDH is committed to its mission of sociology in service to community. The department is composed of a diverse, innovative and stimulating faculty who teach and pursue research in a variety of areas that are important in today's global societies. The sociology faculty offers undergraduate and graduate programs with several emphasis that respond directly to the needs of today's students. We offer a wide range of opportunities to engage in service learning, applied research and community studies and organizing.

Sociology is a civically engaged department and is formally recognized by the CSU for outstanding work with local communities where Sociology students and faculty engage in service learning, internships and community based research.

Undergraduate majors and minors and graduate students may concentrate their studies in a variety of areas including applied research, community studies, criminology and justice studies, the helping professions and social change in global context. Sociology prepares students for careers in social work, law, criminal justice, government, non-profit and community and international organizations, education, gerontology, medicine, community service, urban planning, politics, business, academia, human resources and applied research.

Undergraduates majoring in sociology may elect to concentrate their studies in any of the areas mentioned above or in an area designed in consultation with faculty to best fit their academic or professional goals. Students majoring in other disciplines or professional programs may tailor a minor in sociology to complement their major field of study. A minor in Sociology complements a wide range of majors, including psychology, political science, computer science, liberal studies, human services, public administration and many others. Graduate students often plan their studies in the context of more specific career and professional goals, or to augment their current professions.

Graduate Studies in Sociology

The department offers an established graduate program leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology. The program is designed to provide all students with a strong foundation in sociological theory and research methodology. The graduate program is designed to allow for a substantial degree of student choice. Students may choose a macro- or micro-based program of study and select from several areas for further specialization or experience. These areas include, but are not restricted to, such concentrations as social research and computer applications; sociology of education; community and clinical sociology; law and society; criminology and deviance; and general sociology. Students are expected to select a major advisor who can best facilitate their specific interests in the program. Finally, students may choose one of the following options to complete their program of graduate study: comprehensive exam, thematic project or thesis. Students with an interest in teaching and administrative applications of the degree are encouraged to complete via examination. Those with research interests or who may wish to pursue advanced graduate study toward a doctoral degree are encouraged to opt for the thesis or thematic project options.

The Department of Sociology has an established record of success in graduate education. Many of the department's graduates have found careers in research, teaching and a wide range of other fields. Special emphasis is placed on practical and policy-relevant research participation by graduate students in the Urban Community Research Center. Students are encouraged to take an active role in the department, the discipline and the wider community. Students may apprentice in one or more of the many advanced forms of social scientific research, including evaluation research, social impact analysis, ethnographic field research, etc. Students who wish to pursue advanced study beyond the M.A. degree may elect to take additional work necessary to acquire the Graduate Certificate in Social Research.

Academic Advisement

Sociology faculty provide advisement for majors, minors and graduate students in sociology, and provide limited general education advisement for sociology majors. Students are advised to meet with a faculty advisor early, in order to take the best advantage of opportunities offered by the Department. Although undergraduates may go to any faculty member for Sociology advising, Professor Peter Aguilera has extended dedicated office hours, which can be identified by contacting the department office. Professor Mo Chatterji also is available for dedicated advising hours. For graduate studies, Dr. Katy Pinto should be contacted. Faculty are available for both daytime and night students. For faculty office hours and general questions, please call the department office at (310) 243-3431.


High school students contemplating a major in sociology are encouraged to take the college preparatory courses, including English, mathematics and social sciences. Courses in computers, logic and life science also are recommended.

Students planning to transfer from community college should consult with their counselor or advisor to assure that appropriate lower division courses are completed before the transfer.

Student Internships

Student internships are made available in locations related to the subject areas in the Sociology Department including criminology and justice studies, helping professions, social change in global contexts, social inequalities and applied research and community studies and others where faculty research and professional practice provide such opportunities. Students interested in internships can enroll in the SOC 381 Field Studies in Urban Problems course which is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. Internships can also be arranged under special circumstances with individual faculty. Interested students should talk with faculty involved in such areas.

Student Organizations

The department has a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, International Sociology Honor Society, for students who meet honor society requirements.  There is a Sociology Student Club and a Pre-Law Club.

Graduation with Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with honors in Sociology by meeting the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum GPA of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. Recommendation by the Sociology faculty