Program Requirements (SOCY B.A. & Minor)


Sociology is one of the first academic programs established at UMBC in 1969.

What is Sociology? What will you gain by earning a BA in Sociology from UMBC?

If you are a sociology major or minor with an interest in health and equity, check out our interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in the Social Dimensions of Health (SDOH)!


Major (B.A.)

Required Courses

Total Credits: 31 – These include four required core courses (13 credits) and 18 credits of electives (normally six courses). The student must earn a grade of “C” or better in all courses that count toward the major. Pass/Fail courses do not count toward the major. At least 16 major credits must be earned in courses taken at UMBC. All students should plan to take SOCY 300, 301 and 409 at UMBC because these courses represent the core of our UMBC Sociology curriculum.

Core Requirements

SOCY 101: Basic Concepts in Sociology (3.00)
SOCY 300: Methodology of Social Research (3.00)∗
SOCY 301: Analysis of Sociological Data (4.00)†
SOCY 409: Sociological Theory (3.00)

∗MATH GEP with a C or better (recommend STAT 121)
†SOCY 300 with a C or better. Students cannot take 300 and 301 at the same time.

SOCY 300, 301, and 409 should be taken at UMBC. Because the methods sequence requires 3 courses across 3 semesters (Sem 1 – MATH GEP, Sem 2 – SOCY 300, Sem 3 – SOCY 301) this sequence should be started before the senior year to leave time to complete.  

Elective Requirements

Eighteen credits of sociology or anthropology courses with a grade of “C” or better. Students can also count up to 6 credits in anthropology (ANTH) toward this requirement. Unfortunately, Pass/Fail courses (such as SOCY 396) cannot count toward the elective requirements in SOCY. 

Please refer to the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for further information on the course description and prerequisites for the courses.

Transfer Credits

Students must take at least 16 credits of Sociology courses at UMBC to qualify for the major. Courses taken at other colleges are first examined by the Registrar’s Office for approval for UMBC credit. The department will then determine if a course can count toward the major. Approval of sociology or anthropology courses taken elsewhere for UMBC credit by the registrar does not automatically give it credit towards the major or minor in sociology.

If a student plans to take a class at another college, they should first discuss it with the Registrar and their advisor to be sure that the course will receive credit towards the sociology major or minor at UMBC. Never take the equivalent of SOCY 300, SOCY 301 or SOCY 409 at another college without your advisor’s prior approval. It is very rare that we accept transfer for these courses. Courses in social service, social work, criminal justice, or religion are not sociology or anthropology courses and will not be given credit.

Please refer to the Registrar’s Office for forms and further information on transferring credits.

Recommended Pathways for Majors
  • We recommend taking SOCY 101 (introduction) as early as possible.
  • Next, focus on your math general education course (we recommend STAT 121) and sociology elective courses of your choice.
  • After you have completed STAT 121 (or similar), enroll in SOCY 300 (methods) and upper level sociology electives.
  • Once you complete and pass SOCY 300 (methods), you will be cleared to enroll in SOCY 301 (statistics). You cannot take SOCY 300 and SOCY 301 at the same time because SOCY 301 builds off the knowledge you gain in SOCY 300.
  • We recommend waiting to take SOCY 409 (theory) until you have taken several upper level sociology electives. You can take SOCY 301 and SOCY 409 at the same time if you would like, however, this will be an intense semester so you may want to space them out.


Required Courses

Total Credits: 18 – The sociology minor consists of SOCY 101 and 15 credits in elective sociology courses. At least six credits must be at the 300 level or higher, and at least nine credits must be taken at UMBC. A grade of “C” or better is required in each of these courses and no more than one of them may be in anthropology. Pass/Fail courses and SOCY 396 do not count toward the minor.

The minor is also offered at the Shady Grove Campus. Up to 9 credits of the minor may be completed at Montgomery College, through selection of the UMBC equivalent (UMS articulation agreement) sociology classes. Upper-level classes to fulfill the minor will be taken from among sociology course offerings at the Shady Grove Campus.

Track Your Progress

SOCY Minor Checklist