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Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Online

Completion Time: Varies Credit Hours: 120 Tuition: $297.07 per credit hour

A degree in sociology can change your life.

Now The University of Texas of the Permian Basin—part of the prestigious UT System—makes it possible for you to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology completely online! And unlike other online degree programs, UTPB's online bachelor's program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and #3 among Texas public universities — and in the top 50 nationwide — Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Our online BA offers smart advantages!

  • Every course is 100% online
  • Tuition is affordable—just $297.07 per credit hour
  • Courses are only 8 weeks
  • Accredited by SACS
  • Choose from six convenient start dates

Develop real-world skills—right now.

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology concentrates on the scientific study of human behavior within society. Students pursuing a degree in sociology will explore human interactions within group settings, the diversity of cultures and societies that exist throughout the world, factors that influence social behavior in various social groups, organizations and institutions.

Learn from savvy professionals.

UTPB's online degree programs are just as rigorous as our on-campus programs. Every online course is taught by the same respected UTPB faculty members who teach on campus. And just as important, they are committed to mentoring their students. In fact, in the National Survey of Student Engagement, 99 percent of UTPB seniors reported that their professors provided prompt feedback on their academic performance. And our online bachelor degree programs earn high marks from U.S. News & World Report — #3 among Texas public universities and in the nation's top 50 Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs.

Apply your knowledge to an interesting variety of professional fields.

Because sociology is a broad discipline, a bachelor's degree in sociology prepares you for a wide variety of career opportunities—including counseling, teaching, social work, law enforcement, human resources, counseling, and healthcare. Plus, you'll feel more confident knowing that you've prepared yourself to succeed in a very competitive job market. Research shows that individuals with a bachelor's degree earn more and have a lower risk for unemployment than their less-educated peers.

Online Courses


For the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology online program, students must complete 120 credit hours, including 42 hours of general education courses, 34 hours of sociology core courses, 18 hours of minor courses, and 26 hours of electives. View a list of available general education courses.

The social science requirement may be met by any social science course except SOCI 1301. All sociology majors must demonstrate basic computing skills through the completion of COSC 1335 or other computer science course.

Sociology Core Courses

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology online requires a minimum of 34 hours of sociology core courses. The following courses are required of all majors (16 hours):

Students are introduced to the basic concepts and theories used to study the nature of social processes and the structure of society.
Measures of central tendency and dispersion, elementary probability theory, the binomial and chi-square distribution, tests of hypotheses and parameter estimation and simple correlation and regression. Emphasis is on the application of statistical methods to research in the social sciences.
This course involves the study of the development of sociological thought and perspectives through the examination of the ideas of classical and contemporary theorists; these may include Marx, Durkheim, Du Bois, Martineau, Parsons, Gramsci, or Lukacs among others. Substantive theories of social organization are examined.
A scientific research study under the supervision of a member of the sociology faculty. The integration of theory and research is emphasized through basic or applied social research.
The course provides a comprehensive overview of social science research methods, with emphasis given to the concepts used in the conduct of research, measurement strategies, and research designs. This course includes a one-semester credit hour lab that focuses on the steps undertaken in the completion of a research paper. Required for all sociology majors.

Sociology Elective Courses

For the 34 hours required in Sociology, the student must complete 18 hours of approved elective SOCI courses. It is recommended that SOCI 3327 be completed as soon as possible. The maximum number of sociology credits allowed is 47. Credits beyond this maximum will not count toward the 120 credit hours necessary to graduate. Elective choices include:

An examination of major contemporary social problems and their causes and consequences. Topics may include poverty, racism, sexism, deviance and crime, drug and alcohol dependence, the urban crisis, overpopulation, unemployment, energy, domestic violence and abuse, and war. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Undergraduate courses which will be offered only once or will be offered infrequently or which are being developed before a regular listing in the catalog.
An examination of the social context of substance abuse with emphasis on the social and cultural factors and institutions that impact on the addiction process. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Europe from the French Revolution to the present. Emphasis on social and political trends.
Analyzes the interrelationship of race, class and gender and how these structures have shaped the experience of all people in the United States. The “matrix of domination” approach is used to analyze the multiple, interlocking levels of domination. Emphasis is placed on social movements and change. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Analyzes dramatic changes occurring in the work lives of Americans and considers the future of American workers within the global economy. Explores emerging labor markets and technology in shaping contemporary American work settings.
Trends in mortality, fertility, and migration for selected countries, and their projected consequences. Associated policies and options are considered. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
This course examines children and childhood in a cross-cultural perspective. Special attention is given to the position of children in diverse U.S. family structures and in the educational system. Problems related to adoption, divorce, and the criminal justice system are examined. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
This course focuses on the study of societal definitions and reactions to deviant acts. These often arise in relationship to ethnicity, social class, race, gender and age within legal institutions. Theories of deviance and special case studies are examined. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
A study of the juvenile justice system, theories of causation, the distribution and frequency of delinquency, correctional treatment, and prevention programs in modern society. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
This course is designed to study the social nature of sexual expression. It examines the concepts that help frame questions about a wide range of sexual behaviors, attitudes and ideals.
Undergraduate courses which will be offered only once, will be offered infrequently or which are being developed before a regular listing in the catalog.
A historical and comparative approach in the examination of changing structure and functions of the family institution. The course provides a broad-based but intensive understanding of the family. Issues include the effect of economic, demographic and cultural changes on male-female relationships, sex roles, marriage and child care. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Students who are pursuing independent study or research as described in the contract study format.
Pharmacologic basis of psychotropic drugs and their associated abuses. Theories of cause and treatment of abusers are reviewed. Prerequisite: PSYC 1301.
The focus of the course is on the role and evolution of organizations in social life. Among the topics of analysis are the conditions under which organizations are created, grow, establish relations with other aspects of their environments, adopt tactics for survival, and how they fail. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
This course will consider the social consequences of the economic and environmental impact of energy choices in the U.S. and globally and how they shape societal norms and values. It will develop a critical understanding of the social attitudes, norms, values and behaviors toward energy consumption.
This course introduces students to the range of ways in which societies are organized according to gender. It critically examines and analyzes the complex and multiple questions related to women’s lives taking into consideration social, economic, political, psychological and historical realities. To be able to achieve a holistic analysis, men’s experiences are fully integrated in the exploration of issues. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Focuses on theories of social inequality as applied to the exercise of power and large-scale social control. Issues of class, race and gender and other inequalities are considered in the U.S. and globally.
Relationship between political and social structures with emphasis on the concepts of power, ideology, elites, class, and politics.
This course examines and analyzes the transformation of post-colonial societies through capitalist, socialist or other forms of development in a political economy context. It explores the international division of labor, labor migration, state formation, among other issues in the U.S. and what has been called the “Third World.” Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
The relationship of law and society is studied through the history, philosophy and evolution of the law and legal institutions. Three major functions of law in modern society: social control, dispute resolution and social engineering are examined. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Examines the origin and role of the self in society, using a sociological perspective to explore concepts such as symbolic interactionism, identity, roles, emotion, and talk. Examines social inequalities at the microsociological level and explores how meaning is derived from shared understanding in social interaction. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Social influences on aging individuals. Examination of theories of aging and the life cycle; age status, age-sex roles, health community participation, family relations, work, leisure, retirement, housing and finance. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Social and cultural factors associated with the definition, occurrence, and experience of health and illness. An examination of the social determinants that affect the etiology and distribution of illness and the social organization of the medical profession and the hospital.
Systematic study of the last stage of the life cycle. How people cope with various forms of death, the bereavement process, and growing old alone. The social organization of dying and the treatment of death in the hospital setting. The demographics of death. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
The role of substance abuse in family violence, child rearing and marital discord. Various ways of intervening to moderate the effects of substance abuse in families will be discussed.
This course deals with the social and ecological organization of cities. Emphasis is on the American city; settlement patterns, ethnic and racial groups and impact of urbanism on human development. It also examines cities, shantytowns, and informal economies internationally. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Focus on rural society, rural communities, population composition and trends, social processes, social participation in rural organizations and agencies; American agriculture in a global context; and changing relationship between country and city in contemporary society. Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.
Undergraduate courses which will be offered only once or will be offered infrequently or which are being developed before a regular listing in the catalog. May be acceptable for graduate credit.
Advanced independent study or research (equivalent to senior-level course). These courses will not count for graduate credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the Instructor.
A supervised program to utilize and develop sociological skills, as they apply to natural social settings. Students will be placed in a community organization. Variable credit of 3 or 6 hours depending on the number of hours worked and the academic requirements as established by the instructor. In the event of fulfilling 6 hours, only 3 will apply to the course, while the other 3 will be used as elective hours. Prerequisite: Consent of the Instructor.
Study and research under supervision of a member of the sociology faculty. Students wishing to enroll should prepare a short plan for this coursework and present it to the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Minor Option: Communication

18 hours are required for this minor, including 12 hours of upper division courses. Choose from the following courses.

This course enables students to analyze and practice communication in one-on-one relationships. Topics include problem solving, decision-making, working with diversity, information processing, understanding of self and others, and effective speaking and listening skills in interpersonal contexts.
Explores theories of rhetoric ranging from ancient Greece to modern times. Students examine different concepts of how rhetoric is a tool for public power as well as its use to transmit common ideas in the Western intellectual heritage.
Students are introduced to the relationship between modern media and their dynamic interaction with culture.
This course identifies the major areas of nonverbal communication and the current terminology used in the field. Relevant connections of nonverbal to other areas of communication will be presented.
An introductory course that surveys the history, development, and future directions of the field of communication. Equal emphasis is placed on understanding application of theory to everyday situations and learning introductory approaches to research.
Introduction to measurement and analysis techniques used in communication fields. Web-based research and dataset analysis and statistical methods.
The study and practice of communication strategies involved in preparing for and responding to crises. While a wide range of crises are considered, the course pays particular attention to corporate crises.
Survey of communication theory including approaches to understanding media influences on society and theories of human interaction.
An examination of the complex dynamics that drives messages in organizations. The course will focus on application of nonlinear dynamic approaches to human and mediated communication in an organizational environment.
An exploration of how various research techniques used to identify public groups are translated in messages in various media.
An exploration of the theoretical perspectives in understanding person-to-person communication. The course includes personal and professional perspectives.

Minor Option: Psychology

18 hours are required for this minor, including 12 hours of upper division courses. Choose from the following courses.

Foundation for the understanding of basic psychological principles affecting human behavior (A prerequisite to all other courses in psychology).
Measures of central tendency, variability, correlation and hypotheses testing, with emphasis on the application of statistical methods to research in the behavioral sciences and education. Prerequisite: must have fulfilled general education mathematics requirement.
Interrelationships between individuals and their social environment, considering social influences upon motivation, perception, behavior and development, and change of attitudes and opinion.
Variables involved in the development, maintenance and treatment of a variety of behavior disorders.
Examination of theories and research on biological, cognitive, social, emotional and personality factors that affect individuals from infancy through old age. Prerequisite: PSYC 1301.
This course will focus on psychological strengths and areas of personal growth among individuals, such as love, optimism, and self-efficacy.
Introduction to the planning and execution of psychological research.
Major factors affecting the development of psychology as science of behavior, with emphasis upon philosophical roots of major psychological concepts.
Neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Variables that contribute to behavioral effects in the areas of sensation, perception, motivation and learning.
Pharmacologic basis of psychotropic drugs and their associated abuses. Theories of cause and treatment of abusers are reviewed.
Applications of psychological principles to industrial problems such as personnel selection and appraisal, employee motivation and satisfaction, and the influence of organizations on behavior.

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Degree Plan (.PDF)

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