Senior Exit Requirement (Comprehensive Requirement)

Every major at UCSC includes a senior exit requirement (also known as the comprehensive requirement) designed to integrate the knowledge and skills learned throughout the curriculum. Students majoring in the Sociology BA or Sociology with GISES concentration, must complete one of the comprehensive requirements outlined below. Students majoring in the Combined LALS/SOCY major should refer to the LALS department for the comprehensive requirements.

Select ONE of the following options:

  1. SOCY 196S Senior Seminar
  2. SOCY Graduate Level Course
  3. Senior Thesis



SOCY 196S Senior Seminar

Sociology majors who select this option must pass (C or better or Pass grade) one SOCY 196S seminar course in Fall, Winter, or Spring of their senior year. Topics will vary annually. These seminars focus on advanced topics in sociology. The pedagogical aims vary but these seminars often emphasize at least one of the following: close textual analysis, critical and analytical thinking, active learning, field research, advanced research methods, or advanced theory. Enrollment is by application and permission code.

  • SOCY 196S-01 Critical Data Studies - with Professor Lindsey Dillon (Hybrid)
  • SOCY 196S-02 Black Geographies - with Professor Camilla Hawthorne (In-Person)
  • SOCY 196S-03 Immigration Enforcement and Deportations - with Professor Juan Pedroza (In-Person)
The priority deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 11th. Applications will still being accepted on a rolling basis after this deadline, but seats may be limited the longer you wait to apply. Some late applicants may need to wait for the Winter or Spring seminars.
Step 3: Check your email for an update
Students who apply by the priority deadline will have their applications reviewed and responded to between May 12-16. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed and responded to on a rolling basis. Please expect an email from or 

As we get closer to Fall quarter, the application will close and all enrollment inquiries must be sent directly to the instructor.



Archive of Senior Seminars:



SOCY Graduate Level Course

Sociology majors may be invited or approved to join a sociology graduate level course to satify their comprehensive requirement. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. In most cases, this option is for students who excelled in an upper-division undergraduate course with the same instructor. 

Sociology graduate courses are numbered SOCY 200-299 and topics vary yearly.

Students may contact the sociology graduate course instructor to discuss if admission to their course is possible. It is recommended that students provide the following information when contacting the instructor:

  • Whether you have previously taken a course with the instructor
  • Relevant courses you have taken
  • Why you are interested in the topic
  • Any other relevant information you may want to provide
  • If you have not previously taken a course with the instructor it is also recommend that you provide writing samples.


Senior Thesis

A senior thesis is a large, independent research project that students may choose to complete in order to fulfill the comprehensive requirement in the major. The thesis should be a project that can be feasibly completed in 7-10 months. If you are considering writing a senior thesis or are ready to start the process, review the:

  Sociology Department Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis

Sociology Senior Thesis Information Session (Zoom Recording, 4/12/21)