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.

  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 yearly. 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.


The Winter quarter application process is now open, however, the mode of instruction for two of the seminars is still pending.


  • SOCY 196S-01 Science and Justice - with Professor Jenny Reardon
  • SOCY 196S-02 Race, Somatics and Food Pedagogy- with Professor Naya Jones
  • SOCY 196S-03 Law, Health, and Human Rights - with Professor Jaimie Morse
  • SOCY 196S-04 CA and the Quest for Health Equity - with Professor Alicia Riley
The priority deadline is: November 8th. After this initial deadline, applications will still be accepted on a rolling basis, but seats may be limited the longer you wait to apply.
Step 3: Check your email for an update
Students who apply by the priority deadline will have their applications reviewed and responded to between November 12-15. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed and responded to on a rolling basis. Please expect an email from or

Once Winter instruction begins, all enrollment inquiries should be sent directly to the instructor.


Tentative Spring 2022 Senior Seminars

  • SOCY 196S-01 Science, Society & the Pandemic - with Professor James Doucet-Battle
  • SOCY 196S-02 Community-Engaged Research in Higher Education - with Professor Rebecca London
  • SOCY 196S-03 Race, Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Politics - with Professor Julie Bettie
  • SOCY 196S-04 Housing & Urban Studies - with Professor Miriam Greenberg


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)