Get Your Sociology Degree & Take Action in Your Community

At San José City College we value community. And we know that meaningful connections in our society start as individual relationships (often in the classroom). We also know that each class should inspire students to tap into their individual and collective potential. To think critically about their own society.

All our classes leave a lasting positive impression on our students, and we hope they inspire them to take action. So it’s no surprise that our Sociology Program has these goals clearly and explicitly integrated into its mission and coursework.

Let’s just say, if you pursue an Associate Degree for Transfer in Sociology, you will be forever changed. You’ll learn about the world around you through diverse coursework that’s constantly evolving. You’ll get the freedom and support to explore your interests and passions. 

Now let’s explore the many benefits of getting your sociology degree at SJCC.

“SJCC’s sociology program is much more focused on addressing real issues with real actions outside of the classroom.” 

Luke Wagner, SJCC sociology student
Sociology students at San José City College.
Sociology students at San José City College.

What is Sociology?

First things first. Sociology is a complex and varied field of study. So let’s look at its definition.

According to Britannica, sociology is “a social science that studies human societies, their interactions, and the processes that preserve and change them.”

Need more detail?  “It does this by examining the dynamics of constituent parts of societies such as institutions, communities, populations, and gender, racial, or age groups. Sociology also studies social status or stratification, social movements, and social change, as well as societal disorder in the form of crime, deviance, and revolution.”

Sociology is the science of societies and the people that make them.

Why Study Sociology?

The vast possibilities sociology offers may seem exciting or overwhelming. Or maybe a little bit of both. But let’s get practical.

There are so many reasons to get your associates in sociology.

You Can Make a Change with a Sociology Degree

As a sociology major, you’re sure to study the beauty and wonder that societies create. But the truth is, there are plenty of problems that plague every corner of our society.

If you’re looking for the tools to help you make an impact in your community or on a larger scale, a solid foundation in sociology will take you far.

Sociology Careers Are Everywhere

The valuable skills you learn as a sociology major will allow you to break into nearly any field. 

You’ll be knowledgeable in a wide range of issues pertaining to societies and human behavior. But you’ll also refine essential skills like: writing, research, communication, leadership, public speaking, problem-solving, and so much more. 

If you get your associates and then pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, your options open up even more. Sociology won’t limit you to one career path.

Need some specifics? UC Davis provides a useful and very comprehensive list of potential sociology careers in many categories. These include law, health services, higher education, and even publishing.

The Balance Careers and Glassdoor are also great resources to give you an idea of sociology jobs — which can also be found in business, marketing, human resources, and government. It’s important to note that every single one of these fields is thriving in Silicon Valley.

The bottom line? Sociology provides endless opportunities, wherever you’d like to go.

“They [students] have come up with many wonderful projects to help the community over the years.”

SJCC faculty
SJCC Sociology Club donating supplies to help people who are struggling with homelessness at St. James Park in San José.
SJCC Sociology Club donating supplies to help people who are struggling with homelessness at St. James Park in San José.

What Does SJCC’s Sociology Program Offer?

At San José City College our faculty and staff are always working to improve students’ experiences. Our Sociology Program is no exception. It is constantly growing and changing; pioneering, innovative, and collaborative at its core.

“They [students] feel our program gives them a deeper understanding of services and how as future leaders they can help serve their community and address social problems in our society.” Said Dr. Maile Del Bueno, a long time faculty member at SJCC. They “often tell me they feel empowered being a sociology major at our college.” 

Here’s what you need to know about SJCC’s Sociology Program.

A Community Centered Approach

The Sociology Department at SJCC does more than just teach the theory of social science, it encourages students to realize their potential and make an impact.

Luke Wagner, an ambitious sociology student with four majors, said, “SJCC’s sociology program is much more focused on addressing real issues with real actions outside of the classroom.” 

Wagner touches on something that is embedded in the curriculum itself. Core courses for sociology majors at SJCC are “Introduction to Sociology,” and “Social Problems.” Both require students to participate in a class project. 

“They have come up with many wonderful projects to help the community over the years.” Sociology faculty said in a collective interview.

Through these class projects, students have tackled a wide range of social issues including homelessness, food scarcity, women’s safety, and natural disasters. They have collaborated with organizations like HomeFirst, Loaves & Fishes, and a local Women’s Shelter. One of their most memorable projects included a large donation drive to help the 2018 Paradise Fire victims.

“Like a Silicon Valley Startup, the sociology students are innovative and creative,” faculty said. Thanks to these class projects, sociology students learn to collaborate with their peers and engage with their community every semester.  

Constantly Evolving, Interdisciplinary Curriculum

The AA Degree in Sociology has grown into a strong program. And since it’s such a complex field of study, it has become increasingly interdisciplinary.

The AA-T Degree for Transfer requires students to take courses in sociology, psychology and ethnic studies. It gives you the opportunity to explore other disciplines like anthropology, administrative justice, journalism, and more. 

“We are adding more courses such as Sociology of Marriages and Families, African American Males Experiences, African American Families, Sociology 10 for Honors Students, and Directive Studies to our major. We also hope we can cross list more courses to the Sociology major in the near future,” faculty said.

This flexibility allows students to follow their natural curiosity and find their passion.

“Along with the required class projects and participation in the Sociology Club students have ample opportunities to explore and deepen their passion in a particular field.”

SJCC faculty

The Freedom to Explore 

We already know that a well-rounded and diverse curriculum allows sociology students to pursue a diverse range of jobs.

But the great thing about SJCC is that we give students the opportunity to dive even deeper into their interests at a very early phase in their higher-education. This enables them to make healthy career choices down the line. Through our honors program, class project opportunities, school newspaper, and many student organizations, we allow students to truly explore what interests them.

“Along with the required class projects and participation in the Sociology Club students have ample opportunities to explore and deepen their passion in a particular field,” faculty said. 

Israel Golden — another bright quad major and sociology student — has a refreshing diversity of interests. Golden hopes to pursue art therapy. “I want to help people,” he said. 

In class, Golden is most interested in Marx’s theories on class war. And he’s currently working with Dr. Del Buono on an honors project about Judas and the Black Messiah, a contemporary historical film about Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party in 1960s Chicago.

Since there is such a diversity of coursework, not every student who takes a sociology course will go on to pursue the associates in sociology (though many are swayed after just one). But  if you ask, most of them leave inspired by what they learned.

“I am passionate about the science of societies,” said Wagner, who hopes to transfer into the UC system. “It’s “an essential component to a Liberal Arts and Humanities education.”

Donations for the victims of the 2018 Paradise Fire as part of a sociology class project.
Donations for the victims of the 2018 Paradise Fire as part of a sociology class project.

A Thriving Sociology Club

This student club was founded in 2015 as a sociology class project. It’s part of the Associated Students at SJCC. The on-campus club continued to do community work until March of 2020. Due to COVID-19, its not currently organizing events, but once the campus fully re-opens they’ll be back in action.

Since its inception, the SJCC Sociology Club has participated in many campus activities, and organized plenty of projects to combat social issues. It has organized book drives, made plans to start an organic garden and annually provided food and sleeping bags to folks struggling with homelessness at St. James Park in San José.

A Degree with a Guarantee

All of our Associate’s Degrees for Transfer (AD-T), including our sociology degree, are part of the Degree with A Guarantee Program. We are able to offer this thanks to the partnership with California Community Colleges.

When you complete your general and sociology major requirements with a 2.0 or higher, you are guaranteed a spot at a select number of California State Universities (CSUs). Choosing this route at a bay area community college will drastically reduce your education costs if you plan to transfer to a 4-year university.

Golden also highlighted affordability as an important draw for SJCC. “I can get a relatively affordable education from a licensed Doctor in the field of Sociology.”

Check out all of our financial aid programs here.

Get Your Sociology Degree & Make a Difference

A sociology degree at SJCC introduces you to our broader society and its challenges. It gives you the freedom to follow your interests. But more importantly, it gives you an education rooted in empathy, so that you can pursue a fulfilling career and make a positive change in your world.

“Our sociology students have limitless potential,” faculty said.

So if you’re interested, go to the SJCC Sociology Department for more information. And if you’re curious about additional transfer degrees in the humanities, check out Communication Studies, Journalism, or Social Justice: Asian American Studies.