Skip to main content
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/sociology
Administered by: Department of Sociology
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The degree in Sociology is a four-year program of study, with a focus that is unique to Ryerson University. Students will graduate with practical research skills, in addition to critical analytical skills, communication skills, and a mature, reflective understanding of their social world. In this career-oriented degree program, students will learn to critically assess their social world and conduct original research to investigate social issues.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U English. Notes:

  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. A grade of 70 percent or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English.
  3. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Everything we do and say is shaped by the social world in which we live - our cultures, organizations, beliefs and values. In turn, we shape the world. Understanding our social structures and actions is an essential tool for those who wish to strengthen Canadian society or initiate progressive changes. We are constantly promised ideals contradicted by reality. Why does the media hype youthfulness while social institutions routinely ignore kids? In our so-called leisure society, why are people working harder than ever? Why do we rave about multiculturalism while minority populations suffer higher rates of unemployment, crime and poverty? Why does our culture celebrate happiness and love as the media bombards us with images of violence? If you want to understand our society, this is the program for you.

This program helps students to become more analytical and better equipped to address a wide range of social issues.  Graduates will better understand Canadian society and its place in the world by exploring the hidden working behind the familiar everyday world – from pop culture to the workplace and from the street to the boardroom. You will learn about structures of power, communication, influence and policy in communities and neighborhoods. Because our campus is in the heart of downtown Toronto, we can take our intellectual inquiries into the real world. The Program focuses on social change and cultural issues, practical research methods, and provides an opportunity for experiential learning and for a professionally-related minor.

Semesters One and Two: The first year of the Sociology program is shared with Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, and Psychology. You'll also be introduced to a variety of points of view from other disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and will take courses to strengthen critical thinking and academic writing. Over the four years, students will learn Sociology through courses about large organizations, individuals' socialization, power and class, diversity, gender, and everyday Canadian life.

Semesters Three and Four: Second year students will be invited to focus on city life in Toronto as an environment to explore intellectually, and will be introduced to research and design and applied research methods as well as social theory. Students will also learn more about diversity – how and why we classify people by sex/gender, race/ethnicity, social class, disability and sexuality, why it makes a difference, and how the media portrays these differences.  

Semesters Five through Eight: In the final two years, students develop a sharper focus on theoretical ideas that are useful to describe and analyze society and the research methods that social scientists use to test their ideas, including the use of statistics. In these senior years students will be able to explore a broad range of topics such as the global economy, work relationships, the entertainment industry, and the lives of children and youth. Students will also have the opportunity to put theories and research methods into practice by involvement in research projects seeking to discover something new about the world. Students have the opportunity to take professionally related courses such as human resources, communication, and marketing, and to earn a minor. In your fourth year, students will have the opportunity to consider their studies in relation to future goals and plans.

Sociologists are people who try to make sense of the complexities of the social world in the past, present and future. A degree in Sociology prepares one to work in any field where people, communities, cultures or institutions are important. Upon graduation, students have practical research and analytical skills that are important in many types of employment. Many people with a background in Sociology work in government, business, the nonprofit sector, community development, public affairs, human resources, research, teaching, marketing, media research, consulting and the arts. Our Sociology program is also designed to prepare you for graduate studies. A degree in Sociology can act as a springboard into a professional program in such areas as education, business or law.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology may transfer to any one of the other nine programs or to any one of the three approved double major programs (English and History; English and Philosophy; History and Philosophy) for the fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to program capacity, and therefore, program choice cannot be guaranteed.

In order to transfer to Sociology from Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, or Psychology, students must:

  1. have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. have successfully completed SOC 105. It is strongly recommended that students complete both SOC 105 and SOC 107 in first year.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

Sociology courses and PHL 214 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

FNF 520 and Sociology courses are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program

REQUIRED:

SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 107 Sociology of the Everyday
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Four courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I or Table III.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table III.

REQUIRED:

SOC 411 Intro to Quantitative Data Analysis
SOC 470 Toronto: The Changing City
SOC 473 Classical Sociological Theory
SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Three courses from the following:

SOC 300 Sociology of Equity and Diversity
SOC 420 Social Class in Changing Times
SOC 525 Media and Images of Inequality
SOC 608 Women, Power and Change

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from either Table I, Table III, or Table IV.

REQUIRED:

SOC 475 Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 481 Survey Design and Analysis
SOC 482 Advanced Approaches to Media Analysis
SOC 483 Advanced Statistical Modeling

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

REQUIRED:

SOC 490 Capstone: Specializing Your Knowledge

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Five courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Cathy Crowe
Distinguished Visiting Practitioner

Department of Politics & Public Administration Ryerson University

Margrit Eichler
Professor Emerita

Department of Social Justice Education Ontario Institute For Studies In Education/University of Toronto  

Michele Landsberg OC
Journalist, Author, Public Speaker, Feminist, Social Activist

Uzma Shakir
Director, Equity, Diversity & Human Rights 
City Of Toronto  

Hassan Yussuff
President

Canadian Labour Congress Trade Union Confederation of the Americas