• I live far away from Chico. Can I finish my entire degree online without having to go to campus?

    Yes.  Entering the program with all of your lower-division completed, you can take all of your upper-division sociology courses, upper-division GE courses (3 courses required by Chico State), courses that fulfill your writing requirement, and electives all online


  • I live in or near Chico. Can I take some classes online and some in person?

    In order to enroll in our distance education program, you must live outside of the Chico area.  If, however, you are close enough to commute on some days, enrolling in the Distance Education program does not limit you to taking online classes.  You may take either on-campus or online classes, and all will count toward your degree progress.

  • I work full-time and cant log into classes during business hours. Will this be a problem?

    Our online courses have different instruction modalities.  Some are totally asynchronous, with no meeting times, so you work through the material week by week but within that week, totally on your own schedule.  Others do have a meeting time and allow you to log in to the class synchronously to join in with the rest of the class and participate in live-time and ask questions to the professor.  Usually these classes are also recorded, so if you are unable to attend during the actual class time, you can watch the recording (called “archive” at Chico State) within 48 hours or before the next class period.  We do pay attention to the times of these courses, and attempt as much as we can to schedule them during the lunch hour or after PM to increase the chances that you can at least sometimes log in during the class period.

  • I work all week. Can I do all of my school work on the weekends?

    For some courses it may work to do all of the week’s work on weekend.  For many courses, however, you will need to log in, watch class videos, doing reading, communicate with group members and/or turn in assignments during the work week.  So if you are only available on the weekends, our distance education program may not be the right fit for you.  Keep in mind that the university has determined that a 3-unit course should have an average of 9 hours of work (including meeting times, videos, reading, and assignments) per week.  And while some courses may have a bit less work than this, if you take 15 units, that’s more than most people can reasonably fit into a weekend.

  • Will my diploma say that I graduated from an online program?

    No.  Your diploma will list Sociology as your major, but will not be different from the diploma of an on-campus student.

  • Can I double major online?

    Currently there are a very limited set of majors offered online.  They are:

    • Religious Studies
    • Social Science
    • Multicultural and Gender Studies (coming Fall 2023)
    • Community Organizing for Social Change (coming Fall 2023)
  • Are the distance SOCI program tuition and fees the same as on campus SOCI?

    Yes, the tuition and fees are exactly the same as those for on-campus students. 

  • Is there financial aid available?

    Students enrolled in our distance education program have the same eligibility for financial aid as on-campus students.  Additionally, the Sociology Department has a small number of scholarships and awards that it gives each year to sociology majors, and distance education students compete on equal footing with on-campus students for these.

  • How many courses can I transfer from a community college towards the major?

    You can transfer a maximum of 70 units total to Chico State, and a maximum of 9 units toward the major:  EITHER Introduction to Sociology OR Social Problems, and 2 lower-division sociology electives.  These 6 elective units do not have to match courses we specifically offer:  we will give lower-division elective credit for any 2 lower-division sociology courses you have taken.

  • How long does the program take?

    You must enter the program with a minimum of 60 lower-division units (the university allows a maximum of 70 lower division transfer units).  Included in that, the Fundamental Core (Introduction to Sociology OR Social Problems) is usually transferred in, as well as up to 6  units of additional sociology classes, which count toward your electives.  Thus, most transfer students have 31 units to complete in the major when they begin our distance ed program.  Once enrolled in the program, if you take 15 units each semester, make sure you are taking the correct courses, and pass all your classes, you will graduate in 2 years (not including any minors or double majors).  If you take 2 classes per semester plus one summer class each year, you will graduate in 4 years.* Note that there can be variations in this timeline, depending on the units and courses you have transferred in, and the courses you take at Chico State.  See a Major Advisor to plan your schedule to achieve the best possible personal timeline toward graduation.

  • Are there cohorts?
    The Sociology distance education program is not a cohort program in that everyone entering the program is not required to take particular classes in particular semesters—you are encouraged to individualize your schedule with the help of one of our major advisors to best meet your schedule, needs, and goals. That said, there are some courses in the Fundamental Core that are prerequisites to other courses in the major.  Thus, most full-time students are encouraged to take both SOCI 300 (Classical Social Theory) and SOCI 310 (Social Research Methods) during their first semester in the program, while part-time students are encouraged to take one of these courses in their first semester.  By default, then, as students move naturally through the Fundamental Core, they find that they repeatedly have classes with many of the same students, which provides an increased sense of community in classes, much like the cohort model does, while still maintaining maximum flexibility for individualized paths to graduation.
  • Will it be hard to get classes?
    While we can’t guarantee you that you will always get the class you want, when you want it, with the professor you want it with, we do not generally have a problem with students being able to get classes. Every semester we offer multiple sections of every course in the Fundamental Core, and we offer all other required courses for the major every year, with at least one option for every requirement being offered every semester.  We offer (non-GE) elective courses on a rotating basis, and upper-division GE courses generally every semester.  If courses do develop a bottleneck, we relieve the pressure by offering a section during winter or summer special sessions.
  • Is tutoring available if I have difficulty with any of my classes?

    Yes.  We have a Sociology Department Tutor that books appointments with students online or in-person for all of our Fundamental Core classes, and also can provide help with any other class in the major.