An Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree takes approximately two years to complete for full-time students and opens new opportunities for jobs for sociology majors. You may find employment in health agencies, government jobs, hospitals, service organizations, adoption agencies, child care institutions, public assistance services and private businesses after you obtain your degree. To get your associate degree in sociology, you need to take a number of classes.
To obtain an associate degree in sociology, you need to complete approximately two semesters' worth of general education courses. These classes cover concepts used in most majors and careers and include courses such as college composition, college math or algebra, science (such as chemistry and/or biology), humanities (such as art history or literature), social sciences (such as history or economics) and some physical education coursework. The specific classes vary slightly by institution. For instance, some colleges may offer computer courses for the math or science component.
Core classes relate more specifically to your sociology degree. Beyond the introduction to sociology class, you may choose from options such as marriage and the family, race and ethnic relations, sociology of gender, sociology of media, popular culture, social welfare, alcohol and drug abuse, human sexuality, law and society, contemporary social problems, social psychology and child advocacy. The specific associate degree program may also require an introduction to statistics class and a research methods and design study.
Most programs require you to take a number of elective courses as well. You can typically choose at least two classes to help focus your degree. Options may include sociology courses not included in the core requirements, as well as cultural anthropology courses, psychology classes (such as psychology of women), women's studies courses, various history classes, and critical thinking and writing classes. Some institutions offer honors seminars in sociology, independent-study programs or special projects for which you may receive credit.
Many schools offer an AA degree in sociology, but some also allow students to take an AS option. The AA degree may require more coursework in the arts and humanities areas. For instance, you may need to take a foreign language component for an AA. An AS degree typically requires more science classes instead. You may also need to take a computer course as part of the regular curriculum if you choose the AS option. You might select the AA option if you want to get a job as an advocate or a human resources manager, but the AS may be more appropriate for a position in research or analysis.
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.