AB in Sociology in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (AB SOCIOLOGY) is a four year degree program that aims to equip students with sociological perspectives and skills necessary for understanding social issues and problems. It also teaches students how to explain and analyze the development of society and culture as well as human interactions based on historical context. The AB Sociology program provides a strong foundation on the theories and concepts of social processes, belief systems, human society, culture, and social interactions.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the AB Sociology curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • General Education Courses: Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
  • Core Courses: Introduction to Sociology, Social Institutions, Sociological Theories, Statistics in the Social Sciences, Ethnicity and Peace Studies, Special Topics in Sociological Theory, Human Ecology, Social Psychology, Sociological Analysis, Readings in Sociology
  • Sociology Professional Courses: Philippine Contemporary Social Issues, Methods of Socio Research, Community Development, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Laws and Politics, Deviant Behavior and Social Control, Sociology of Religion, Rural Sociology, Industrial Sociology, Dynamics of group behavior, Special Topics in Research Methods, Social Change and Development, Gender and Development, Survey of Social Theories, Society and Culture with family planning, Philippine culture and social system, Society and Population with Urbanization
  • Elective courses

The AB Sociology program is taught to students through classroom lectures. In addition, students are exposed to community immersions where they are asked to observe the behavior of a certain group of people in the community and create a sociological analysis out from the experience. Other activities include going on field trips to relevant agencies/places and attending educational talks and seminars regarding current trends in sociology.

A major requirement in the AB Sociology program is the completion of an undergraduate thesis. This is done under the guidance of a research adviser. The thesis must be completed within the second semester, after that the student must face a panel who judge and grade his/her work. As for the Practicum/OJT, not all schools incorporate this requirement in AB Sociology’s course curriculum.

AB in Sociology vs BS in Social Work

AB in Sociology and BS in Social Work are somehow related courses but there are major differences in their curriculum.

AB Sociology focuses on studying human behavior and human society while BS in Social Work’s primary target is to teach practical applications and techniques to help people solve personal problems and alleviate social issues. BS in Social work is a more hands-on field program, while AB in Sociology is more theoretical in nature.

In addition, BS in Social work is has a licensure examination while AB in Social Work does not.

Both courses have more or less the same admission requirements and duration of four years.

Is Sociology a profession?

The only persons who are called ‘Sociologists’ are researchers, mainly in the academic world.

Most graduates on AB Sociology will not go on to become researchers and college professors, and will work in a variety of occupations that are mostly not related to Sociology.

What are the admission requirements for the AB in Sociology program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Reading Comprehension – understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Communication skills – has excellent written and oral communication skills; a strong command of the English language is important because your work will involve dealing with different kinds of people.
  • Problem-solving skills – the ability to identify, assess, create alternative solutions and solve the actual problem while continuously evaluating for outcomes.
  • Active Listening – the ability to listen carefully, ask pertinent questions and retain verbally transmitted information is vital to the counseling aspect of social work.
  • Interpersonal skills – the ability to relate effectively and sensitively to different people of all ages and walks of life.

How difficult is AB in Sociology?

AB in Sociology is not considered a difficult course. Generally, the curriculum for AB Sociology does not consist of many difficult subjects such as math or science, except those that are part of the general education course. The school work for this specific course is not as heavy compared to other programs, and there are not that many assignments and projects. The only consistent school work that you’ll probably be making is the case analysis.

Most students describe this program as interesting and fun, since you will be able to observe how people behave and react with others and their environment. Students undergo immersions and field trips which is an enjoyable learning activity for most students.

The challenging part of this program is the undergraduate thesis which is highly technical. On the job training (OJT) is not required in many schools.

How long does it take to complete the AB Sociology program in the Philippines?

The AB in Sociology program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

On the Job Training (OJT)/Practicum

Some schools require the students of the AB Sociology program to attend an On the Job Training (OJT) in an organization, agency or community. It is usually offered in the third or fourth year of study. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The usual task of students under the OJT is to help gather and research information on specific topics related to sociology. They may assist head researchers in observing a specific population and help write case analysis reports on this.

The OJT program is done under the supervision of a designated authority in the establishment/office which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member.

The number of hours required for the OJT varies from one school to another.

Career opportunities for AB Sociology graduates

  • Jobs related to the AB Sociology program

    • Community Worker – help to improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals and groups by facilitating change and providing the means for self-help within community settings.
    • Child Welfare Officer – work on behalf of children to ensure a safe and productive living environment. Often covered under the umbrella of social services, child welfare officers provide assessment, reporting and advising to adolescents and families and may be required to give evidence in courtroom hearings.
    • Human Services Worker – human services revolves around three major functions: evaluating needs, developing a treatment or remediation plan and putting the plan to work, always with the objective of meeting clients' specific requirements.
    • Social Science Research Assistant – prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management; assist social scientists in laboratory or office setting.
    • Social Science teacher – requires a few education units; teaches courses in social studies, history, geography, government, political science, or humanities utilizing core curriculum and other appropriate learning activities
    • Human resources officer – officers develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of personnel within an organization.
    • Social Planner – research, analyze, develop, and implement programs for people experiencing different kinds of abuse or poverty. They recommend certain government action to take place and help raise finance for these programs.
    • Social Researcher – plan, design and manage social research projects. They use a variety of computer software packages to collect, analyze and organize information and data, which they then present to others, either in a written report or oral presentation.
    • Community Development officer – help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area; work with individuals, families and whole communities to empower them.
    • Social Scientist – requires a master degree; responsible for studying and researching the link between society and human behavior.
    • Project Development officer – develop and co-ordinate individual projects in communities to help individuals and families live a better life.
    • Foster Care Worker – work in conjunction with the state and the courts to place abused, neglected or abandoned children into temporary foster homes to prepare them to return home or move to a permanent placement.
    • Demographer – a social scientist who uses statistical methods to study the size, distribution and structure of human populations.
    • Adoption Agent – make arrangements to place children with parents who want to permanently adopt them. Caseworkers assess the needs of both the adoptive parents and children through consultations, home studies, and post-placement visits.
    • Career Counselor – help people with job-related issues, such as finding work, setting career goals and dealing with stress on the job.
    • Social Service Program Director – plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits.
    • Program Specialist – implement and manage different types of projects according to the policies, procedures and goals of an organization.
    • Social Work Administrators – plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits
  • Jobs not related to the AB Sociology program

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills

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Reviews of AB in Sociology graduates:

G. N.
◈ Studied BA Sociology
◈ At University of the Philippines Los Banos
◈ Graduated 1996

list bulletWhy did I choose Sociology: I am interested in studying human behavior. I was originally a BS Statistics major. During my first semester in college, I was having difficulty with Mathematics and even my final grade in Social Science was not high. After the first semester, I found out that I am more interested in studying people rather than numbers/figures.

list bulletAbout my college education: I have learned that our behavior is influenced by social facts. These social facts are something that are external to the individual - like the social group you belong, social context you are in and the social structure.
All the subjects were difficult. They only vary in the degree of being difficult.
All the subjects were useful. But I think, methods courses and rural sociology were the most useful. The usefulness of the latter course was because I worked in research institutions working with farmers.

list bulletMy current job: I am an assistant professor at UPLB.
I am handling both graduate and undergraduate courses in Sociology and the general education course, Social Science 1. I am assigned to teach the foundation course for Sociology major, General Principles of Sociology. I have at least taught almost all of the courses in sociology. I am also engaged in research activities.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: Most of the things that you have learned in college was useful. It is not only the concepts and theories, but critical thinking, being resourceful and being a team player were useful.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: Right after graduation, I was assured of a job. But, I waited for 2 months before the budget was released by the government for the job that I will be doing.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Sociology: The course might not be popular and people (especially the parents) would not understand sociology. However, after finishing BA sociology you would understand society better and you would be employed all your life. One can be researcher, teacher, development worker and even human resource development officer. Some students use it as a pre law course.

You can earn as much as P15,000 for a fresh graduate and P80,000 for more experienced employee.

Yes, it is a fulfilling and interesting career as you are dealing with people.
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