Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Transferring Sociology Courses to Western

Introductory Courses in Sociology

SOC 215-Social Statistics

Declaring the Sociology Major

Minors in Sociology

Registration/Overrides for Sociology Classes

T.A. Positions (Soc 480)


Applying for Graduation

Career Options in Sociology

Graduate School

Other Questions?

Questions About Transferring Sociology Courses to Western

If I'm transferring from another college with SOC 101 or 110, will this
satisfy the introductory course requirement at Western?

Yes. SOC 101 or 110 are essentially equivalent to 201-General Sociology. Some students may have taken a "deviance" class, or perhaps a "marriage and family" course at a community college or another university. These courses also transfer as equivalent "introductory" courses; however no more than two introductory courses may count toward the major or minor at Western. See the section below about "introductory courses". If you are transferring with any one introductory course, you are now eligible to register for SOC 210, 302, and several other 300-level courses at Western. Just be sure you have fulfilled the prerequisites.

If I'm transferring with a statistics course from another college, will this course satisfy the SOC 215-Statistics requirement at Western?

Yes, provided it is a sociology statistics course which covered the essential content, including descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, confidence intervals/hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, chi square, simple correlation and regression, multiple regression. If you're not sure whether your transfer course is equivalent, track down a copy of the course syllabus and ask the Sociology Advisor to review it for approval.

What other Sociology courses will transfer to Western?

To find out what other Sociology courses will transfer to Western, contact the Sociology Advisor. We'll take a look at each of your courses on an individual basis.

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Questions About Introductory Courses in Sociology

What happened to SOC 101/201-Introduction to Sociology?

Rather than offer a general introductory course in Sociology (Soc 101 or 201), this department offers a selection to choose from. Each of the courses introduces a specific "area" or "sub-field" in Sociology. These areas are listed below. Please note that only one introductory course is required as part of the core. However a second introductory course may be applied toward the major as an elective (including one that you may have completed at another college or university).

  1. Family/Life Course: SOC 260-Family in Society
  2. Population Studies: SOC 221-Introduction to Population Issues
  3. Law/Crime/Deviance: SOC 251-Deviant Behavior, or SOC 255-Social Organization of Criminal Justice
  4. Social Organization/Social Inequality: SOC 268-Gender & Society or SOC 269-Race & Ethnic Relations

Can I take a second introductory course at Western, and will it count
toward my major (or minor)?

Yes, you can take a second introductory course, and this can be applied toward the major (or the general sociology minor) as an elective. No more than two may be applied (including SOC 201 from another university, or SOC 101 or 110 from a community college).

How do I choose which introductory course to take?

Choose an introductory course (from the list above) that sounds most interesting to you. This will help to define one of your "areas of interest", or an area of "focus" in Sociology.

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Questions About SOC 215-Social Statistics

If I'm transferring with a statistics course from another college, will this course satisfy the SOC 215 requirement at Western?

Yes, provided it is a sociology statistics course which covered the essential content, including descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, confidence intervals/hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, chi square, simple correlation and regression, multiple regression. If you're not sure whether your transfer course is equivalent, track down a copy of the course syllabus and ask the Sociology Advisor to review it for approval.

If I have not yet taken SOC 215 (or equivalent), how can I prepare
to take this course? Any prerequisites?

Before you take SOC 215, you should complete Soc 210 as well as the Math GUR. Although Soc 215 emphasizes the logic of statistical reasoning, an understanding of basic arithmetic and algebra is necessary. If you transferred to Western with an A.A. degree (direct transfer agreement), this means your Math GUR is completed (along with all other GURs), and you are now eligible to take Soc 210; then Soc 215. If your mathematical skills are rusty, you may wish to practice those skills as the class moves along.

I'm nervous about taking SOC 215! How can I take the course and survive?

Rest assured that many students before you have felt exactly the same way about taking statistics, however...not only have they survived, they have succeeded and continued on to graduation. Several students say they even "enjoyed" taking statistics! Partly it's because we have excellent professors--they know how to teach the material, and they're friendly as well as approachable. So don't hesitate to ask questions during class or to visit professors during office hours. Here are some other tips: Attend class regularly (there is a very strong positive correlation between attendance and grades); follow the syllabus carefully, listen for announcements, and check out the class web page for any other information about the course; ask questions about the text as well as lecture material; meet with T.A.'s during scheduled office hours; do the homework assignments and turn them in on time. Some students also find that a study group is helpful.

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Questions About Declaring the Sociology Major

The number of students admitted to the major is limited as a result of the structure of the sociology curriculum and departmental staffing capabilities. Students wishing to major in Sociology must submit an application to the Department on or before Friday of the 2nd week of fall, winter, spring, or summer quarter. Students will receive notification regarding their admission status during the third week of classes.

Admission to the major is contingent on space available on a quarterly basis.

Applications require the following minimum qualifications:

    • Successful completion of at least 45 college-level credits
    • Successful completion or current enrollment in Soc 210
    • Successful completion of at least 10 credits in Sociology at Western
    • A minimum (cumulative) Western gpa of 2.7 (based on at least 12 credits); OR a minimum (average) gpa of 3.0 earned in Sociology courses taken at Western.
    • A student who has met the first three criteria but has not attained the minimum GPA requirements may apply for admission to the Department in any quarter. The petitioning student’s admission will be based on a combination of overall GPA, sociology GPA, and available space.
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Questions About Minors in Sociology

See the Sociology Advisor to declare a minor in Sociology. Follow the Plan of Study of your choice and ask for advisement whenever needed. At least two quarters prior to graduation, plan to see the Sociology Advisor for a minor evaluation. When you submit your Degree Application to the Registrar's Office, you will need to turn in your minor evaluation, along with your major evaluation.

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Questions About Registration/Overrides for Sociology Classes

How can I register for Sociology classes if I'm not a declared major?

See Registration page for information.

How do I register for classes that require permission?
(Soc 400, 471, 480, 481, 492)

For Soc 400-Independent Study, you will need an Independent Study Registration Permit Card signed by the instructor. Once this card is completed, turn it in to the Registrar's Office (OM 230) to finalize registration. Permit Cards are available from the Sociology Department Office (AH 510) or from the Sociology Advisor (AH 513).

For Soc 471, 480, 481 or 492, you will need permission from the instructor and the Sociology Advisor will need to enter an override so you can register.

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Questions About T.A. Positions (Soc 480)

What are the prerequisites for T.A. positions?

The Sociology core is required--Soc 210, 215 and 302--OR minimum grade of B+ in the course for which the student will be a TA. Soc 480 is a variable credit course (2-5 credits), and is repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits. Soc 480 does count as an upper division course, and may be applied to the major as an elective. However Soc 480 may not be applied to the minor.

What kinds of things do T.A.'s do?

T.A.'s assist professors in a wide variety of ways, depending on the type of course, class size, and needs of the professor. Duties may include attending class on a daily basis, keeping office hours in order to help students who need tutoring, assisting with preparations for the course, grading papers and exams, and keeping records. Students earn 2-5 credits, depending upon weekly hours worked (generally 2.5 hours a week per credit).

How do I go about getting a T.A. position?

Professors often invite especially strong students to be T.A.'s, but students may also approach professors with an interest in a certain class. The Sociology Department Advisor also keeps a "Vacancy Pool"-a list of students who indicate an interest-so that as positions become available we can easily match students with faculty who need assistance in various courses. To find out more about this opportunity, contact Andrea Osborn before registration starts for the next quarter.

How do I register for Soc 480-T.A.?

Once you have established a T.A. position with an instructor, an override must be entered in the system so you can register. Contact Andrea Osborn to inquire about entering the override.

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Questions About Internships

What are internships all about?

Internships offer an invaluable way to gain work experience. You can sample potential careers, build your resume, and learn new skills during a well-chosen internship experience. For more information, including ideas on how to find an internship, see Consider Doing An Internship.

Can I earn Sociology credits while doing an internship?

Yes. You can earn up to 10 credits of Soc 471 while gaining internship experience. One or more internships may total up to 10 credits, and may be applied as university electives only (not toward the major). This course is restricted to sociology majors. For information about prerequisites and requirements for this course, see Soc 471-Directed Internship. You can also pick up an internship packet from the Sociology Advisor (Arntzen Hall 513).

How do I register for Soc 471-Directed Internship?

Permission is required. Contact the undergraduate advisor, Andrea Osborn for registration information.

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Questions About Applying for Graduation

When should I apply for graduation?

The general rule is: apply for graduation at least two quarters prior to your final quarter. For example, if you're graduating at the end of Spring Quarter, you'll need to apply for graduation during Fall Quarter. Plan to do your major evaluation as early as possible during the quarter, well in advance of registration. See information below about how to apply for graduation.

What if I'm not sure about the quarter I'll be graduating?

Go ahead and make an appointment with the Sociology Advisor for a major evaluation, following the procedures as outlined below--"How do I apply for graduation?" We will evaluate your transcript(s) (or grade report cards) and determine the coursework you have remaining for completion of your degree. We'll then be able to determine your quarter of graduation. You may also wish review Graduation Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree.

How do I apply for graduation?

  1. Make an appointment with Linda Clark to do your major evaluation. An appointment schedule is posted outside the door-Arntzen Hall 513.
  2. Turn in your major evaluation, along with Degree Application packet, to the Registrar's Office. (Degree Application packets are available at the Registrar's Office, Old Main 230, or on their website)
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Questions About Career Options in Sociology

What can I do with a degree in Sociology?

A bachelors' degree in sociology provides an excellent liberal arts foundation and can open a variety of doors in business and the human services. Recent sociology graduates have found positions in a variety of fields including criminal justice, corrections, education, social service, business management, among many others. Many graduates have found that the skills acquired in our program have prepared them for further academic studies in sociology, demography, law, social work, and education. For more information, see Career Options.

How can I get help with career planning and job search strategies?

There are a number of resources available to you.

  1. Review all the information provided in Career Options.
  2. Take advantage of all the services available at Western's Career Services Center. The Center offers assistance with career planning, job market information, job search services, and alumni services. You can get individual counseling and attend a wide variety of job search workshops.
  3. Talk with the Sociology Advisor and any faculty you wish concerning employment opportunities, graduate schools, etc.
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Other Questions?

For further information, contact the Sociology Advisor.

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Page Updated 04.08.2014