Advisement Questions

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Advisement in Sociology

  • Graduate: Dr. Cristina Bodinger-deUriarte  (KH-A3051)

  • Undergraduate: Dr. Roseann Giarrusso (KH C3093)

  • Peer Advisors:  frequently at the Sociology Counter

  • General Education: Academic Advisement Center  (Palmer Library)

A sociology major requires 40 units of upper-division electives.

College years go fast.  Studies show that the most precarious quarter is the 1st quarter, and the most precarious week is the week before Thanksgiving. 
To make sure YOU survive the cut, read this page.

FORGIVENESS FORM:  if you get a C- or lower, you can repeat a class.  If you do better the 2nd time, go to Admin 146 and get a "Forgiveness Form". 
You can do this for 5 courses, once per class.  Turn in form with the better grade at Admin 146
. CLICK HERE  for more.

1.  How often should I see a sociology advisor?

Do not want to wait to see your advisor until just before you intend to graduate,  but also do not make an appointment every time you have a question.  Check this page; check with a peer advisor, and only then make an appointment to see your advisor.  Study this page and then make an appointment when you declare your major as Sociology.  Thereafter, seeing your advisor once a year is wise.

2.  Advisor Log

For your own protection and guidance, keep a clear and consistent log of your personal advisement meetings and milestones and note everything you learned and discovered.  Date and notate decisions and requirements every time you see your advisor.  Your advisor also keeps a log, but it is good practice to keep your own in case any matter comes into question.

3.  How do I make an appointment with a sociology advisor?

Call 323-343-2200 or stop by the Sociology Office (King Hall C3093) and ask to make an appointment for advisement. 

4.  Graduation applications: When do I apply for graduation?

Undergraduates with at least 135 units apply for graduation 2 ½ quarters ahead of targeted graduation date.  Graduation applications are be accepted only during filing periods (listed in the Schedule of classes every quarter and posted outside of the Sociology Main Office).

5.  How do I apply for graduation? 

Graduation application forms are available in the Sociology Office.  Fill out the top portion (name, address, CIN #).  Do not fill out the additional sheet.  If you are completing a minor, obtain a signed minor form from the minor department.  Make a graduation application appointment with the Sociology advisor; she will complete the form with you.  After completing the paperwork with the Sociology advisor, take the application form to the Cashier's Office and pay a $30 graduation application fee.  The cashier returns the form and proof of receipt.  Return these─plus the signed minor form if you have a minor─to the Sociology Department.  You do not need an appointment to submit the completed forms because you will already have seen your advisor. The Sociology advisors can then submit your graduation application to the graduation office.  This all must be completed within the filing period.

6.  What courses should a transfer student take first quarter?

There are several classes available which will not overlap with courses transferred in from community college.  First,  you can work on your upper-division GE Theme.  The themes are described in the Schedule of Classes.  Pick one theme by letter and then select 3 courses within that letter, e.g., one course from the natural science of that theme, one from the social science, and one from the humanities.  All 3 courses must fall within the same theme.  Sociology students may not use a sociology class to satisfy the theme requirement.  You may select classes which are designated as diversity classes [indicated by a (d) next to the listing in the theme section of the catalog], thereby fulfilling theme and diversity requirements simultaneously.  Second, if you have already taken an Introductory Sociology course, you can work on upper division electives.  The sociology major requires 40 units of upper-division electives.  Refer to question 8 on this page for more information about eligible electives. 

7.  What courses can I transfer from community college?

Three lower-division courses are required for the major:   SOC 201 (Principles of Sociology) and SOC 210A and SOC 210B (Elementary Statistics).  An introductory sociology course taken at an accredited college or university can be substituted for SOC 201.  Some statistics courses can be transferred:  a 3-unit course at a quarter or semester school may be eligible to substitute for SOC 210A.  A 4-unit course at a semester school may be eligible to substitute for both Soc 210A and 210B.  Consult with a Sociology advisor to learn whether course credit can be transferred.  CLICK this transfer chart for examples.

8.  Prerequisites for required upper-division courses

SOC 301 (Writing for Sociology): You must pass UNIV 400 (Writing Proficiency Exam "WPE") before SOC 301.  Take ENGL 102 (or equivalent) before WPE.

SOC 390 (Research Methods): Complete SOC 210A and SOC 210B (or equivalent) before taking this class.

SOC 412 (Classical Sociological Theory): It is recommended that you take at least 3 upper-division electives in sociology before this course.  This course should NOT be taken in the same quarter as SOC 414.

SOC 414 (Contemporary Sociological Theory):  It is recommended that you take at least 3 upper-division electives in sociology before this course.  Also, this course should NOT be taken in the same quarter as SOC 412.

The options in Inequalities and Diversity and Law and Society have additional required courses.  Those are described on the Undergraduate Program page.

9.  I cannot fit a REQUIRED class into my schedule:  What to do?

Begin to take required courses as soon as you have met prerequisites.  You must take these classes before you graduate.  The required classes are offered during the day in some quarters and at night in other quarters.  The required classes are typically not offered during the summer. Plan accordingly.

10.  Which upper-division Soc courses can be used as Upper-Division Electives for the major program?

For the general option, you are required to take 40 units of upper-division electives for the major program.  Any 400-level sociology course can be used as an elective.  Also, you may choose from these 300-level courses for electives: SOC 300, SOC 322, SOC 323, SOC 331, SOC 341, SOC 348, SOC 383.

Additional information on the Inequalities and Diversity option and the Law and Society option can be found on the Undergraduate Program page.

11.  Can I take courses in other disciplines for some of my upper-division electives in Sociology?
Students may take up to 8 units of electives in related fields outside the Department with the express permission of the undergraduate advisor. Disciplines such as History, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and minority studies programs (e.g., Chicano Studies, Pan-African Studies, and Latin American Studies) may offer suitable courses for your requirements. 

12.  Can SOC 398 and SOC 499 fulfill my upper-division electives?

You may include up to 8 units of internship experience (SOC 398) or directed study (SOC 499) as electives. Internship units are job related and sociologically relevant.  You need to consult with the department for permission to enroll in SOC 398 .  You need to consult with full-time professor (not a lecturer) to discover if they are available to supervise you in SOC 499. 

13.  What General Education requirements are for sociology majors?

Department advisors can assist students in tracking progress in General Education as well as in the Soc major, but use the University Academic Advisement Center in the Library Palmer Wing to answer most GE questions.  To track your own progress towards the BA, CLICK HERE for a tracking sheet:  General Education degree progress sheet.   A university requirement for graduation is that you take 2 diversity courses.  Some lower-division GE courses and upper-division GE Theme courses satisfy diversity requirements.  For transfer students, some community college courses may count towards the diversity requirement.  CLICK HERE for Transferable Diversity Courses

14.  Can courses used to satisfy the diversity requirement be used for other requirements simultaneously?

Courses used to satisfy the diversity requirement can also satisfy lower-division GE courses or upper-division GE Theme courses at the same time.  Try to select theme courses with a (d) next to them; this is the easiest way to fulfill both the theme and diversity requirements. 

Minors in sociology can use a theme course in sociology (which may also be a diversity course) on their minor program.  Students majoring in sociology cannot use a sociology course for their theme.  In addition, courses used for the major program cannot be counted towards the diversity requirement.

15.  If I get a C- or lower in a course, can it meet a requirement?

The only courses in which a student must have a C or better are the basic GE courses (Block A).  Beyond those 4 courses, students only need to maintain a C average (2.0) overall, a C average for courses taken at CSULA, a C average for all GE courses (all blocks and theme), and  C average in courses for the major.  So even if a student receives a grade lower than a C (even as low as a D-), the course still can count towards fulfilling requirements as long as the C average is maintained.  This means that a student who receives a D in one course would need to receive a B in another course in order to maintain the C average.

16.  As an incoming freshman, how should my plan look?

The department has a "roadmap" to complete a sociology degree for students who plan to complete all coursework at CSULA.  For a full-time student coming in as a freshman, the roadmap provides an academic plan which will enable a student to complete their degree in 4 years.  Click on the appropriate roadmap:

17.  The financial aid office told me to meet with my advisor to prepare an academic plan.  How do I do this?

Come to the counter at the sociology office (KH C3093).  Ask for the academic plan form.  Complete the form and leave it for the Advisor or Department Chair to sign.  Pick up the form (later that day or the next day). Take the form to the financial aid office.  You do not need to make an appointment.

18.  My NSS 101 class requires me to complete an academic plan and meet with an advisor.  How do I do this?

Same as directly above.

19.  How can I get advice on careers or graduate school?

Any professor in the department can advise you on career or grad school matters.  Simply go to any professor's office during office hours, visit the Career Center on campus.  CLICK HERE for the Career Center.  

20.  How do I petition a substitution for a GE Theme course?

Come to the sociology counter and ask for a general petition form.  Fill out the form and carefully explain why you cannot take the required course.  Leave the form for the Department Chair or Advisor to review.  Pick up the form (later that day or next day) and take it to the appropriate Theme Coordinator.  The Theme Coordinators are listed in the Schedule of Classes next to each theme description.  You do not need an appointment with the major advisor to do this.

21.  How do I petition to use a transfer course to satisfy a lower division GE requirement?

Come to the sociology counter for a general petition form.  Fill out the form and carefully explain why the course should count for our requirement.  Get a copy of the catalog description of the course.  College catalogs can be found online (unless it has been several years since you took the course).  Attach it to the petition.  Leave the form for the Department Chair or Advisor to review.  Pick up the form (later that day or the next day) and take it to the place the office indicates for you.  You do not need an appointment with the advisor to do this.

22.  What is "the walk" at graduation time?

There is one ceremony per year:  in June.  If you complete in the Autumn or Winter prior, you "walk" in June.  If you complete in June you "walk" in June.  And if you still need a class or two and can take that Summer, you can walk in June. . What you get when you walk is a nice holder for your diploma.  Your diploma comes in the mail a month after you walk.  If you still need those Summer classes after the walk, you get your diploma about a month after that.


23.  How important is the Career Center?

The Career Center is a great resource.  They will help you with career choices, a resume, and "mock" interviews.  Do not think you are "above it"; the greatest athletes and actors rehearse and practice; so should you.  There are "drop in" meetings Monday - Thursday around lunchtime.  Drop in and pick the counselor most suited to you.


Additional advisement answers provided with these links of rules:

CLICK Sociology BA Advisement Flier

CLICK Rules Reminders for Sociology Majors

CLICK Rules Reminders for Sociology Minors

Other advisement links:

CLICK Submitting an AP grade report

CLICK CSLA Advisement Bulletin Board

CLICK Transfer Student Services

For comments or suggestions about links or improvements, contact Dr. Gretchen Peterson, Webmaster.

~ Thank you for visiting the Sociology web site ~

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