Frequently Asked Questions
- How is college different from high School?
Find an answer at this site.
- What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of how people live together and how their lives are structured by social institutions, culture, and history. Sociologists are interested in the causes and consequences of such practical social phenomena as social inequality, racism, changing family structures and gender roles, white-collar and violent crime, mental and physical illness, the aging of the population, and much more.
What Sociology has to offer is a focus on context; sociologists do not study individuals as isolated beings acting only in response to personal psychological or economic motivations. Instead, sociologists study people within the larger cultural, social, and political contexts that influence their behavior. Often, sociologists go beyond the study of individuals altogether and focus on institutions such as the family, churches, schools, labor unions, hospitals, political parties, and even entire nations. In today's world, technology alone cannot solve all of the problems we face since many of our most serious problems are social in nature.
- Why does a course say "RESTRICTED" on the online course schedule?
The course has restricted enrollment, meaning students must register through the department (i.e. SOC 350N, 379N, 679 HA/HB; Honors and CXS sections of SOC 302)
Or, there are still seats available but those remaining are reserved for SOC majors at this time (all other SOC classes). Students should see the advisors if a major, or check ROSE again during add/drop periods.
- What is Upper Division Standing?
Upper Division Standing means Junior/Senior level. You are eligible for Upper Division courses when you have completed 60 hours. Some departments will allow you to take upper division courses without 60 hours of credit, but that is up to that department. Upper division courses are courses numbered 320-379, with the first digit indicating the number of hours (most are three hour courses).
- Why do I have an advising bar?
Your situation may include one of the following: 1) you are a new SOC major; 2) you are on Scholastic Probation; and/or 3) you are a double major, and your other major has placed a bar on your record. To clear it, please visit a Sociology advisor in person (we will not clear bars over the phone or via e-mail). If you are no longer a SOC major your new college/department can clear the bar as well.
- I took a different statistics course. Can it count for SOC 317L?
Most UT and transfer Statistics courses will count for your statistics requirement if you received an A or B in the course. We do not accept MIS courses for this requirement. You will still need to complete 27 hours of Sociology coursework, meaning you will need an extra elective if you use a non-SOC course for this requirement. To make this official, please see an advisor in Sociology for a petition.
- What courses should I take?
Freshmen and sophomores should limit themselves to lower division courses, numbered 01-19 (eg, SOC 302, ANS 310). A good schedule includes a course from each of two or three of the Area Core Requirements, plus one course in the major and perhaps an elective or course in the minor field. Juniors and seniors can focus more on the major and minor as well as remaining electives. Keep in mind that a balanced schedule, with a combination of sciences, social sciences, languages and/or humanities, is more academically stimulating but also easier for time management.
- What if all my courses are closed?
You should try to put together a schedule with courses that will work, even if they aren't your first choices, and be sure to add yourself to the online wait list for courses you would prefer to have.
If you are having difficulty putting together a schedule, please see your advisor for assistance.
The Sociology department does not accept "add slips" to allow students to add closed courses.
If you are a graduating senior or have extraordinary circumstances that you believe deserve to be considered, please see your Sociology advisor for assistance.
- What if I don't have a major declared or want to change my major?
Visit the department/college advising office for your intended major.
If you need to process a college change (i.e. from Natural Sciences to Liberal Arts, or Liberal Arts to Communications) then you must go to the Dean's Office of the College to which you wish to switch. College changes take effect in the first few days of each semester so it's best not to wait.
If you are changing majors within Liberal Arts (undeclared to Sociology, for example, or Sociology to History) then you can do this on the CoLA website.
- What if my classes are more difficult than I expected, or I have other difficulties during the semester?
Visit your advisor as soon as possible. You will have more options to resolve any academic concerns early in the semester rather than near the end. Also be sure to talk to your instructor and/or TA if your problems involve a particular course. You might also visit the Sanger Learning and Career Center in Jester for academic assistance.
- Can I take a different course to count for SOC 317M or SOC 379M?
No. Sociology does not recognize other Methods or Theory courses as equivalent to ours, whether they are taught by other departments or even Sociology courses taken at other institutions. Both courses must be taken at UT Austin for the major.
- How do I calculate my GPA?
- How do University Extension and Correspondence/Distance Learning apply to my degree?
University Extension (evening courses) and Correspondence/Distance Learning count as transfer credit and therefore do not count towards "in residence" hours or full-time status, but unlike other transfer credit the grades are averaged into your GPA.
- How do I apply for graduation?
You can do that online through the Liberal Arts website or in person in the Liberal Arts Dean's Office, after the 12th class day in a fall or spring semester and after the 4th class day in the summer.