Department of Sociology

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is college different from high School?

    Find an answer at this site.

  2. 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 humans face since many of their most serious problems are social in nature.

  3. Why does a course say "Reserved" 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 of a major, or check the online registration system again during add/drop periods.

    It might also include certain student populations or groups. It could also mean that the only remaining seats are for SOC majors.

  4. What is Upper Division Standing?

    Upper Division Standing means Junior/Senior level. Students are eligible for Sociology Upper Division courses when they have completed 50 hours. Some departments will allow students 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).

  5. Why do I have an advising bar?

    The situation may include one of the following: the student is 1) a new SOC major; 2) on Scholastic Probation; and/or 3) a double major, and their other major has placed a bar on their record. To clear it, please visit a Sociology advisor in person (not over the phone or via e-mail). If a student is no longer a SOC major their new college/department can clear the bar as well.

  6. I took a different statistics course. Can it count for SOC 317L?

    Most UT Austin and transfer statistics courses will count for the statistics requirement if students received a minimum of a C in the course. A complete list of acceptable statistics substitution courses is available in the SOC Advising Office.  Courses transferring from out of state will be reviewed on a case by case basis.The substitution counts toward the hours required for the major and the major grade point average.

  7. 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 and also easier for time management.

  8. What if all my courses are closed?

    Students should try to put together a schedule with courses that will work, even if they aren't their first choices, and be sure to add themselves to the online wait list for courses they would prefer to have.

    If students are having difficulty putting together a schedule, they should see their advisor for assistance.

    The Sociology department does not accept "add slips" to allow students to add closed courses.

    If a student is a graduating senior or have extraordinary circumstances that they believe deserve to be considered, they should see their Sociology advisor for assistance.

  9. What if I don't have a major declared or want to change my major?

    Students should visit the department/college advising office for their intended major.

    If they need to process a college change (i.e. from Natural Sciences to Liberal Arts, or Liberal Arts to Communications), then they must go to the Dean's Office of the College to which they wish to switch. College changes take effect in the first few days of each semester, so it's best not to wait.

    If students are changing majors within Liberal Arts (undeclared to Sociology, for example, or Sociology to History), then they must meet with the advisor for that major.

  10. What if my classes are more difficult than I expected, or I have other difficulties during the semester?

    Visit an advisor as soon as possible. Students will have more options to resolve any academic concerns early in the semester rather than near the end. Also be sure to talk to the instructor and/or TA if the problems involve a particular course. Students might also visit the Sanger Learning and Career Center in Jester for academic assistance.

  11. 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, 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.

  12. How do I calculate my GPA?

    GPA calculator

  13. 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 credits the grades are averaged into the GPA.

  14. How do I apply for graduation?

    Students 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 the fall or spring semester and after the 4th class day in the summer.

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086