Advisement Questions


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Advisement in Sociology

  • Graduate: Dr. Cristina Bodinger-deUriarte 

  • 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.


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
grade at Admin

 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

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

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

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

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

9.  What if I cannot fit a REQUIRED class into my schedule?

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

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 ascertain their availability to supervise a
directed study course (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

One university requirement for graduation is that you
take 2 diversity courses.  A number of lower-division GE courses
as well as upper-division GE Theme courses can satisfy
diversity requirements.  For students transferring to CSULA,
some community college courses may count towards the diversity

CLICK HERE for Transferable Diversity

14.  Can courses used to satisfy the diversity requirement
also 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

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 receive 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 academic 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 a plan which
will enable a student to complete their degree in 4 years.  Click
on the appropriate roadmap:

17.  The financial aid office has
told me to meet with my advisor and 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

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?"

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

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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