Academic Procedures

To declare sociology as your major, you should complete the Major Declaration Form, available in Academic Services or the department's office. Complete it as fully as you can, and bring it to the Undergraduate Advising Head (UAH) for review and completion. In addition to answering any questions you may have, he will also discuss your interests and goals in the major and advise you on future course selection. At this time, you will also be assigned a faculty advisor.

Your Faculty Advisor

Each sociology major is assigned a faculty advisor. He or she can provide advice on courses or career plans.

Get to know your advisor. Even if you have no problems, it is still a good idea to introduce yourself to your advisor and see him or her at least once each semester, if only to report that all is going well. You should also feel that this is someone to consult with when things are less sunny. Your faculty advisor is eager to help you.

All faculty members have their office hours posted on their office doors. Barring illness, you should find them available then. Some advisors prefer to make appointments via email. If you have any problems finding your advisor or have any other difficulties, the sociology staff or UAH will be happy to see you.

Petitions for Changes in Requirements

The requirements for the major can be found in the Bulletin. The department does not recognize requests for changes in requirements.

Add and Drop Requests

Add/Drop Forms must be signed by the instructor of the course being added or dropped.

These requests have clearly published deadlines, and it is your responsibility to anticipate these deadlines. Do not wait until the last minute, only to find that your advisor's next available office hours are after the deadline.

Transfer of Credit

If you have taken sociology courses at another university and want them to count toward your sociology major at Brandeis, you must:

  • Consult with the Registrar's office to arrange for formal approval and transfer of credit.
  • Include the course description from the university catalogue where you took the course, the grade that you received, and a copy of the course syllabus, along with a copy of your transcript.
  • Bring it to the UAH for approval.
  • Once the form is approved, bring it to UAH for final inclusion in your departmental file for future audits.

A maximum of four courses may be transferred from another university or study abroad program (up to two sociology courses and up to two upper-level social sciences courses).

Advance Approval for Summer School Courses at Other Universities

If you wish to get course credit or major credit for a summer school course taken at another university, you should get approval in advance. A form for this purpose is available from the Registrar's office. Once this Petition for Permission form is completed, the Registrar's office will forward it to the department for approval. You will need to provide information, to the UAH, about the texts that will be used and the topics that will be covered in the course. Usually this requires that you obtain a copy of the course syllabus from the other university. The form should be signed before the course is taken. If you receive a C- or better in the course, you will be allowed to count that course toward your sociology requirements.

Petitions to Study Abroad

Students who wish to study abroad should consult with the department before you apply to the Study Abroad program of your choice. The department's UAH will verify that you will be able to complete the requirements for graduation on schedule even with the time abroad. There are no guarantees of credit before you go abroad, so the UAH's role is to give you ideas about which courses are most likely to count for credit. Final decisions about transfer of credit are made by the Registrar and the Study Abroad office after you return from abroad. For more information about transfer of credit, visit the Study Abroad website.

When you return from Study Abroad, you will need to complete a Petition for Major Transfer Credit. You should do this as soon as you're notified by the Registrar and the Study Abroad office that your credits from abroad have been processed. Complete the form, attach the course syllabus, and bring it to the UAH during office hours for approval. Without this, courses taken elsewhere cannot count toward fulfillment of the major.