Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that haven’t been addressed?  Check out these FAQs!

Courses & Grades

I think my grade may be incorrect, what should I do?

Problems with grades should be discussed first with the instructor of the class or TA of the section. If you are having a serious conflict with an instructor, please bring your situation to the attention of the undergraduate coordinator. You must speak with the undergraduate coordinator before you make an appointment with the department chair.

How do I petition a course from an outside university?

To petition to apply course work completed from an outside university (summer school, study abroad, etc.) toward your upper division electives in a major or minor in sociology, students must submit a General Petition to the department once the coursework has appeared on their degree audit.

The petition should include: name of the study center or university where course work was completed, department course number and course title, and number and level (upper- or lower-division) of credits granted through UC San Diego Admissions Office. Students should attach a copy of the syllabus and copies of exams or papers, especially if there is any doubt about the difficulty of the course or its sociological content.

Students are strongly advised to retain the syllabi, course papers, examinations, and all other paperwork from courses taken outside of UC San Diego. These materials may be useful after you return to facilitate the admissions officer's decision about credit transfers, as well as departmental approval of courses toward the major/minor requirement. The same materials may help resolve any debates that might arise in the department over possible duplication in course content.

Submission/Notification of Petition

Petitions must be submitted in person or emailed to  Petitions cannot be submitted through VAC, as the web portal does not allow students to upload any documents.

Students will be notified of the petition decision via VAC within 3 business days.


Why can’t I enroll in a Sociology Course?

There are circumstances in which a student will be unable to enroll in courses that they are eligible for.  Examples include:

  • Freshmen with sophomore standing
  • Student who will obtain junior standing at the end of a quarter, but unable to enroll in upper division courses during their enrollment period mid-quarter.

If the class you wish to enroll in has prerequisites or restrictions, submit your preauthorization request via the Preauthorization System.

Faculty & Staff

When is my instructor’s office hours?

The Department of Sociology maintains a list of Quarterly Office Hours.  If your instructor does not have office hours listed, you will need to contact them directly.


When is the main Sociology office open?

Our office hours can be found under Contact Us.

To find a specific staff member’s available hours, visit their staff profile, but please understand that times may fluctuate.

Exam Drop-off & Pick-up

My coursework is due at the Sociology Department, where do I drop it off?

There is an exam drop box located on the 4th floor of the Social Sciences Building just outside room 460. Be sure to include the name of your Instructor.

There is also a date/time stamp available for students to indicate when their materials were submitted.

This is a locked box which only the Sociology Administration can access. Materials in the drop box will be delivered to the mail box of your instructor by a staff member.


Where can I pick up my final exam from the previous quarter?

If you've signed the Buckley Waiver, your exam will be placed in the sociology final exam cabinet, located on the 4th floor of the Social Sciences Building just outside room 460. Exams from the previous quarter may be retrieved 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, beginning the Friday after finals week and continuing until the end of the following quarter.

Exams without a Buckley Waiver will be available for pick up from the instructor.

Special Accommodations

I am an OSD Student, who is the departmental liaison?

Our Undergraduate Program Coordinator is the departmental OSD liaison.  When you receive your AFA letter, a copy must be submitted to the front desk to establish accomodation arrangements. 

Students must contact faculty and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator at least 3 business days in advance, (excluding holidays and weekends) to confirm accommodation arrangements (i.e., where you will take the exam/quiz, how you will obtain accommodations, etc.)

Students are responsible for starting the exam/quiz ON TIME. If students are eligible for extended time for exams/quizzes and students show up late, the exam/quiz time will not be extended to excuse tardiness.


It’s finals week and I’m in a situation where I can’t take my exams. What should I do?

Students who are experiencing circumstances beyond their control may be eligible to take their course as an Incomplete. 

Undergraduate student whose work is of nonfailing quality but incomplete for good cause, such as illness, may file a Request to Receive Grade “Incomplete” with the instructor.

The form is required by the department, students should complete their portion of the request form, including the reason they are requesting the Incomplete, and provide appropriate documentation to support their request (e.g., doctor’s note).

The instructor has the option to approve or disapprove the request and should state clearly how and when the I is to be completed. If approved, the instructor assigns the I grade to the student.

Students must complete the work to remove the Incomplete on or before the date agreed upon with the instructor and in time for the instructor to assign a grade before the end of finals week the following quarter

If you feel that you may require an Incomplete please view the General Catalog for more information and get in touch with your instructor and/or the Undergraduate Advisor.


How can I get honors?

To receive Departmental Honors in your Sociology major, students must participate in the Honor's Program.  Information about the Honor's Program and eligibility requirements can be found on our Special Academic Programs page.

To receive College Honors, also known as Latin Honors, students must be within the top 14% of graduating seniors. More information can be found on the General Catalog.

There is also an International Sociology Honor Society called Alpha Kappa Delta. Students may apply for membership to this program through the UCSD Department of Sociology.  For more information, view our Opportunities & Involvement page.