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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is My Advisor?

Freshman and sophomore majors are advised by the Student Success Office. Juniors and Seniors are assigned a faculty advisor, indicated on your Academic Advisement Report (AAR). At some point you may begin to work closely with faculty that share specific interests, in which case you may ask that they serve as your academic advisor as well.

How do I know which classes I need?

Students should be extremely familiar with the University Catalog. Study carefully the chapter entitled “Obtaining a Degree at Boise State University.” In addition, study carefully the degree table of you major.

Students must learn to use the Degree Tracker function and to generate and interpret their Academic Advisement Report (AAR) on myBoiseState. The AAR shows the courses you have taken, the courses you have enrolled in, and how these apply toward your requirements for graduation. Information on generating and interpreting your AAR is available on the myBoiseState home page, click on HELP.

The Sociology Department is a participant in the University’s Finish in Four Program. Even if you did not declare a sociology or social science major as an incoming freshman, these suggested course schedules can assist you in developing their own course of study.

It is essential that students remain well-informed consumers of their college education. Become comfortable with the Catalog, the AAR, Degree Tracker, and the Department’s Finish in Four schedules. If you do so, time spent with your faculty advisor can focus on issues of more specific concern to your academic and career plans, rather than on more routine matters.

When should I take which classes?

Limited resources limit the frequency with which many courses can be offered. The course descriptions in the University Catalog indicate the typical schedule. Every attempt is made to keep this current, but as faculty members leave or join the department adjustments are unavoidable. Below is the schedule for the courses most important for completing the degrees.

Offered every fall and every spring: SOC 101, 102, 210, 230, 290, 310, 311, 390, 480, 493, 498, 499 and SOCSCI498

Offered every fall only: SOC 201, 332 and 471

Offered every spring only: SOC 302, 305, 333

Offered alternate years: SOC 306, 307, 312, 320, 325, 330, 331, 340, 361, 362, 371, 380, 390, 395, 403, 407, 410, 412, 415, 417, 421, 425, 431, 435, 440, 481 and 487

Not regularly offered at this time: SOC 121, 278, 279, 351 and 370

Plan your schedule carefully around the required courses offered least frequently. Note especially that SOC 201 is offered only in the fall, and that SOC 302 is offered only in the spring. Note that Sociology majors should take 301, 302, 310 and 311 during their Junior year if possible. Social Science majors should take SOC 201 as early as possible after their Freshman year. SOC498, SOCSCI498, and your internship or independent study (493/496) are taken during your final semester before graduation.

Which upper-division electives should I take?

You should take as upper-division electives those courses that best fit your specific interests and that will best prepare you for your future. However, since most electives are offered infrequently, some compromise must be made, balancing your academic, work, and family schedules. If you’re having trouble deciding which electives to take, your advisor can help you choose. Prepare a list of the courses you’d like to take given your overall schedule, and email your advisor.

What are Independent Studies?

Independent Studies allow students to pursue interests not covered through a regularly offered course. To participate in independent study, you must have achieved at least junior standing and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. You may take up to 4 credits of independent study in any one semester, and up to 6 credits in a given academic year. You may apply no more than 9 credits of independent study toward your degree.

Social Science majors should note that only three credits of workshops, special topics, independent studies or internships may be applied to each of the two upper-division fields. If one of your upper-division areas is Communication, these limits can sometimes be waived – see your advisor.

If you are interested in completing an independent study, contact your advisor.

What’s an Internship?

Internships are positions with public or private agencies that serve to further your education and to help you transition into a career. Qualified students may complete an internship by serving as a teaching or research assistant. More information on internships and the practicum can be found under Opportunities and Resources.

What’s an Academic Adjustment?

Under certain circumstances, students may appeal for an exception to the requirements of the degree. Typically, these arise because students have taken a course at another institution that constitutes an acceptable substitute but was not recognized as such when their transfer report was prepared in the Registrar’s Office. Occasionally, a course taken that is not identified as a requirement may be substituted if it covered the same content. For example, Social Psychology is taught in both the Sociology and Psychological Science Departments. If you took the course for Psychology credit, it may be possible for that to satisfy a Sociology requirement instead. Especially if you change majors within the social sciences, check with your advisor.

If you believe you can make a case for an academic adjustment, prepare any documentation. Syllabi and course catalog descriptions from both the course you’d like to replace and from the course that you’ve completed provide the best supporting evidence.

Appeals of general University requirements go directly to the Registrar’s Office. Appeals of Foundational Studies requirements are made to the department involved (so, for example, if you’ve taken a Chemistry course at another University that you believe covers the same material as CHEM 101 at Boise State, file the appeal with the Chemistry Department, and this will be forwarded to the College of Arts and Sciences). Appeals of the requirements of the Sociology, Social Science and Multi-ethnic Studies majors are made to the Sociology Department, and if approved will be forwarded to the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs.

Does the department offer career advising?

Yes. Our graduates have pursued a wide range of career paths in business, government and nonprofits. Many further their education by pursuing graduate degrees.

You should talk with your advisor early in your college career about your plans following graduation so that your coursework can be tailored to best prepare you to pursue your goals.

If you are considering graduate education, consult with your advisor during your Junior year so that you can begin the process of selecting graduate programs and preparing your application.

The Sociology Department at Boise State does not offer graduate degrees, but can assist you in designing a masters in Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, members of the sociology faculty often serve on thesis committees for students working toward graduate degrees in other departments.