How to Declare the Sociology Major and Minor

Deferring the Declaration of Major

Before declaring a major in sociology, a student must first complete the prerequisite courses.  (See section on “Requirements for the Major” for details.). Students entering their fifth semester who have not completed the prerequisites to declaring the major must defer their declaration for one semester while they complete the prerequisites.  The Declaration of Major Deferral Form is available from the College website (https://college.as.virginia.edu/forms).  On the form, list the Director of Undergraduate Programs as your “major contact” in the Department.  You should also contact the Department’s Academic Assistant, Ms. Joyce Holleran, to let her know you plan to submit the deferral form.  Otherwise, if you submit the form incorrectly, the Department may not know about it.

Procedure for Declaring the Major

When you are ready to declare a major, please follow these steps:

Step 1. Contact the Department’s Academic Administrative Assistant, Ms. Joyce Holleran, and let her know you would like to declare your major. She will assign you to a faculty advisor. If you have a preference for a particular advisor, please let Ms. Holleran know. All regular faculty serve as advisors; see the full list on the last page of this handbook.

Step 2. Download and fill out a copy of the declaration worksheet (available at https://sociology.as.virginia.edu/program-forms-and-links). The worksheet will ask you to list required and elective courses and the semester in which you took or plan to take them. With respect to future elective courses, this does not represent a commitment to take those courses. The goal is simply to plan one possible path to completing the major. To identify elective courses that you may wish to take, you can consult the current undergraduate course listing (available at https://sociology.as.virginia.edu/undergraduate-courses) and the University Undergraduate Record, which lists all approved courses in Sociology (http://records.ureg.virginia.edu).

Step 3. Schedule a meeting with your assigned advisor (in person or via Zoom). Bring the declaration worksheet to the meeting with your assigned faculty advisor. Your advisor should review your worksheet and discuss your broader interests in sociology. You and your advisor should then agree on a plan of study.

Step 4. Prepare and submit the Declaration of Major/Minor Form online through DocuSign (see instructions at https://college.as.virginia.edu/forms). DocuSign will route the form to your advisor for signature. Once your advisor signs it, the form will be forwarded to the Sociology Department and the University Registrar.

Your Faculty Advisor

When a student becomes a Sociology major, a faculty member will be assigned as the student’s academic advisor, replacing any previous academic advisor.  Students are expected to meet with their advisors at least once each semester to discuss choice of courses, progress toward fulfilling requirements, and any other questions or problems concerning the student’s academic work.

Faculty office hours are posted on their office doors and on the Department website. If you cannot meet during your advisor’s regular office hours, contact your advisor to make an appointment.

The College schedules advising weeks in late October or early November and late March or early April. Your advisor should contact you to schedule a meeting during those weeks.  However, if you do not hear from your advisor, you should take the initiative to arrange a meeting.

Procedure for Declaring the Minor

Students sometimes know early on that they wish to complete a minor.  Other students decide to declare a minor after they find they have already fulfilled all or almost all of the requirements.   When you are ready to declare a minor, please follow these steps.

Step 1.   Contact the Department’s Academic Administrative Assistant, Ms. Joyce Holleran, and let her know you would like to declare your minor.  She will answer any questions you may have and will direct you to a member of the faculty Undergraduate Committee.

Step 2.  Schedule a meeting with that faculty member (in person or via Zoom) to discuss your interests in sociology and the specific courses you would like to take. You and the Undergraduate Committee member should agree on a plan of study.  Note: If you have already completed or almost completed the requirements for the minor, this step is optional.

Step 3.   Prepare and submit the Declaration of Major/Minor Form online through DocuSign (see instructions at https://college.as.virginia.edu/forms). Be sure to check the box indicating that this is a minor declaration.  DocuSign will route the form to the Undergraduate Committee member for signature.  Once signed, the form will be forwarded to the Sociology Department and the University Registrar.  

Changing a Major to a Minor

Students sometimes wish to change their status from a major to a minor.  For example, a student who is double-majoring may find that she or he cannot complete all the requirements for both majors.  In that case, you should follow the procedure above for declaring the minor, but be sure to let Ms. Holleran know you are switching from a major to a minor.