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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Frequently Asked Questions

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Welcome!  Bienvenidos!  Bienvenue! Wilkommen! Bem vindos! Sbāgata!

  • Where I do I start if I am interested in Sociology?
    • First, congratulations! We are a diverse group of Sociologists coming from many perspectives (including Aging studies, Symbolic Interactionism, Globalization, Gender, Ethnicity and Culture).  Our Mission is to pursue, transmit and apply Sociological knowledge and we’re excited to see you here.  Our welcome packet can get you started, as well as our complete listing of requirements and courses offered in the [PDF] bulletin (49 KiB).

  • I’m ready to register as a Sociology Major/Minor.  What do I do?
    • Contact Office Manager Karen Purrington to declare Sociology as your major or minor. or 507-389-1561.
    • NOTE:  Declaring a major does not allow you to register for 300/400 level classes.  For that you must have “admit to program”—requirements are 32 semester credits and a 2.0 GPA.  Karen Purrington can only process admits for Sociology majors (if you are a SOC minor or want a SOC course of any kind, see your major department for “admit to program”).

  • What can I do with a Sociology Major?
    • Please see our Careers Page to look through occupational resources for Sociology students.
  • What do I do if I want an internship in Sociology?
    • Go to the Internship Site to find out the requirements and see a list of potential placements.  Contact the internship coordinator (listed on the page) for an appointment to help you arrange your placement.
    • Please note: You may not start an internship without permission of the internship coordinator.  No hours at a site will count without permission.

  • What if I took Sociology courses at another university?  How do I get them to transfer for Sociology credits at MSU?
    • See the current Sociology program coordinator, or a professor that currently teaches the course. Bring the syllabus from the course you took with you. Not all classes transfer, so we’ll need to compare the content of the course to the one we currently offer to see if it is eligible for transfer credit.
    • Please note that 100/200 level courses cannot transfer or substitute for 300/400 level classes (with exception for articulation agreements with other Minnesota State campuses).

  •  What if I took a Social Psychology course from a Psychology department?  Can I get credit for SOC 351 Social Psychology?
    • No, you can’t.  To earn Sociology credit, it must be a Sociology course—the content within Psychology courses is actually quite different.

  • When is the best time to contact my advisor for help selecting classes or other concerns?
    • Find out what their office hours are (usually posted outside office door) OR email and ask about hours or set up an appointment.
    • Don’t wait until you are about to register!  Everyone registers about the same time and wants to see an advisor, so it may be hard to get an appointment.  Think ahead and try to see your advisor BEFORE registration opens—the earlier in the semester, the better!

  • What should I bring with me to my advising appointments?
    • Bring your DARS report and look at the courses being offered to formulate a tentative plan and bring it to discuss with your advisor. 

  • What is a DARS report, and how do I get one?
    • DARS report is a Degree Audit Report, and is a list the general education requirements and the requirements for your major and minor.  Those which you have already completed will be checked off in green, and those you have yet to take will be marked with a red X.  For accurate DARS reports, make sure you’ve declared both your major and minor by contacting their main offices.

  • Where do I find what courses will be offered next semester?
  • I took SOC 150 Social Problems, SOC 208 Courtship, Marriage and the Family or SOC 209 Human Sexuality, do those count towards the credits I need for my major?
    • No, they don’t.  Major electives must be at the 300-400 level.  Those courses may count towards your General Education requirements, though.

  • What if I took a course Pass/Fail or No credit?  Can I take courses for my major this way, or do they have to be graded?
    • Courses for the Major should be taken for graded credit only.  If there was a miscommunication and you took a course in your major P/N, see your advisor to discuss a grade substitution.  An exception is the internship, which is taken P/N.

  • I’m interested in double majoring (or minoring) in Sociology and in Corrections.  Which courses “double count” or give credit in both Sociology and Corrections Programs?
    • The following have a course number listed for both Sociology and Corrections but in actuality, they are the same class and count towards the requirements of both programs:

      Juvenile Delinquency:  Soc 255 & Corr 255
      Social Deviance:  Soc 441 & Corr 441
      Criminology:  Soc 442 & Corr 442
      Law and Justice in Society:  Soc 451 & Corr 451
      Law and Chemical Dependency:  Soc 465 & Corr 465
      Program Administration Soc & Corr 417


  • Do I need to have any Math courses before taking SOC 202 Social Statistics?
    • There are no math prerequisites for SOC 202 Social Statistics, so most students do not need any previous courses. However, if you did not meet university math placement standards at the time of your admission to MSU-M, you may need to take Math 98. See math-policies (broken link) for more information on University math policies.

  • Help!  I can’t register for a class I need and I get the error message “Student Program Required”.
    • You either need to get permission for 300/400 level classes from your major (this is called “Admit to Program”—Contact Karen Purrington if you are a SOC major, otherwise see your major department) or you may mistakenly be registering for a 500 or 600 level course. 

  • When can I drop off my papers or otherwise find someone in the Sociology Department?
    • Departmental Office hours are 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday during the academic year.  If you must turn in an assignment “before the end of the day”, come before 4:30 if you need to get inside.

  •  How do I find out who my advisor is?
  • How can I contact my advisor or set up an appointment?
    • Email them or stop by during office hours.  You can find contact information for faculty here.

  • What if I don’t get along well with my advisor?  Can I get a different one?
    • Sure!  We know that not every match is a good fit, and we don’t take it personally if you would rather work with someone else.   If you get along well with a professor you have had, ask him/her to be your advisor.  If you’re not sure who to ask, contact Karen Purrington and she’ll assign you a new one.

  •  What if I need to take a class that is already full?  Is there anything I can do to add the course?
    • See the course instructor and ask them for permission to add.
    • If you are granted permission, the electronic hold is lifted, but YOU must still register for the course yourself.

  • What is plagiarism?  What are the University and department policies dealing with plagiarism?
  • What do I need to do if I am planning to graduate within the next year?
    • See advisor, and discuss remaining classes. 
    • Fill out [PDF] grad application (91 KiB) The registrar expects students to file an application for graduation a year prior to graduating.
    • This is not the same as applying to walk for graduation. If you want to participate in the ceremony,visit graduation prepare page.

  • What if I want to graduate this semester, but I only have one or two more courses to take?  Can I go ahead and “walk” at graduation anyway?
    • You need to file an appeal with the registrar.  Appeal Here

  • Where can I find information about applying for Graduate Degrees in Sociology, Sociology with an emphasis in Corrections, or Sociology with an emphasis in Human Services?
  • I have a disability and I would like to request special accommodations.  Who should I contact?
    • Please see Disability Services and discuss your situation with your individual instructors at the start of each semester.

  • I’m having trouble with writing papers or my coursework.  Who can I see t for help or tutoring?
    • The center for academic Success can provide you with a list of   student tutors:
    • MSU’s writing center can help with paper drafts and editing: writing-center

  • I need help finding Sociological articles for a research paper.  What do I do?
  •  How do I find out my Final Exam schedule?

  • When should I take Applied Sociology?
    • We recommend that you take Applied Sociology (SOC 493) after you have completed most of your required courses. Ideally, students take it during their last year at MSU so they are able to apply the concepts they've learned in their other classes in the community-based projects they do for the class. Likewise, Internships (SOC 497) are most useful when taken your last year.