Q. How do I know what classes to take?
A. You have a number of resources to help you plan your academic career:
Avail your self of these resources and MEET WITH YOUR ADVISER.
Q. Do I need to see my adviser before I register for classes?
A. Yes. It is very important that you take responsibility for planning your academic career. When you meet with your advisor be prepared to discuss where you are now academically and where you would like to go.
Q. Who is my adviser?
A. If you declared your major, you received an email confirmation of  your advisor assignment. This is the person in the academic department that can best assist  you. 

To look up this information:
·  log into MyBanner
·  Click on Student and Financial Aid tab
·  Select Student Records
·  Select View Major and Advisor Information

If you have not yet declared your major, but have decided upon one, you are encouraged to officially declare your major. This allows you to receive the information you need for that major and to be assigned an advisor. Please pick up a Major Declaration Form from the Records Office, 150 Student Services.
You also are free to talk to faculty or advising centers related to majors or minors that you are simply interested in exploring. The more you ask, the more you'll know!
Q. I want to register for a course that has a prerequisite. Can I use a course other than the one listed as a prerequisite instead?   
A. In almost all cases, the answer is no. Specific courses are designated as prerequisites because they prepare you in specific ways for the course you are about to take. 
Q. I want to enroll for a course in the Summer Session. I am already enrolled for the prerequisite in the Spring Session but Banner won’t let me register. What should I do?   
A. In most cases Banner allows you to register for a course if you are already registered for its prerequisite course in an earlier semester. Unfortunately, Banner recognizes Spring and Summer as one semester so you will need an override. Go to , print out the “Prerequisite Override Request Form:” and follow the instructions.
Q. I took a prerequisite at another school but it isn’t on my records yet and this is preventing me from registering for a class I need to take. Whatever shall I do?
A. Go to , print out the “Prerequisite Override Request Form:” and follow the instructions.
Q. I have registered for a prerequisite at another school but it hasn’t started yet and this is preventing me from registering for a class I need to take. Whatever shall I do?
A. Go to , print out the “Intent to Take Prerequisite:” form and follow the instructions.
Q. I want to get into a class that is already full. What can I do?
A. We do our very best to offer as many courses we can at a variety of times, however; resources are finite and high demand classes will fill up and close quickly. An approved Closed Class Permit Request Form is necessary in order to add yourself to a full class. Such approval is often impossible because the size of classrooms often prevents us from adding students and it is always the case that adding additional students to a class significantly changes the educational experience for all (in a negative way).
Q. I only need one more class to graduate and it is already closed. What can I do?
A. AVOID THIS SITUATION AT ALL COSTS. There may be nothing you can do. PLAN AHEAD. This is one reason why it is very important that you work with your advisor on planning your schedule well in advance. You should be planning at least two years ahead.
  • Meet with your advisor at least once per semester
  • Register for classes as soon as Banner opens up for your class and position in the alphabet
  • Be flexible – you must be willing to adjust your academic and personal schedule to find an open section before you can ask for a closed class permit.
Q. The department website has worksheets with two different sets of requirements for the major. What’s up?
As of Fall Semester 2010 the requirements for both the Sociology Major and Minor have changed significantly. This is why you will hear your advisor and others talk about the New Program and the Old Program.
According to University rules you are subject to the requirements of the catalog year in effect when you first enrolled (as long as it hasn’t been more than eight years since then). Students enrolled previous to Fall 2010 must meet the requirements of the Old Program but can choose the New Program if they like. If your first semester at GVSU was Fall 2010 or later then you are part of the New Program.
Q. Can one course count for both General Education credit and for credit within my Sociology Major?  
This is often the case. Often, but not always. For example, Soc280 counts as General Education credit. It can also count as one of your electives within the Sociology Major, however; there is a limit to the number of 200 level courses that can count toward your major. If you have exceeded that limit then Soc280 would satisfy only the General Education requirement.
Q. What can I do with a degree in Sociology?
A. Right now we have former Soc majors and minors who are in graduate schools, who are elementary, high school, and university teachers, and who work in law enforcement. One runs children's playground activities for Grand Rapids, one is a local arts administrator, another is a local TV news producer, some are traveling with the Peace Corps., one co-ordinates womens’ health centers in Northern California with Americorps. Another is an ordained minister. Obviously there are a lot of possibilities!
Some career paths require education beyond the Bachelor’s Degree but many do not. Generally speaking the Sociology Degree prepares you for employment in the areas of:
  • Human Resource Management (Human Resources Manager, Affirmative Action Coordinator, Employee Benefits Manager, Public Relations….)
  • Public Employment (Federal, State, County, City… Legislative Aide, Inspector, Policy Analyst….)
  • Teaching (From Kindergarten to Higher Ed…..)
  • Human Services (Community Health, Crisis Intervention, Immigration Assistance, Home Health, Philanthropic Management…)
  • Research and Data Analysis (Public Policy, Marketing, Federal and State Agencies, Industry…)
Make an appointment or drop by to see your advisor to discuss career possibilities RIGHT NOW. The earlier you start planning the better positioned you will be at graduation. Get started NOW. You can always change your mind. (In fact, we encourage that.)
Q. I think I might want to go to graduate school. How do I do that?
A. Again, get started NOW. Again, talk with your advisor. You will want to build a portfolio of work, research experiences, and relationships with faculty. You will need time to do this. Our grads find opportunities in excellent graduate schools and the sooner you get started the better off you will be.
Q. I DO NOT want to go to graduate school. How do I get the job I want?
A. The sooner you act the better. Take Action Right Now!
  • Learn about positions and job titles. ( is a good start.)
  • Meet with your advisor and plan to take classes that enhance the skills you will need for your chosen career direction.
  • Sign up for Soc490 and do an INTERNSHIP!
  • Take advantage of GVSU career resources as you look for internships and plan your future. ( (

Page last modified March 25, 2014