FAQ's for UG students - Sociology/Criminology

FAQs for UG Students in Sociology and Criminology


I think I might be interested in studying Sociology or Criminology. How can I find out more about these subjects?

Visit the Department of Sociology website to learn more about the Sociology and Criminology fields and the degrees that we offer. Look for the “Why Study Sociology/Criminology” and “Careers in Sociology/Criminology” links for more assistance in deciding whether Sociology or Criminology is right for you. You should note that Criminology is a program that offers General Major and Honours degrees separate from Sociology degrees, but it is housed within the Department of Sociology. Both Sociology and Criminology course numbers begin with the SOC prefix.


What degrees are offered in Sociology and Criminology?

All of our undergraduate degree programs lead to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The most popular are the B.A. General Major (3-year), and B.A. Honours (4-year) degrees available in both Sociology and Criminology. We also offer an Advanced Major degree in Sociology. More information on all of our degree offerings can be found here. For detailed information on the requirements applicable to all B.A. degrees, including some that will help you choose between the different degree streams, visit this page in the U of M Undergraduate Calendar.


I am not currently a U of M student. How do I get into the Sociology or Criminology programs?

First you need to apply for admission to the University of Manitoba. Start the application process at the U of M Admissions website. All U of M students may take our Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1200) course as soon as they are admitted. Once you are registered as a student in the Faculty of Arts, you are eligible to enter our General degree programs.


How do I get into the Faculty of Arts?

There are two main routes into the Faculty of Arts – ‘transiting’ from University 1, or by ‘direct entry’ from high school. University 1 students who have completed 24 credit hours by the end of the Winter term do not have to apply for admission to Arts; they are able to transit into the Faculty. The Transit from University 1 function becomes available in Aurora each year in mid-June. Detailed instructions may be found on the "How do I..." section of the U1 website. Direct entry to Arts is available to graduating high school students who have achieved a high average in specific courses. Details are available here.


Do I need to apply to enter the Sociology or Criminology degree programs?

It depends upon which of our degrees you are interested in. For our General and Advanced degrees you simply select Sociology or Criminology as your Major (or Minor) using the Aurora system. For the Sociology and Criminology Honours programs, see the next question below for entry requirements.


How do I enter the Sociology or Criminology Honours stream?

If both your cumulative GPA and your Sociology-only GPA are 3.00 or higher, and you have completed at least 6 credit hours in each of 4 different subject areas, you are eligible to apply to our Sociology or Criminology Honours programs. (A “subject area” basically corresponds to a Department within the U of M. For example, the Departments of Sociology, Psychology, History, etc. are considered subject areas within the Faculty of Arts; the Departments of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc. are subject areas within the Faculty of Science, and so on). You must make your application to the Honours program in person at the Faculty of Arts office, 3rd floor Fletcher Argue Building.


Who can take Sociology and/or Criminology courses?

All U of M students can take our courses, provided they meet any requirements listed in the Aurora course descriptions – the most common of which are successful completion of course prerequisites. Completion of Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1200), with a grade of C or better, is a prerequisite for all other Sociology and Criminology courses. Completion of Criminology (SOC 2510), with a grade of C or better, is a further prerequisite for all other Criminology courses.


Can I take a Sociology or Criminology course if I don’t have the prerequisite listed in the course description?

In the vast majority of cases, the answer to this question is a firm ‘no’. The word “prerequisite” describes something that is required as a prior condition to something else. Our academic programs are structured such that upper-level courses build upon the foundation laid down in the prerequisite courses. Allowing students to take courses without completion of prerequisites threatens not only our students’ success, but also the very integrity of our degree programs. Therefore, prerequisites can be waived only in very rare and truly exceptional circumstances. You may notice some course descriptions that list a prerequisite course, followed by “or written consent of the Department Head” – you should not assume that prerequisites are more likely to be waived for these courses.


I heard that I have to get a minimum grade of ‘C’ in SOC 2290 (Introduction to Research Methods) to graduate; is that true?

No. SOC 2290 is a required course for all Sociology and Criminology degrees, but you are only required to pass the course (i.e. attain at least a ‘D’) to fulfill the requirement.


The class I want to take is full. What can I do?

 If the class has a “waitlist” option, you can choose that right away; the Aurora system will notify you if and when a space becomes available. If there is no waitlist option available for that course, you can check the Aurora system regularly and often during the registration period in case a space becomes available in your preferred course/slot. Many students change their course selections prior to the start of classes; you will find that spots in previously full courses will often open up. If you are on a waitlist, you can still consider a number of other options while you are waiting. First, you should look for a different section (in the case of multi-sectioned courses) that fits your schedule, or for a different course that fits your program and that has space in it. If you wait too long to choose an alternate course or section, your options will become increasingly limited as courses fill up. If the course you need is still full on the first day of classes, and there is a compelling reason why you need to take that particular course, you may approach the instructor to request permission to be admitted above the enrolment cap. You should know that there are a number of important considerations that go into setting enrolment caps – these are not just arbitrary limits. Therefore, you should be aware that requests for admission to full courses very often cannot be granted.


I’m trying to register for a course, and Aurora won’t let me. What’s going on?

The Aurora registration system will send you an error message if you are doing something incorrectly while registering for courses. Keep in mind that when Aurora gives you an error message, it is usually protecting you from making a mistake that could create conflicts in your schedule or compromise your academic plans. So remain calm, and bear in mind that errors can usually be dealt with quite easily. If you are receiving error messages, check the list below for explanations of some of the most common ones you might encounter.


“Communication error” – this is basically a system busy signal. The best advice is to try again later. If the problem persists, contact the Registrar’s Office.

“Link error” – this is usually caused by an incompatibility between lecture section and lab section choices (you might have registered in a SOC 2290 lecture section without also registering for a SOC 2290 lab section, for example).

“Repeat count exceeds zero” – this occurs when you are trying to register for a course that you have taken previously. You will need to speak with a Faculty of Arts student advisor, to ensure you understand the rules for repeating courses, before you will be allowed to register.

“College restriction” – this occurs when you try to register for a course that is restricted to a certain group of students during part of the registration period. It usually means that you won’t be allowed to register for the course until after a certain date (often mid-August).

“Program restriction” – this occurs when you are trying to register for a course that is restricted to students in a particular program or faculty.

“Duplicate CRN” – this usually means that you are trying to register for the same course twice.

“Maximum hours exceeded” – this means that you are trying to register for more than the maximum of 15 credit hours in a term. If you didn’t intend to do that, check to sure you have selected the proper course sections/terms. To get permission to take more than the maximum credit hours in a term, you need to speak to a Faculty of Arts student advisor.

“Preq and test score error” – this usually means that you have not completed the prerequisite to the course for which you are trying to register. Note that you don’t necessarily need to have completed the prerequisite course before registering for a subsequent course. For example: SOC 2510 (with a grade of C or better) is the prerequisite for all subsequent Criminology courses. If you are registered for SOC 2510 in the Fall term, you will be allowed to register for higher-level Criminology courses offered in the Winter term (even though you haven’t actually completed SOC 2510 yet). Note that if you fail to successfully complete SOC 2510, you will be required to withdraw from any courses for which SOC 2510 is the prerequisite.


For students in Criminology or Sociology Honours programs


A Faculty of Arts advisor will have explained the rules governing Honours students at the time you applied for admission. One of the most important to keep in mind is that Honours students must have their courses approved by the Department prior to registration.


Who can approve my courses?

You can have your courses approved by a student advisor in the Department of Sociology, by the Department Head, or by the Associate Department Head. If you aren’t sure who these people are, you can check the Department of Sociology website, or contact the Sociology main office by phone, e-mail, or in person.


What do I need to do before I register for courses?

First, you should plan your courses and timetable as you normally would; making a list of course numbers, sections, slots, CRNs, etc. Once you have done that, it’s time to make an appointment with a Sociology advisor or one of the other people (listed above) authorised to approve your choices. Prior to meeting with the advisor, you will need to pick up your Honours form from the Faculty of Arts office (also known as “the Dean’s Office”); take this form and your list of course selections to your meeting with the Sociology advisor. Once your courses have been approved at the Department level, you need to return the Honours form to the Arts office.  Note: you are required to return the Honours form to the Arts Office by 4:00 p.m. on the same day you pick it up (i.e. you may not keep the form overnight). So be sure to schedule your appointment with the advisor such that you will have sufficient time to complete all the steps.


What do I do if I want to add or drop a course during the term?

The requirements and procedures for adding/dropping courses are the same as for your annual registration as described above.


If you have questions that aren’t addressed here, please contact the Department of Sociology by phone at 204-474-9260 or by e-mail at sociology@umanitoba.ca and ask to be put in touch with a student advisor.