The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Advising Department and University Policies

Sociology Department Policies and Procedures

Course Wait Lists

Unless otherwise indicated, prior to the beginning of the semester, open seats for a given course will be managed through SPIRE. Check SPIRE frequently for openings. Once the semester has begun, most classes require the consent of the instructor via an override to be enrolled. Some courses (mostly large lecture-type courses) are left open on SPIRE after the semester has begun, so be sure to check with the instructor about the best way to enroll for a course.

Course Overrides

Students wishing to be added to the course after the beginning of the semester should contact their instructor for permission. If the instructor agrees to override them, please forward their email to the Director of Undergraduate Advising Kat Fabel in Thompson 1008 to be enrolled in the course.

Late Course Add

On rare occasion, a student may need to add a course after the add/drop period has ended. In this case the Registrar states, “Late adds must get approval from an Academic Dean. The Dean will sign a course change form indicating approval only after they have received documentation from the course instructor verifying your attendance.” Students can fill out a late add petition with the SBS Academic Dean's Office.

Late Course Withdrawal

Students wishing to drop a course after the add/drop deadline may do so until the mid semester but will receive a “W” on their transcript indicating that the course was dropped late. (Check the academic calendar for exact withdrawal date.) After the mid semester withdrawal period, students but submit a late withdrawal petition with the SBS Academic Dean's Office.

Procedure for Receiving a Course Incomplete

Students wishing to receive an Incomplete in a course must fill in an Incomplete Form and send it to Sociology Advising ( The Sociology Department’s policy for administering a course incomplete adheres to the guidelines set forth in the University’s Academic Regulations:

Students who are unable to complete course requirements within the allotted time because of severe medical or personal problems may request a grade of Incomplete from the instructor of the course. Normally, incomplete grades are warranted only if a student is passing the course at the time of the request and if the course requirements can be completed by the end of the following semester. Instructors who turn in a grade of "INC" are required to leave a written record of the following information with the departmental office of the academic department under which the course is offered: (1) the percentage of work completed, (2) the grade earned by the student on the completed work, (3) a description of the work that remains to be completed, (4) a description of the method by which the student is to complete the unfinished work, and (5) the date by which the work is to be completed. In the case of an independent study where the entire grade is determined by one paper or project, the instructor should leave with the department information pertaining to the paper or project, which will complete the course. To avoid subsequent misunderstanding it is recommended that the student also be provided with a copy of this information.

Grades of Incomplete will be counted as F’s until resolved. If not resolved by the end of the following semester, they will automatically be converted to an F if taken before Fall 2004, to an IF if taken thereafter. Faculty wishing to extend this deadline must write to the Registrar’s Office stipulating a specific date by which the incomplete will be completed.

Grades of Incomplete recorded prior to Fall 1987 are not subject to the above policy.

Students are not permitted to re-register for a course in order to clear an Incomplete.

Academic Conduct, Regulations, and Honesty

The Sociology Department expects students to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Code of Student Conduct, Academic Regulations, Guidelines for Classroom Civility and Respect, and Academic Honesty Policy.

Academic dishonesty is not tolerated and will be reported to the Sociology Director of Undergraduate Advising for further investigation and possible involvement with other campus offices. If you are caught or suspected of academic dishonesty, you can find information about your rights and responsibilities here: Academic Dishonesty: A Guide for Students.

Plagiarism is one of the most common forms of academic dishonesty and is easily avoided. The Writing Program has information and resources regarding plagiarism.

Preventing Plagiarism: Resources for Students and Faculty