Elective Course Substitutions

Elective course substitutions are any electives applied to the sociology program that are not numbered SOCY 110-189 at UCSC. Courses must be upper-division, are generally 5-units (though some exceptions may apply, such as courses from abroad), and have sociological content. Courses may be from:

  • Other UCSC departments
  • Other UCs or four-year institutions
  • Global Learning
  • 5-unit Individual Study courses with sociology professors
  • UCDC or UC Sacramento

The number of course substitutions a student is allowed depends on the major or minor the student is pursuing:

Number of elective substitutions allowed in each major/minor


Elective Course Substitutions Allowed

Sociology BA 

Two out of the five electives may be course substitutions.

Sociology BA w/ GISES Intensive Concentration

GISES students do not have a limit on course substitutions.

Combined LALS/Sociology BA  Three electives taken through a Global Learning Program with approval from both departments, may be course substitutions. No other substitutions of the sociology electives are allowed.
GISES Minor  GISES students do not have a limit on course substitutions.

Double Counting

If an upper-division elective you wish to apply to sociology is already being used towards another major or minor, then the double counting policy must be applied. Student may not apply an upper-division course to two different programs unless they are eligible, per the policy, and both department advisors must approve the double counting. Please check in with your department advisor to verify whether you are allowed to double count in your program.


Approved Elective Course Substitutions

Many courses at UCSC and beyond have already been reviewed and approved! Use the list of the approved courses under the major/minor you are pursuing.

Important Note: Courses on the approved lists below will not automatically apply to your major/minor. You must fill out the course substitution form (see section below) or email socyadvising@ucsc.edu with your request.

Sociology BA:

Sociology BA with GISES concentration OR GISES Minor
  • All Approved Courses - Use the tabs at the bottom of the worksheet
    • This is a long list! We sort through it for you and find the UCSC courses offered in the upcoming quarter, available on our Enrollment page
  • 5-unit Independent Studies taken with the Professor Chris Benner or Professor Juhee Kang are approved as elective course substitutions
Combined BA in LALS/SOCY

I took an approved elective course substitution, now what?


Elective course substitutions are not applied to your major/minor automatically, even if they already approved. You must notify us through the above form if you would like a substitution applied to your program. Once we receive your request, we will review and either update your Academic Advisement Reports (AAR) with the substitution or email you with further questions. Please be sure to submit petitions as soon as you have passed the course.

If you have trouble with the form, please email your request to socyadvising@ucsc.edu


Petitioning a New Course

If the course you wish to take is not already on an approved list above, you may submit a petition to determine if the sociology department can approve it as a new elective course substitution.

A course syllabus is required for all new elective course substitution petitions. A syllabus should include goals/objectives of the course, assignments, a week-by-week breakdown, and a reading/materials list. If the syllabus lacks this information, you may keep your own notes and submit them along with the syllabus.

Ideally, you should petition a course prior to taking it, however, in some cases it may be difficult to obtain a syllabus before the first day of instruction, particularly courses offered through Global Learning. If you are not able to obtain the syllabus prior to taking the course, be sure to petition the course as soon as you have received the syllabus.


Petitions will be reviewed by a sociology faculty member, and results will be emailed to the student's UCSC email within 2-3 weeks.

If the course is approved, a passing grade is posted, and the student is declared in the major/minor, the course will be entered into the student's Academic Advisement Report in MyUCSC. Students who are declared in the LALS/SOCY Combined major do not have an Academic Advisement Report for their major. Instead, the petition is noted in the student's records in Slug Success.