Frequently Asked Questions


What am I required to take in first-year and what grade do I need for admission into a Sociology and/or Criminology module?

  • You must take 1.0 Sociology 1000 level courses in first-year.
  • Admission into a Major or Minor in Sociology or Criminology, requires a grade of 60% or higher in 1.0 Sociology 1000 level courses.
  • Admission into the Honours Specialization in Sociology or Criminology, requires an average of 70% across 1.0 Sociology 1000 level courses and 2.0 additional courses.
  • For more information on module requirements, please visit the Academic Calendar.

Course Registration, Add/Drop & Special Permissions

When is the Add/Drop period?

What is a special permission?

  • A special permission is used by a student when they need to receive approval from their home faculty of registration for something that would not be allowed under usual circumstances. An example is when a student needs to take a course without the stated prerequisite(s).
  • Typically, requests for special permission will not be considered until the September Add/Drop period. Students who wish to request special permission for a Sociology courses should contact the Undergraduate Assistant.
  • To view the special permission: Login to Student Center ( and click on 'My Academics' followed by 'View Special Permissions' to view your permission along with its conditions and instructions.

How long does it take for a special permission to be processed?

  • Special Permissions take about 5 business days to be processed, but in high demand periods can take up to 10 business days.

How do I add the course once my special permission has been processed?

  • If the special permission to take a course has been approved, you will need to call the Registrar's office helpline to add the course. Their number is 519-661-2100.

If a course is full, can I get special permission to enter the class?

  • The Sociology Department will not increase enrollment capacity on courses. Please continue to check online for availability during Online Course Registration.

Are there waiting lists for full classes?

  • Waitlists are currently in use for all upper year classes (not those at the 1000-level). If you wish to register in a class and the course is full you can add yourself to the waitlist to be notified if space becomes available. This is never a guarantee, so it is a good idea to have a backup plan for registration in case you are not offered a spot in the class. Further information on waitlists can be found on the Registrar's Register in Courses page.

Can I take a course at an affiliate college?

  • Students enrolled in a Sociology and/or Criminology module must take their principal courses (those numbered 2000 or above) on main campus. Exceptional circumstances must be reviewed by the Chair of Sociology/Sociology Assistant.

Can I take courses at another University?

We are happy to approve Letters of Permission for students to take courses abroad. However, we no longer grant Letters of Permission for courses that are not officially administered by an accredited University and taught by a faculty member with an advanced degree in Sociology. This means that in order to receive a Letter of Permission, your course must be part of the official timetable at that University and the instructor must have either a Master’s or PhD (or equivalent level degree) in Sociology or a related discipline. In order to have a Letter of Permission approved for the course you wish to take, you MUST provide us with the following documentation:
  1. A link to the University’s course listing in the course calendar showing a brief course description, and any prerequisites that apply
  2. A link to the course listing in the University’s timetable showing that the course is being offered during the session in which you plan to take it
  3. The course instructor's official listing (eg., the faculty listing from the instructor’s home university)
  4. The number of contact hours (hours of official instruction - lecture hours; length and frequency of tutorials or labs, etc.) associated with the course
  5. A link to the current course syllabus (if the current syllabus is not available, you may submit a link to the previous year’s syllabus but please make every effort to provide us with accurate and up-to-date information)

Please do not pay tuition or arrange travel and/or accommodation for a course until you receive official notice that your Letter of Permission has been approved by Western University. We cannot guarantee approval in advance, even if that course has been approved in previous years.

Please see the Social Science Academic Counselling website for further information.