Sociology – Course Enrollment Help

Getting Into a Sociology Class

Requisites – Most upper-level Sociology classes now have requisites. The best place to view these is in the detail view of the class section. Do not rely on the catalog’s description of the prerequisites. They are more or less permanent requirements that will almost always be enforced.

There are also temporary restrictions on enrollment. For example, a class might be open only to Sociology majors, or only to Freshmen and Sophomores, for the beginning part of the enrollment period. Eventually, these restrictions are removed and the class is opened up to all students. You can check the Class Notes for the exact date and time they will be opened up. These also appear in the Requisites area of the section detail.

FIG Sections – A FIG is a First-Year Interest Group, a group of first-year students who take several classes together. Sections restricted to members of a particular FIG group are not open to non-FIG students.

Wait List

We maintain an electronic Wait List for all classes for which we are the primary department. (“Primary” means that we are the only department offering the class, or we are the “controlling” department on a cross-listed class. Some classes offered in Sociology are cross-listed and controlled by another department.) See the Registrar’s Office Demos on the Wait List procedure (among others).

  • When a seat opens up for you, you will be authorized to enroll. You’ll receive an automatically generated email, and will have two days in which to enroll. About halfway through the demo is the section on what to do when you’ve been authorized.
  • You are not able to see what position you’re in on the Wait List. If you’d like to know, you may contact the Sociology Undergraduate Coordinator, who can give you an idea of your chances of eventually getting in. Contact info is at the top of this page.
  • If you are no longer interested in a class you’ve wait-listed, please Drop the Wait List, in the same way you’d Drop a class you’re enrolled in.
  • An email will go out to all wait-listed students, as of the end of the last working day before classes begin, explaining how to keep your chances of getting into the class. For most Sociology classes, this means that you must attend the first lecture and identify yourself to the instructor. This is not a hoop we make you jump through, but just a way to be sure that the students on the Wait List are actually still interested in the class. We will use the list of attendees to prioritize who will get any seats that open up during the first two weeks of class. There is no guarantee that you can get in, and therefore it is a gamble to continue to attend a class you might not be able to take. You should weigh this risk for yourself.

Enrolling in Hidden Classes/Sections

Sociology Directed Study, Thesis, and Research Practicum classes, as well as auditors’ sections, do not show up in the Class Search. To Add them, you must enter the five-digit Class Number given above in the appropriate field in your MyUW Course Search & Enroll app.

Don’t search in the place you usually would (where the red X is in the photo). Instead, click the “Add by class number” link in the lower left, circled in yellow; then enter the Class Number given to you and click “Check credits” and then “Add to Cart.”

Changing Sections

CAUTION: if you try to change sections online, and the section you want to swap into is full, the system may put you onto the Wait List for the new section without much warning. Enrollment in classes with required Discussions or Labs is a package deal: you cannot be in a Lecture without being in a Discussion or Lab. This means that being put onto the Wait List for a different section takes you out of the course altogether; you will not be “in the Lecture but waiting for a Discussion/Lab.”


Before classes begin:

  • If you cannot attend the section you’re in and would drop the class unless you can change, then please go ahead and get onto the Wait List for the desired section. There is no advantage to staying if you cannot attend the section you’re in. Trying to change sections gives you no better chances of success than being on the Wait List would give you.
  • If you can attend the section you’re in, and would attend it even if you cannot change it, then please contact the Sociology Undergraduate Coordinator. Your name will be put on a list of students who want a different section, and you’ll be notified if a seat in your desired section opens up.

After classes begin:

  • You will be able to request a section change after classes begin. Requests will be prioritized by need, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to change.
  • The section-change app for Spring will open on Tues, Jan 23. Please go here to enter a request.
  • You will be notified if a seat opens up for you in the new section. If you change your mind and no longer want a section change (whether or not you’ve been offered a seat in a new section), please e-mail the undergraduate coordinator at as soon as possible.


Registrar’s Office Demos

DoIT Knowledgebase – Search for a particular Student Center function.