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Academic Policies and Processes

Waitlists and Overrides

The Department of Sociology keeps close tabs on the enrollment in undergraduate courses. As a result, waitlists, when needed, are typically short. During registration, students are automatically issued overrides as seats become available. Students still on the waitlist on the day of the first day of class must attend the class meeting and receive permission to register from the instructor. If a student is on the waitlist, but does not attend the first class meeting, he/she will lose the spot in the waitlist queue and may not receive an override.

An electronic override is not a guaranteed seat in the course. The student must enroll in the course via the Wolverine Access registration system. Electronic overrides expire after two business days (unless otherwise noted). If the electronic permission to enroll is not used within the this time frame, the next student on the waitlist will receive an electronic permission. Waitlist priority for required courses (SOC 210, 305, 310) goes to majors in order of descending class standing (i.e. seniors first).

Waitlist priority for all other undergraduate SOC courses goes to majors/minors in order of waitlist date, then non-declared students in order of waitlist date. Please call the department for further details about waitlists and overrides.

Grade Grievances

The Department of Sociology has confidence in the qualifications and judgment of its faculty and believes the instructor is in the best position to determine the quality of a student’s work. Nevertheless, there are instances when a student feels that his or her academic performance has been unfairly or improperly graded. When this situation arises, discussion and arbitration can help ascertain if there is a wrong which should be righted. However, it is ultimately only the course instructor who can determine the substantive value of a student’s performance, and only the instructor can change the grade, except when a faculty member has left the institution. In that event, the undergraduate director will resolve the problem with the student.

To successfully appeal a grade, the student must make the case a grade was unjustly assigned and substantially different from the grade that was justified. The difference between an A- and a B+ is not, for example, a substantial difference. Dissatisfaction with a grade alone is not sufficient for an appeal nor, except in extraordinary circumstances, will appeals be heard where a student has not attended class regularly or turned in all required work.  

Grade appeal procedures are available only for review of alleged capricious grading, and not for review of the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of a student’s work. Capricious grading constitutes any of the following: the assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than course performance; the assignment of a grade to a particular student by more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in that course; or the assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the instructor’s previously announced standards. Changes in course or examination requirements that apply equally to all students shall not ordinarily be grounds for an individual student’s grievance.  

The first step in any grade grievance is to speak with the instructor of the course; this should be done within three weeks of receiving notice of the grade. If you think you have a case for grieving a grade, email socadvisor@umich.edu for additional procedural information. 

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct in Department of Sociology courses will be appropriately sanctioned and reported in accordance with LSA policies. It is the responsibility of every student to know what constitutes academic misconduct and how to avoid it.

What is academic misconduct? Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • cheating
  • plagiarism
  • unacceptable collaboration
  • falsification of data, records, and/or official documents
  • aiding and abetting another’s academic dishonesty

What are some examples of each kind of academic misconduct? (pdf)

How can I avoid plagiarism in my coursework? (pdf)

What happens if I violate the LSA standards for academic integrity?The LSA Assistant Dean has the authority to impose sanctions such as community service, notation on a student’s official academic record, permanent expulsion, and even withholding a student’s degree.