Master of Arts in Sociology

Mission

The mission of the M.A. in Sociology program is to prepare students for careers in sociological practice, research, and/or teaching. We focus on building core skills in social research methodology and theory, as well as tailoring the program to develop secondary skills in areas such as applied data analysis, reporting, and policy development. Our graduates find positions in both the business and non-profit sectors, including in marketing, market research, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and environmental and other non-profits. Other graduates go on to pursue additional graduate education through sociology and social science doctoral degrees, as well as in law and medicine.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will master literature in at least one substantive area of sociology.
  2. Students will develop an understanding of sociological theory.
  3. Students will become proficient in social research skills, including research design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must apply to and meet all of the admissions criteria for the Graduate School. In addition, applicants must meet the following department requirements:

  1. Have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4-point scale) for the last 60 credits taken as an undergraduate, or permission of the M.A. in Sociology Program Director.
  2. Provide a statement of purpose.
  3. Provide three letters of recommendation.
  4. Provide a writing sample.

For full admission to the M.A. in Sociology Program, applicants must have completed the following standard undergraduate sociology courses or their equivalent:

  1. Introduction to Sociology
  2. Social Theory
  3. Social Statistics
  4. Social Science Research Methods

In cases of deficiencies, students may be granted waivers, required to enroll in alternative courses, including undergraduate courses, and/or be admitted with performance requirements at the discretion of the M.A. in Sociology Program Director.

Applied Project and Thesis Options

The M.A. in Sociology program offers both an applied project and a thesis option. Depending on career and educational goals, students work with their advisors to determine the option that best fits their goals.

The applied project option helps students prepare for careers in either the business or non-profit sector, including in marketing, market research, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and environmental and other non-profits. Students who pursue this option will complete an applied project that demonstrates mastery of sociological practice skills. The applied project may involve fieldwork, an internship, or other practice components, and will culminate in an applied project document. Full details regarding the guidelines and expectations of students pursuing the applied project option can be found in the M.A. in Sociology Handbook.

The thesis option helps students prepare for additional graduate education, such as doctoral degrees in sociology and social science fields, as well as in law and medicine. Students who pursue this option will complete a thesis based on their own original research. Full details regarding the guidelines and expectations of students pursuing the thesis option can be found in the M.A. in Sociology Handbook.

General Degree Requirements

Required Courses18
SOC 6600Advanced Sociological Theory3
SOC 6603Qualitative Research Methods3
SOC 6620Advanced Sociological Seminar3
PSYC 6632Statistics and Research Design II3
SOC 6640Applied Project6
or SOC 6650 Thesis
Elective Courses15
5500- or 6600-level Sociology electives or other University graduate courses as approved by the M.A. in Sociology Program Director15
Total Credits33

Interdisciplinary Specialized Area in Environmental Social Science

For the specialized area in Environmental Social Science, students complete 4 required courses for the M.A. in Sociology program (12 credits: SOC 6600, SOC 6620, SOC 6603, and PSYC 6632) and also complete an applied project or thesis (6 credits). In addition, students complete 15 credits of electives from the courses listed below, including 6 credits of core elective courses and 9 credits of additional elective courses. Other courses appropriate to the specialized area, including some special topics courses offered by Anthropology, Biology, History, and Political Science, may be counted as additional elective courses as approved by the M.A. in Sociology Program Director.

Required Courses18
SOC 6600Advanced Sociological Theory3
SOC 6603Qualitative Research Methods3
SOC 6620Advanced Sociological Seminar3
PSYC 6632Statistics and Research Design II3
SOC 6640Applied Project6
or SOC 6650 Thesis
Core Elective6
SOC 5566Rural Sociology and Community Development3
Additional Elective Courses9
ANTH 5502Ecological Anthropology3
GEOL 5503Principles of Geographical Information System3
GEOL 5504Advanced Geographic Information Systems3
GEOL 5528Programming for GIS3
HIST 5530Global Environmental History3
POLS 5555Environmental Politics and Policy3
POLS 6623Program Assessment3
Total Credits33

 Interdisciplinary Specialized Area in Criminology

For the specialized area in Criminology, students complete 4 required courses for the M.A. in Sociology program (12 credits: SOC 6600, SOC 6620, SOC 6603, and PSYC 6632) and also complete an applied project or thesis (6 credits). In addition, students complete 15 credits of electives from the courses listed below. The interdisciplinary specialized area in Criminology is a shared curriculum between the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology and the Department of Political Science. Other courses appropriate to the specialized area may be offered by both departments and may be counted as elective courses as approved by the M.A. in Sociology Program Director.

Required Courses18
SOC 6600Advanced Sociological Theory3
SOC 6603Qualitative Research Methods3
SOC 6620Advanced Sociological Seminar3
PSYC 6632Statistics and Research Design II3
SOC 6640Applied Project6
or SOC 6650 Thesis
Elective Courses15
SOC 5531Criminology3
SOC 5536Elite Deviance and Crime3
SOC 5538Sexual Crimes3
SOC 5551Victimology3
SOC 5552Gang Violence3
SOC 5553Serial Murder3
SOC 5555Prisons, Reentry, Reintegration3
SOC 5556Substance Abuse: Family and Community3
SOC 5557Fundamentals of Forensic Behavioral Science3
SOC 5566Rural Sociology and Community Development3
SOC 5592Topics in Criminology3
ANTH 5534Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology3
POLS 5542Constitutional Law3
POLS 5543Civil Rights and Liberties3
Total Credits33