Graduate Program in Sociology
The graduate program provides broad advanced level training for students who intend to enter a Ph.D. program, prepare for undergraduate or community college teaching, or pursue a nonacademic professional career for which a Master of Arts degree in sociology is appropriate and useful. Decisions on the program of study, specific courses, and thesis topics are made through consultation with the graduate advisor and other faculty members based on the individual student’s background, interests, and objectives. With departmental approval, requirements may be amended for students with exceptional qualifications, or additional courses may be required or recommended for applicants with inadequate undergraduate preparation.
Students may select the thesis option or nonthesis option. The thesis option is strongly recommended for students who plan to continue their graduate studies in a doctoral program. The nonthesis option is designed as a terminal M.A. program for students interested in career advancement, practical applications of sociological knowledge and research methods, or intellectual enrichment. Both options require 36 credit hours of coursework, including courses in the core areas of sociological theory and research methods.
Elective courses are available in various substantive areas such as family, criminology and deviance, social psychology, social change, minority relations, demography, urban problems, medical sociology, gerontology, and sociology of religion. (See list of courses and sample timeline.) Six hours may be taken as a minor outside the department, subject to graduate committee approval. A grade of B or better is required for graduate credit. A comprehensive examination designed to reflect the student’s specific areas of study is scheduled during the final semester.
Opportunities are also available on a competitive basis for a Teaching Assistantship in the Department. Students may apply directly to the Graduate Program Director, with applications evaluation by the Sociology Graduate Committee.
Application and Admission Guidelines
Applications should be submitted online to the Graduate School. The best preparation is an undergraduate major in sociology, but those with majors in other areas, particularly a closely related discipline or equivalent, are also encouraged to apply. All applicants must meet the general admission requirements established by the Graduate School.