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Graduate Handbook

Academic Requirements * Frequently Asked Questions* Graduate Student Input * Graduate Assistantships * Advisement * Funding Opportunities * Campus Facilities * Thesis Writing * Internship Writing * University 500 * Course Descriptions


Academic Requirements

  • Four required courses (12 hours) in theory, research methods and statistics/data analysis.

The specified 500-level courses required are Research Methods and Study Design (SOC 515), Seminar in Social Theory (SOC 501), Advanced Data Analysis (SOC 518) and Research Practicum (SOC 592).  All courses, except Research Practicum, should be taken during the first year of graduate study; Research Practicum is taken in the second year.  Ordinarily, students enrolling in Research Methods and Study Design should have taken an undergraduate course in social science research methods as a prerequisite; students enrolling in Advanced Data Analysis should have taken one general or social statistics course as a prerequisite; and students enrolling in Seminar in Social Theory should have taken an undergraduate social theory course as a prerequisite.

  • Five elective courses (15 hours), of which at least 9 hours must be in 500-level sociology seminars.

It is strongly recommended that the elective courses include the Seminar in Applied Sociology (SOC 503).  With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, up to six hours of the elective courses may be taken in fields outside sociology.

  • 6 hours of program completion option.  This may be either thesis or internship and report, as described below.

By the completion of 18 hours, students select either the thesis or internship program completion option.  Students selecting the thesis option enroll for six hours of thesis credit, and write a thesis which is evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members.  Students selecting the internship option enroll for three hours of internship experience, and have a supervised work experience of at least 140 hours in a research or public service setting.  Subsequent to that, they enroll for three hours of credit in internship-report, and write a report concerning a sociological issue related to the internship.  This may take a form other than an academic report.  This report is evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members.  Occasionally and with the permission of the graduate program Director, students may choose to enroll in internship experience but write a thesis.

  • Submission of completed draft of thesis or internship report.

Students who expect to receive the master’s degree in a given semester or summer term should adhere to the following timetable:

    • A complete draft of the thesis or internship report should be turned in to all members of the student’s committee by at least six weeks and preferably at least eight weeks before the end of the semester or term.  Students should anticipate receiving comments back from all committee members within two weeks.  At this point, some revisions in the thesis or internship report are often necessary.
    • Revisions in the thesis or internship report should be completed at least three and preferably at least four weeks before the end of the term or semester.  Again these should be submitted to the entire committee.  If the committee members agree that the thesis or internship report is satisfactory or requires only minor changes, the committee will schedule an oral exam.  This oral exam may be held at any time during a semester but must be completed by the end of the last week of classes of the semester or term in which the student intends to graduate.  The oral exam will NOT be scheduled until the committee agrees that the thesis or internship report is satisfactory or requires only minor revisions.
    • Students have the right to expect that, except unusual circumstances, faculty members will not take more than about two weeks to read and provide comments upon a thesis or internship report draft.  Students should notify all faculty members on their committee when they turn in a draft.  Students also have the right to expect faculty members to be constructive in their criticisms and to provide comments that will clearly identify the deficiencies in the thesis or internship report and give some direction as to what must be done to correct the deficiencies.  At the same time, students recognize that the thesis or internship is their project and that it is not reasonable to expect faculty members to tell them, step by step, exactly what they should do and/or write.
  • Oral examination.

Whether a student selects the thesis or internship report option, she or he is required to successfully complete a final oral examination administered by her or his thesis or internship committee.  This examination will cover either the thesis or the internship experience and written internship report.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does this program take?

Obviously the length of time it takes you to complete the program depends on the load you carry each semester.  A reasonable full-time load is 9 credit hours (3 courses) per semester.  At that rate, 3 semesters will complete your course requirements.  A student who starts in the fall, and stays close to a full load each semester should be finished—including the exit requirement—by the end of the spring semester of her or his second year.  January of that second year is a reasonable target if you are able to take courses or do thesis or internship work in the summer, and you start early on your thesis of internship project.

  • How often are courses in the catalog offered?

We regularly offer the required courses in specific semesters.  Graduate students are required to take Seminar in Social Theory (SOC 501) and Research Methods and Study Design (SOC 515) during their first year of graduate study.  We offer both seminars every fall semester.  Students must take Advanced Data Analysis (SOC 518) after successful completion of SOC 515; we offer this course every spring semester.  The department offers Research Practicum (SOC 592) every fall; graduate students must take this course in the fall of their second year of study.

  • What about evening courses?

500-level seminar courses are usually offered in one 3-hour evening session per week.  The 400-level courses are usually offered during the day, to accommodate undergraduate majors.

  • What if I took courses as an unclassified graduate student prior to entering the program?

Although the credits are in this University, you must specifically request that the credits be transferred into the Degree Program.  You can complete a Graduate Student Request Form, which is the standard petition form for all requests that require a decision by the Graduate School.  Submit a completed form to the Graduate Program Director.  The same principle applies if you were permitted to take a graduate 500-level course as an undergraduate student.

  • What if I need to petition for something else later?

The forms originate in the Graduate School in the Rendelman Hall.  Copies of the form are available there and we try to maintain a supply of them in the Department office as well.  Many of the forms you may need may also be available online.

  • How do I know if my request requires a Graduate School decision?

Ask the Graduate Program Director.  If you are planning some non-routine request and you are getting close to graduation or some other deadline, make sure to leave enough time to go through this petition process.  It may take three or four weeks.

  • What if I took courses at another University?

The Graduate School may have already accepted the course(s) for transfer credit.  This does not mean that the credits have automatically been accepted to apply toward your MA degree.  The Graduate School cannot do that without departmental approval.  You will need to fill out a Graduate Student Request Form and provide documentation concerning the content and level of the course.

  • What Grade Point Average do I have to maintain in my Graduate courses?

In graduate study, a satisfactory grade is B or higher.  Therefore, the Graduate School requires that you maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher on the 4-point scale.  Thus, in order to complete the program, you must have at least one course of Grade A to offset any grade of C that you receive.  If your GPA is lower than 3.00, you cannot graduate.  Also, you must get a grade of B or higher in all of your required courses, and any courses at all in which you receive a grade of less than B in the first 12 hours of graduate study cannot be counted toward your degree.  You can, however, repeat them to attempt to get a higher grade.

  • What do I do when I am ready to begin my exit project?

First, decide whether you want to write a thesis or do an internship.  This decision should be made by the completion of 18 credit hours, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.  You are encouraged to think about this decision earlier.  In most cases, if you are writing a thesis, and in some cases if you are doing an internship, the research proposal in Soc. 515 can be used to help you select a topic and take a first crack at developing a written proposal stating what you intend to do.  If you choose the thesis option, there is a handbook for thesis preparation provided by the Graduate School.  You should read that as you begin to define your thesis project.

There are written guidelines for the internship at the end of this handbook.  It is the student’s responsibility to find an appropriate setting for the internship and to make all the necessary arrangements with the organization involved.

Second, decide which faculty member you would like to supervise the project and chair the committee that will later examine you.  Ask that person if he or she will agree to work with you.  Do not assume that a particular faculty member is willing and able to be your supervisor and committee chair.  Make certain before you proceed with any paperwork or begin work on your project.

Third, work out the requirements, schedules, etc., with you supervisor.  From this point on you really have two advisors:  the Graduate Program Director and your thesis or internship supervisor.  The Graduate Program Director will continue to deal with any bureaucratic and programmatic matters that come up, and is always available for consultation.  However, you faculty supervisor will be your academic advisor for your exit project and will set standards for and oversee your performance.

Fourth, if your project involves a survey, interviews or other research with human subjects, you must obtain an official clearance from the University’s Institutional Review Board.  The department and Graduate School have the appropriate forms.  Although turnaround time for approval is usually short, you must have this approval before you begin conducting your research.  If uncertain about this requirement, contact the Graduate Program Director.

  • How do I select my thesis or internship chair?

That is up to you.  You should probably think about whom in the program has specialized interests in you area.  Those people should be most helpful in the academic aspects of the project.  However, you should also place weight on you ability to work comfortably with the person you choose.  If you have doubts on this score, consider an alternative.


Graduate Student Input into Departmental Decisions

Places are reserved for two graduate students to serve as voting representatives on most matters at sociology faculty meetings.  Even when the votes are not permitted, such as on personnel decisions, input is welcome.  In addition, places are reserved for graduate students to serve on the Curriculum Committee.  Speak to the Graduate Program Director or Chair if you would like to become involved.

Another avenue for input is provided by the Sociology Club.  This organization, founded by students about ten years ago, is run by and for sociology majors, including graduate majors.  It can play an important role in departmental affairs, besides providing many opportunities for social interaction among students, staff and faculty members in the department.  You are encouraged to join the Sociology Club as soon as possible.  Check out the Sociology Club bulletin board next to the department office.


Graduate Assistantships

The department offers graduate assistantships.  Every student who is accepted into the program receives an application as part of the admissions process.  If you need another application, contact the secretaries in the department office.  All other financial aid is administered outside the department.  The Graduate School offers a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), Research Grants for Graduate Students (RGGS) and Travel Grants for Graduate Student.  The RGGS has specific deadlines in Fall and Spring terms, and is intended to help defray the costs of theses and other graduate student research projects.  Other types of aid may also be available, and will be administered in the Student Work and Financial Aid office or the Graduate School.

The department policies concerning graduate assistantships are appended to the end of this handbook.  A copy of the University’s Graduate Assistant Handbook is available in the Graduate School.

  • How much does a graduate assistant earn?

Most contracts are quarter time, 10 hours per week.  Check out the Graduate School website for current wages.  In addition to remuneration, tuition and some fees are waived during the semesters you have the assistantship.  Finally, there is one additional semester of waived tuition and fees after you  have held the assistantship for two semesters (e.g. the following summer); you must apply to the Grad School for this.  Occasionally, 20-hour assistantships are possible, depending on the budget situation.  Usually, 20-hour assistantships are only awarded to second-year students only.  We encourage assistants to investigate Work Study funding through the Student Financial Aid office because it saves the department resources and often will allow extra assistantships to be awarded.

  • How long will I hold the assistantship?

This varies somewhat.  Usually, you can count on three semesters of support, assuming that your grades and job performance are satisfactory.  Grades below B, incompletes or inadequate job performance may jeopardize the renewal of your assistantship from semester to semester.  A fourth semester depends on the budget.  Per Graduate School policy, the upper limit is four semesters.

  • Do I have to apply to renew the assistantship after the initial contract expires

Yes, if you wish to be considered for continuation as an assistant in the following Fall.  Please apply by April 15th.  There are times in which assistantships become available for the Spring semester.  Please contact the graduate advisor.  If there is an opening, students interested in assistantships for the spring should apply by October 15th.

  • What will be required of me for my assistantship?

You will be assigned to a faculty member for one semester at a time.  That faculty member will work out your assignment with you.  Some want assistance in teaching, others in research.  If your assigned tasks seem inappropriate, contact the Graduate Program Director.  Your workload should not average more than the number of hours per week specified in you contract.  If you find that your load is more than that, you should contact the Graduate Program Director.  When possible, we will accommodate your schedule constraints, but you may not be able to work with the person you prefer if your schedules are incompatible.  Those who work off campus may find it difficult to arrange a compatible schedule, and therefore may jeopardize their ability to carry out assigned duties.

  • How will I be assigned to a faculty member?

Our primary rule is mutual preference.  If there is someone you want to work with, ask that person.  If he or she is agreeable, list the appropriate name on the assistantship preference form you will be asked to fill out.  If you have no preference or if someone has beaten you to Professor Right, you will be assigned by faculty preference, skill-matching, desirability of rotating assignments, and so on.  Normally we try not to split a 10-hour graduate assistant assignment among different professors, but occasionally it is necessary due to faculty load, staffing constraints or student/faculty schedules.


The Graduate Program Director handles what could be called academic advisement for all students in the program.  This includes registration and officially evaluating your progress toward program completion.  The Graduate Program Director also represents the department in acting on any petitions or problems that may involve the Graduate School or other parts of the University.  In these areas, only the Graduate Program Director speaks for the department and it is wise to include him or her in any planning or registration decisions.

Advisement and registration for Spring semester occurs during the Fall semester.  Students should arrange advisement/registration appointments with the Graduate Program Director during the month of October or early November.  If the student wishes to take a course in which space may be scarce (not usually a problem in Sociology seminars, but could be true for 400-level courses or those outside Sociology), the student should make an appointment to register during the first week of registration (usually in mid-late September).  Registration for Summer term and Fall semester occurs during the Spring semester.  Students should arrange advisement/registration appointments during the months of February or March.  Again, students wishing to take courses in which space may be scarce, should make an appointment to register during the first week of registration (usually early February).

The Graduate Program Director is also available for other kinds of advising and mentoring.  However, in these areas, everyone else in the department is also available.  Your interests may not lie in the same directions as the Graduate Program Director.  He or she may not be a person you would choose for personal or professional advice.  In fact we expect different students to form relationships with different faculty members and to approach different faculty members for help.

We expect you to develop comfortable working relationships with some of us and to rely on these faculty members for most advice.  As these relationships develop, the role of the Graduate Program Director normally diminishes.  You should not feel bad if you choose to keep your dealings with the Graduate Program Director to a formal minimum in favor of developing relationships with other faculty members.  And you should not hesitate to go beyond that minimum if you prefer.  In any event, you should keep the Graduate Program Director up to date on any developments regarding your graduate career or likely to affect your success in it.

Once you reach the thesis or internship stage, the thesis or internship supervisor is likely to become your most important faculty contact.


Funding Opportunities

Financial aid for sociology graduate students is available in the form of graduate assistantships.  In addition to providing financial aid and a tuition waiver, assistantships also serve as an important educational experience by offering opportunities for graduate students to work closely with faculty members in their teaching, research and community service activities.  Please refer to the Graduate School website for more information about assistantships.

The department normally awards assistantships on an academic year basis.  Students should apply to the Department by April 15 for graduate assistantships beginning the following fall semester.  In order to be considered for an assistantship, however, you must already be accepted into the graduate program.  Thus, those interested in an assistantship should apply for entry into the graduate program no later than February 15.

The Graduate School also offers Summer Tuition Waive for students who have served as a graduate assistant for at least two consecutive semesters.

In addition to graduate assistantships and summer tuition waivers, the Graduate School provides numerous funding opportunities for graduate students:  Competitive Graduate Award; Research Grants for Graduate Students; and Travel Grants for Graduate Students.  You can find information about these and other funding opportunities at Graduate School’s page on Fellowships and Grants.


Campus Facilities and Computer Access

As an enrolled SIUE student, you are entitled to use facilities throughout the campus.  These facilities include Lovejoy Library, the Vadalabene Center, the Morris University Center, the Student Success Center, the Student Fitness Center, Cougar Lake Recreation Area, and open access computer laboratories that are located in every building on campus.  You are also entitled to student discount rates at any sporting or cultural events.

All SIUE students are issued an electronic ID (or e-ID) and a password.  You can go to OIT Customer Support (0210 Dunham Hall, 650-3739) or visit https://oitam.isg.siue.edu/~eid/cgi-bin/e-ID to get your e-ID.  Your e-ID will be very important to you as it will allow you to access your SIUE email account, Lovejoy Library, Blackboard and CougarNet.  Also, you will need your e-ID should you need to login to either wireless network, SIUE-WPA or SIUE-WIFI, on campus.


Thesis Writing

Putting a thesis together:

  • Choosing the topic. 

There is no one way to choose a thesis topic, but there are better ways.  I shall focus on a better way:

First, you should keep in mind from the very beginning of your graduate work that you may be writing a thesis, and therefore should be keeping your eyes open for a possible topic.

Second, as you come across an interesting topic, write it down and keep a record.  As you progress through your first year your ideas and interests may change, but sometimes those early interests remain and may even be nurtured by classroom experience or through independent readings or through work done in the capacity of an assistantship.

Third, keep the thesis in mind when you write term papers.  The term papers you write for classes may serve as a part of the literature review for your thesis.  Sometimes a term paper can be expanded into a thesis, and you have already done some of the necessary preparatory work.

Fourth, by whatever means possible find out what faculty research interests are, and if somebody is doing something that tweaks your interest and find out more about it.  Particularly, find out if the faculty member has collected data that might be accessible to you.

Fifth, remember that you don’t have to collect original data in thesis writing, and you will probably save time if you don’t.  A topic becomes more desirable if you see that you can make use of existing data, whether published or in raw form.

Sixth, narrow down your list of possible topics to two or three, and seek out faculty members who know something about the topic(s) and discuss the topics with them.  Tell them your idea.  Is the work feasible?  Is data readily available?  Is there a faculty member who is really familiar with the relevant literature?  Perhaps you have a potential thesis supervisor there.

Seventh, check the sociological abstracts for recent literature on your topic.  Don’t be dismayed if you find there is a lot.  In fact, your job will probably be made easier if there is.  You will know the topic is considered important; you have the studies to replicate or build upon; you can avoid some of the pitfalls that face people who blaze new trails, and you may see a weakness in the existing work that you can correct.

Eighth, on the basis of your literature review and discussions with faculty write up a very brief (i.e., two pages at most) statement of the problem, and list the pros and cons of pursuing the topic.  Take the statement to faculty members with knowledge of the area and ask for their reactions.  List negative reactions as cons, and positive ones as pros.

Ninth, see if your faculty reactor are willing to serve on your committee, and ask the one you get along with best, to supervise your thesis.  Positive responses here should be considered very important in the final choice of topic.

Tenth, choose the topic for which the ratio of pros to cons is greatest.

  • Procedures after topic selection:

Once the topic is selected you need to build a bibliography of relevant literature.  It is advisable also to finalize data plans immediately.  Using some of the literature to guide you, and with a methodological strategy in hand, write up a more detailed proposal of 5 to 10 pages in which you specify (1) the nature of the problem, including what some other sociologists have said or done about it; (2) (if relevant) a set of postulates or hypotheses that you will test; (3) how you intend to proceed; and (4) what you expect to find.

    • Get the reactions of your supervisor before handling the proposal in to the full committee.  You may save time and trouble.
    • Once the proposal is accepted you are on your way.  The crucial next step is a thoughtful restatement of the problem, broken down into a timetable for your own use.  In what follows I am mainly concerned with theses that involve empirical analyses rather than theoretical or interpretative analyses.
    • Data collection.  Where, when, and how much.  The proposal is not etched in granite, and as you proceed with your literature review you may decide to change things.  But do so early on.  Match the literature with available data.  Always keep in mind the postulates or hypotheses that you began with; if these change your data needs will probably change.
    • Analysis of data.  You should already have in mind how you intend to analyze the data, and this is to some extent dictated by the nature of the data itself.  Statistical manipulations are generally inappropriate with case studies, and aggregate-type studies have limited applicability for tests of hypotheses dealing with individual differences.  In any event, bearing in mind both the limitations of your own data and the strategies that have been employed in the existing literature, select the data analysis strategy that promises to provide the most relevant information with the least amount of effort.
    • Always keep your hypotheses (or specified goals) in mind when dealing with the data.  Try not to get involved in additional issues or problems.  Get the thesis completed first, for you can always go back later to pursue other issues.
  • Writing of the thesis:

Begin with a fairly brief review of the literature that you can conclude by summarizing in the form of a theory or hypotheses.

Next, discuss clearly the methods and data you will be dealing with, and here indicate any shortcomings.

Next, present the findings (or analysis).  Be parsimonious.  The less you say—so long as it is to the point and sensible—the better off you will be.  Present the data as it bears directly on your hypotheses.  If the thesis is theoretical, present your ideas in a logical order, but again with parsimony.

Be clear.  Try not to write like the old masters (Weber, Marx, etc).  Present tables or figures that are clear and easy to read.  Readers who are confused at this point will hate the thesis.  Discuss each finding as it is presented.        

Indicate whenever relevant that you are aware of contrary or supportive findings, but place the emphasis on your own findings at this point.

At the end of this chapter or section, summarize the findings (or analysis) in a table or list showing how each hypothesis fared.

In a new chapter or section discuss the implications of your findings or analysis and in more depth discuss how your study stacks up in relation to the existing literature.  Conclude the thesis with suggestions for future work.


Internship Writing

In order to complete a Master of Arts degree in sociology, a graduate student must complete all required coursework and select one of two options that require a written paper: a thesis or an internship.  The internship involves an intensive, supervised on-site experience of at least 140 hours, which will serve as the basis for fulfilling the written paper requirement.

These guidelines have been developed to assist those who choose the internship option.  They have been written with the assumption that you have obtained or you are in the process of obtaining an internship mutually agreed upon with you chair and/or committee.  (See our undergraduate internship manual, Making an Internship Work for You, for a full-blown explanation of the purpose, importance, career/job significance and logistics of finding an internship and making it successful).

What follows is a step by step explanation of the purpose of the graduate internship paper, the form it should take, and the kinds of subject matter that should be included.  This explanation is meant to guide the graduate intern and to provide a broad framework for the writing of the paper.  It is also meant to assist the internship chair and the committee by providing a common reference or map from which graduate interns can be advised.  Successful completion of the internship paper will depend of the mutual agreement and the ongoing collaboration of the graduate student intern, the internship committee chair and the committee.

  • Introduction
    • What is the purpose of my paper?
      • To provide an applied sociological analysis based on your internship experience.  The analysis should demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned in our sociology program to the particular internship experience that you have chosen.  Though the nature of internships varies, the analysis should in some way provide a reflective explanation of the sociological significance of the internship experience.
    • What should be the form of my analysis?
      • The applied analysis may take a variety of forms depending on agreements made between you, your chair and your committee, however, there are two general categories to consider which are related to the nature of the internship:
        • the internship in which the client organization and/or site supervisor specifies a specific research project or set of research tasks.
        • the internship in which there is not a clearly defined research project, which could practically be developed as an applied analysis.  In this case, there are typically assigned tasks/activities that are more practice based and require self-generated research.
  • Explanation of Internship
    • In the internship where you have an opportunity to participate in a clearly defined research project, your analysis should provide a reflective narration of the project as a whole from a sociological perspective.  This might include its purpose, the methodological steps taken and the conclusion, depending upon the mutually agreed upon objectives of you, your chair and your committee.  Such an approach will also likely require that you ground your understanding of the project at hand in some appropriate sociological literature.  It is expected that the extent of the self reflective application of sociological ideas and issues will vary with the work and time required to carry out the research objectives of the client organization, depending upon agreements between you, your chair and your committee.  It is recommended that you keep a detailed journal of your activities and observations as a way of providing you with the evidence, memory and insights that will be important in developing your reflective analysis of the project.
    • In the internship where there is not a clearly defined research project, but a series of activities, tasks or services to carry out and /or observe, the analysis will depend more on the suggestions and mutually agreed upon objectives of you, your chair and your committee.  The analysis will be generated out of your observations of the dynamics of the internship site.  This form of internship is also considered an applied sociological research approach in which field methods and techniques, such as participant observation, will come into play.  This will require that you keep a detailed journal of activities and observations.  This approach will also likely require that you ground your analysis of the internship experience in appropriate sociological literature.  Because this form of internship is less dependent on the research needs or requests of the client organization and more on the self-generated ideas and interests of the student, the expectation is that there will be a heavier emphasis on your independent application of sociological ideas and issues.
  • Proposal /Outline
    • In order to ensure that you are meeting the above expectations and requirements and that you make adequate progress in completing your internship paper, you should select a chair and a committee who will provide guidance toward the successful completion of your project.  Upon accomplishing this task, you will be asked to provide a written proposal and outline that you submit to the chair and the committee based on mutual agreements about what should be included.  It is suggested the proposal should provide a description of the internship site, anticipated roles and tasks, the form the internship will take and the potential for providing a sociological analysis of the internship experience.  Note that in most cases, the proposal will be a preliminary effort to prepare for the internship experience, and that a great deal of the paper’s subject matter will be developed as the internship evolves depending upon the nature of the internship.
    • It is essential that you meet periodically with your chair to maintain communication and to ensure a successful outcome.
    • In addition, upon obtaining an internship you should begin keeping a record or journal of your activities and experiences immediately.  As you will see, your journal will be of great help in developing your analysis and writing your paper later on.
  • Suggestions and Questions to Consider in Completing Your Internship Paper
    • Contextualize

What is the nature of the organization?  What is its relevant history and background?  How can we understand the nature of the research project and/or the internship experience in relation to the context of the internship site?

    • Internship Role, Activities, Tasks

What was your role as an intern, tasks, activities requested and performed?  How did this affect your observations and research efforts?  What methodological/ ethical issues should be considered in your analysis?

    • Nature of Research Project and/or Key characteristics of Internship site

In the case of Internship A, an assigned research project, it will help to provide your narration of key aspects of the project with your reflective sociological reference to areas such as relevant literature, research objectives, criteria, key variables, data collection methods, statistical methods, and analysis.

In the case of Internship B, the self-generated applied analysis, it would help to identify key characteristics of the internship experience which you wish to analyze sociologically.  What aspect of your internship seems most interesting and amenable to sociological analysis?  What recurrent themes or patterns can you identify which may be analyzed sociologically?

    • Sociological Approach

In the case Internship A, the assigned research project, it would be helpful to locate the project in the literature in some way.  For example, the project might be part of a need or effort to do program evaluation, assessment or survey.  According to the sociological literature, how has this research been done in the past for the proposed purpose?  What methodological or theoretical issues have been raised concerning the nature of the project?  What are strengths and weaknesses of the proposed project in this regard?

In the case of Internship B, the self-generated applied analysis, it would be helpful to identify the observations that suggest patterns of behavior that can be made more meaningful with application of sociological ideas and concepts.  According to the sociological literature, how can the purpose and goals, the clientele, services or products produced by the organization be understood?  Are there methodological issues to consider in the way your observations were collected?  What theoretical concepts and ideas resonate?

Note that in either case, the sociological approach you identify should begin to provide a framework for recognizing how sociological perspectives, theories or ideas are logically connected to specific practical steps, practices or policies that are indicated at the internship site.  So for example, if your internship is at a probation office in the criminal justice system then appropriate theories in the criminology/ criminal justice literature would be drawn on to understand this context and appropriate practice and/ or policies would be shown to logically follow.

    • The Analysis: Application of Sociological Concepts, Ideas, Insights

The most important part of your internship paper is the application of sociological concepts, ideas and insights to provide a sociological understanding of the research project in the case of Internship A  or the observations/ experience developed on-site in the case of Internship B.  Be careful not to assume you are doing sociological analysis merely because you are describing what might typically be considered of sociological interest e.g. that you have observed women, people of color or different cultures at the internship site.  Sociological concepts, ideas or perspective should first be identified and discussed so that the sociological significance of your observation are not assumed or taken for granted.  Moreover, application of concepts may include a range of levels of analysis from micro to macro.  For example, your analysis may have to do with interpersonal, group, organization, community, national and/or global relationships and you may want to demonstrate the relationships between say the kind of organization your internship site is, and how it is affected by national policies.

A useful way to go about accomplishing this task is to first define and discuss the sociological concepts you have chosen to analyze your intercept and then explain how they apply to your case.  This is where a search of the literature will help you decide which concepts seem most relevant.  Furthermore, the presentation of evidence e.g., observations, interviews or records, that can be used to support such conceptual applications.

    • Critique:  Focusing on problem areas

It is useful to consider providing a section of your paper devoted to focusing on problem areas you experienced or observed in your internship.  In the case of Internship A, problem areas may revolve around methodological issues, which emerged out of the specific steps of the research project.  In the case of Internship B, problem areas may be related to organizational issues.  In either case, it is here that you may focus on a few key problem areas that you become more clearly defined and understood due to your earlier application of sociological concepts.

    • Conclusion:  Results and Recommendations for Change

This last section of your paper may be devoted to the outcome of your internship and your suggested recommendations for change, which should logically be related to the nature of your analysis, and the problem areas you identified.  Such changes may have to do with the research process in the case of Internship A or organizational issues related to in the case of Internship B.  In either case you may focus on changes that may be related to the range of levels of analysis indicated earlier: from micro interpersonal relations to programs, organizations or macro policies that are of national significance.  In addition, it would be helpful to again recognize how your overall sociological approach, perspectives or theories to understanding this internship is logically connected to the changes in practice or policy you are suggesting.

  • The Final Product
    • You should expect that your paper will go through several revisions before a final go through several revisions before a final draft can be prepared that will serve as the basis for your oral exam.  Upon successful completion of the oral you may expect there to be at least one more round of revisions before the final paper is accepted.  Also, you may be expected to hand in a type written copy of your journal.
    • In the case of Internship A, the final product may consist of two parts, depending on the request of the client organization in which you did your internship.  One resembles the outline and contents suggested above.  The other may take a more abbreviated form of a report that is specifically geared toward the requests of the client organization, and without the reflective narrative indicating the sociological significance, literature or issues required by your chair, committee and our graduate program.  This tends to be the exception to the rule since most client organizations benefit from the additional information and insight provided in the more deliberately sociological account.


University 500.  Continuing Enrollment

Classified, master’s level students, who are not otherwise enrolled during an academic term, can maintain access to University resources only by enrolling in UNIV 500.  Prerequisite: classified, master’s level student.


SOC 420:  LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP.  Leadership as vision, competence, community and fun.  Applied to self, family, school, workplace, city, country and world.  Readings, presentations, self-evaluation, discussions, exams and a portfolio.

SOC 421:  INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY.  Integration of individual and society, role structure and orientation to society, habits, communication channels, emergence, presentation, and defense of self.

SOC 422:  WHITE-COLLAR CRIME.  An examination of the nature, extent and distribution of white-collar crime as well as its causes, correlates, and control.  Same as CJ 422.  Prerequisites:  SOC/CJ 272 and junior/senior standing or consent of instructor.

SOC 431:  EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE CHANGE.  Practical application and critical analysis of theories, approaches, and strategies of organizational and workplace change.  Organizations as mechanistic, organic, cultural, political systems; arenas of conflict.

SOC 440:  SOCIOLOGY OF POPULAR CULTURE.  Relevant theories, methodologies and works of original research.  Students apply knowledge gained by analyzing examples from contemporary popular culture.

SOC 441:  HEALTH, ILLNESS AND SOCIETY.  Social determinants of sickness and death, illness as social behavior, patient-practitioner relationships, hospitals, issues in organization and delivery of health care.

SOC 444:  GENDER, ETHNICITY AND CLASS IN THE WORKPLACE.  Traces the evolution of work for women of different races and classes, and studies what issues women now face in the public and private spheres.

SOC 470:  SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE.  Behaviors such as prostitution, drug use, murder, robbery, sexual variance, rape, insanity examined theoretically and empirically.

SOC 472:  EXPLAINING CRIME.  Examination of the relationship between classical and contemporary criminological theory, research and policy.  Prerequisite:  SOC/CJ 272 or consent of instructor.

SOC 474-3:  VICTIMS AND SOCIETY.  Sociological analysis of war, crime, inequality, racism, sexism, and other victim-generating conditions and processes.  A non-lecture, active-learning course.  Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

SOC 490-3 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY.  Topics not included in regular course offerings.  May be repeated or taken in multiple 3-credit sections without limit on the total number of credit hours taken, provided no topic is repeated. 

SOC 501:  SURVEY OF THEORY.  Classical and contemporary theory connecting to historical context, vision, research, application, and to other seminars in the sociology graduate program.  Prerequisite: graduate standing.

SOC 502:  SEMINAR IN INTERGROUP RELATIONS.  Cross-cultural study of racial, ethnic and inter-faith relations.  Causes of conflict, accommodation, inequality, domination, acculturation, assimilation, pluralism.

SOC 503:  SEMINAR IN APPLIED SOCIOLOGY.  Applied sociology: its history, the application of sociology in its varied forms and contexts, and the roles, skills and methods that sociological practice involves.

SOC 515:  RESEARCH METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN IN SOCIOLOGY.  Basic research methods and designs, analysis of social science data, logic of scientific inquiry.  Includes preparation of thesis/internship research proposal.

SOC 518:  ADVANCED DATA ANALYSIS.  Data analysis methods used in quantitative social research including statistical analysis with SPSS and demographic techniques.  Descriptive and inferential statistics including multivariate techniques.  Prerequisite: one course in statistics.

SOC 521:  SEMINAR IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY.  Theoretical systems, progress toward integrated body of behavioral theory.

SOC 536:  ALTERNATIVES TO BUREAUCRACY.  Why bureaucracy?  What are the characteristics, problems, strengths and weaknesses of bureaucratic organizations?  Under what conditions do such organizations arise?  What are the alternatives to bureaucratic forms of organization.

SOC 538:  SEMINAR IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY.  Analysis of theoretical, research, and policy issues: technological change and the organization of production, deindustrialization, industrial relations and industrial policies in the global economy.

SOC 540:  ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITALISM(S).  A historical and contemporary examination of the various types of capitalisms internationally and the many social and theoretical movements challenging them. 

SOC 542:  SEMINAR IN GENDER AND GENDER INEQUALITY.  Theoretical perspectives on the creation, reproduction and maintenance of gender and gender inequality.

SOC 574:  SEMINAR IN DEVIANCE.  Theoretical approaches to such phenomena as drug addiction, mental illness, sexual variances, suicide and criminal behaviors; emphasis on cross-cultural, historical and empirical data.

SOC 578:  SEMINAR IN CRIMINOLOGY.  Classical and contemporary criminological research and theory.  Class performs original research, replicates a significant existing study, theoretical interpretation and/or critique of important criminological work.

SOC 590:  SPECIAL TOPICS.  Seminar on topic not included in regular course offerings.  May be repeated provided no topic is repeated.

SOC 592:  RESEARCH PRACTICUM.  Experience in carrying out and reporting a research project, includes hypothesis generation, data collection and analysis, and oral presentation and written report.  Prerequisite: 18 hours of graduate course work including SOC 515 or permission of graduate adviser.

SOC 593A:  GRADUATE INTERNSHIP-EXPERIENCE.  Supervised work experience in research or public service organization; requires 140 hours of work time.  May be counted toward completion of MA exit requirement.  Prerequisite: Consent of graduate director.

SOC 593B:  GRADUATE INTERNSHIP-REPORT.  Written report relating sociological concepts to internship experience.  Counts toward completion of MA exit requirements in combination with successful completion of SOC 593A.  Prerequisite:  SOC 593A.

SOC 595:  INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH.  Supervised research projects.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.  Prerequisites: consent of instructor and graduate director.

SOC 596:  READINGS IN SOCIOLOGY.  Supervised readings in selected subjects.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.  Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and graduate director.

SOC 599:  THESIS.  Supervised research in approved topic.  Written proposal and oral defense required.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.  Prerequisite: Consent of graduate director.