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Graduate Program of Sociology: Program of Study

Students must complete 33 semester hours of graduate credit distributed as follows:

  • Four required courses (12 hours):
    • Seminar in Social Theory (SOC 501)
    • Research Methods and Study Design (SOC 515)
    • Advanced Data Analysis (SOC 518)
    • Research Practicum (SOC 592)

The department offers Theory, Methods and the Research Practicum only in the fall semester, and we offer Data Analysis only in the spring. While we allow spring and summer admissions to the program,  it is best for students to take theory, methods and data analysis during the first year of graduate study.  (Students who wish to begin in the spring should speak with the Graduate Program Director on how to proceed with courses.)  Furthermore, students may complete no more than six elective hours prior to registering for theory and methods. Graduate students take Research Practicum 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 sociological theory course as a prerequisite.

  • Five elective courses (15 hours):

At least 3 courses (9 hours) must be 500-level graduate seminar, sociology courses.  We strongly recommended that the elective courses include the Seminar in Applied Sociology.  The remaining six hours of electives can be comprised of the following: 1) 500-level graduate seminar from another department; 2) Independent sociology readings at the 500-level or 3) 400- level class in the sociology department. However, if you choose any option other than 500-level graduate seminar or Independent readings at the 500 level, you must receive approval from the Graduate Program Director.

  • Thesis or Internship (6 hours):

There are two possible exit requirements for graduate students:  a Master’s thesis or an internship.  Normally, students will not begin thesis or internship hours until they have completed at least 24 semester hours of course work.

Students who choose to write a thesis must enroll in a total of 6 thesis hours (SOC 599).  They must defend their completed thesis in a final oral examination before their thesis committee.  You can find more information on the thesis option here.

The internship consists of two parts:

    • At least 140 hours of a supervised work experience in either a research or public service setting (Graduate Internship—Experience, SOC 593A); and
    • A substantial, original written report concerning a sociological issue related to the internship (Graduate Internship—Report, SOC 593B).

Students pursuing the internship option must successfully complete an oral examination administered by their selected advisory committee.  You can find more information on the internship option here.

  • University 500—Continuing Enrollment

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

You can find a complete list of course offerings in the Graduate Catalog.