About the Sociology Master's Program
Decisions on the program of study, specific courses, and thesis topics are made through consultation with the graduate advisor and other faculty members as appropriate on the basis of the student’s background, interests, and objectives.
Coursework. The sociology program provides coursework specialization in such areas as family, criminology and deviance, social psychology, inequality and race, demography and migration, medical sociology, and aging. Six of the 36 required hours may be taken as a minor outside the department. Selection of a minor requires approval of the graduate committee. In lieu of a foreign language, each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in computer analysis of data. A grade of B or better is required for graduate credit.
Thesis, Non-Thesis Options. Students in the sociology program may select the thesis option or non-thesis option. The thesis option is strongly recommended for students who plan to continue their graduate studies by applying to a doctoral program. Students choosing the thesis plan in sociology are required to take 30 hours of coursework (including two required courses in theory and two in methods) plus 6 hours of thesis credit. They are also required to complete a thesis that is acceptable to the student’s departmental thesis committee and demonstrate proficiency in a statistics software program. Students may petition the Graduate Committee to substitute another organized course from within the department for one of the required theory and/or methods courses. Students choosing the non-thesis plan are required to take 36 hours of coursework (including one course in theory, two courses in methods, and 3 hours of SOC 5331 ). They are also required to complete a paper on a topic related to their professional interests that is acceptable to the student’s departmental committee.
Assessment. In the sociology program, a final examination is required. The final examination in the thesis plan involves at least one of the various areas in sociology listed above. Students may present at two conferences in lieu of taking the final exam. In the non-thesis plan the examination includes coursework taken, work experience outside the department, and the topic of the formal paper.