FACULTY: Berg, Legerski, Minnotte, Pedersen (Graduate Program Director), Staples, and Stofferahn (Chair)
Degree Granted: Master of Arts (M.A.)
The Master of Arts degree in sociology is a 30-credit hour program that is divided into four tracks: General, College Teaching, Criminal Justice, and Health and Human Services. Each track requires a thesis and a "B" average or better in coursework. The core courses include sociological inquiry, social theory, research design, statistical methods, and seminars in social problems and policy. The four separate tracks also require an additional 7 to 9 credits in topic specific coursework.
Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The mission of the sociology graduate program is to prepare students for acceptance into doctoral programs, university teaching careers, or professional careers that allow them to apply their advanced sociological training. Students will develop sophisticated theoretical, methodological, and analytical skills with which to examine sociological research questions. All courses in the curriculum focus on building these skills to a level in which the student is able to independently engage in research informed by a sociological perspective and to solve complex problems in the professional world.
Goal 1: How is sociology distinctive as a discipline? Students should be able to:
Objective a: Demonstrate an ability to understand empirical sociological studies, including what makes a given study sociological in nature.
Objective b: Create a sociological research question, including an argument for how it is sociologically informed.
Goal 2: What do sociologists know? Students should be able to:
Objective a: Utilize existing sociological literature to build a case for a specific research question.
Objective b: Synthesize existing sociological literature to frame the development of hypotheses.
Goal 3: How is sociological knowledge produced? Students should be able to:
Objective a: Use theoretical concepts to inform a research question.
Objective b: Develop and implement sociological methods to answer a research question.
Objective c: Analyze data statistically at the multivariate level.
Goal 4: How is sociological knowledge communicated? Students should be able to:
Objective a: Use discipline-specific conventions to communicate sociological research in writing.
Objective b: Create and deliver oral presentations of sociological research using discipline-specific conventions.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.
- A minimum of twenty semester hours of undergraduate sociology or related fields with an overall grade point average of 3.00 (A=4.0), a GPA of at least 3.25 for the last two years of undergraduate study; and 3.25 GPA in their major.
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- Approved status presupposes some undergraduate training in methods of social research, statistics, and sociological theory with a minimum grade of B in each.
- A minimum of 30 semester credits in a sociology track, including the credits granted for the thesis and the research leading to the thesis.
- At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level.
- A maximum of one-fourth (usually 8-9 semester credits) of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
- Program work must include 7-9 credits in courses for a chosen sociology track, including approved courses from other designated university departments.
- Program must include a systematic treatment of the field of sociological theory plus sufficient training in research methods and statistical techniques to assure understanding and competence in their use.
- Required Courses: (Grade of “B” or better is required for all of the following)
SOC 500 Professional Seminar 1 SOC 510 Sociological Inquiry 3 SOC 511 Contemporary Sociological Theory 3 SOC 520 Advanced Research Design 3 SOC 521 Advanced Statistical Methods 3 Select two of the following: 6 Seminar in Research Methods Seminar in Social Problems Seminar in Sociology (repeatable when topics vary) Seminar in Social Policy Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (requires admission into Social Entrepreneurship) Selected Track 7-9General Track7 to 9 credits of electives as determined by the student and their advisorCollege Teaching Track The College Student Collegiate Environments College Teaching Assessment in Higher Education Adult Learners The ProfessoriateCriminal Justice Track Historical Perspectives in Criminology Contemporary Perspectives in Criminology Human Nature and Crime Theories of Punishment Seminar in Juvenile Justice Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy Seminar in Rural Justice Issues Seminar in Tribal Justice Systems VictimologyFor CJ courses, the prerequisite requiring admission to the Criminal Justice Ph.D. program will be waived for Sociology MA students pursuing the Criminal Justice track.Health and Human Services Track Program Evaluation Needs Assessment SOC 998 Thesis 4 Total Credits 30-32
SOC 500. Professional Seminar. 1 Credit.
The course is intended as an introduction to graduate studies, the university and to the opportunities in the discipline of Sociology. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in Sociology. S/U grading.
SOC 510. Sociological Inquiry. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the processes by which sociologists perceive, understand, and study social phenomena.
SOC 511. Contemporary Sociological Theory. 3 Credits.
An examination and comparison of the major current sociological theories.
SOC 512. Advanced Sociological Theory. 3 Credits.
Advanced overview of topics in the field of sociological theory. Prerequisite: SOC 511 or consent of instructor. On demand.
SOC 520. Advanced Research Design. 3 Credits.
SOC 521. Advanced Statistical Methods. 3 Credits.
An in-depth examination and application of the following topics as they relate to survey research in sociology: data processing; quantification and analysis of data; analytical statistical design; and procedures. The student will apply the various analytical statistical methods to available data. Prerequisites: SOC 323, SOC 326, and SOC 520. F.
SOC 528. Seminar in Research Methods. 3 Credits.
An examination of special topics in the field of research methods. Prerequisite: SOC 323. Repeatable to 6 credits. On demand.
SOC 537. Graduate Cooperative Education. 3 Credits.
A practical work experience with an employer closely associated with the student's cognate area. Prerequisite: Program of study committee and Director of Graduate Studies approval is required. S/U grading.
SOC 538. Seminar in Social Problems. 3 Credits.
An examination of special topics with a focus on social problems and potential solutions. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate school or consent of instructor. F, odd years.
SOC 539. Seminar in Sociology. 3 Credits.
An in-depth examination of a particular sub-field in Sociology. Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate School or permission of instructor. Repeatable to 6 credits. On demand.
SOC 540. Seminar in Social Policy. 3 Credits.
An examination of special topics with a focus on social policy. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate school or consent of instructor. F, even years.
SOC 569. Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Credits.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the topics of social entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurs, how social entrepreneurship can become a tool for social change, social science theories and research on social entrepreneurship. Prerequisite: Admission to the Certificate Program in Social Entrepreneurship. S.
SOC 592. Research Experience in Sociology. 1-5 Credits.
Designed for students who are working on research under the direction of one or more faculty. This course provides the opportunity for guided experience in applied research projects. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 5 credits. S/U grading. S.
SOC 594. Readings in Sociology. 1-5 Credits.
Designed for students who want additional instruction in sociological topics. Specific arrangements must be made with the instructor prior to registration. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 5 credits. F,S.
SOC 599. Internship in Sociology. 1-5 Credits.
A learning experience in a selected community agency or organization determined by the student's area of interest. The student will select a Sociology professor to oversee the internship, and it is with this professor that the student will complete a contract for the course prior to enrolling. Fieldwork is under the supervision of agency personnel. Two to three hours per week are required in the field per credit hour for each week of the semester. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 5 credits. S/U grading. F,S.
SOC 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Repeatable. S/U grading.
SOC 998. Thesis. 1-9 Credits.
Maximum of 9 credits. Repeatable to 9 credits.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
SOC 407. Political Sociology. 3 Credits.
Sociological analysis of political and parapolitical groups; voting behavior; political socialization process; power elites, societies and systems of government; power structures. On demand.
SOC 431. Workplace Dynamics. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on understanding contemporary workplace dynamics, informed by how the organization of work has changed across time. Theories underlying the organization of work are examined, with an emphasis on how workplaces are shaped by larger social forces, how they shape society, and how they intersect with other organizations. The course concludes with an exploration of diversity in the workforce, especially the ramifications of social class, gender, and race/ethnicity in organizational settings. On demand.
SOC 435. Racial and Ethnic Relations. 3 Credits.
A survey of major USA racial and ethnic groups, the histories of their social encounters, and the theoretical perspectives associated with their experiences. On demand.
SOC 436. Social Inequality. 3 Credits.
An examination of various forms and modes of portraying human inequality. An investigation of the role of inequality in human affairs, its measurement and significance. On demand.
SOC 437. Population. 3 Credits.
A basic consideration of formal and social demography. The determinants and consequences of population change. On demand.
SOC 450. Deviant Behavior. 3 Credits.
This course examines the nature, types and societal reactions to deviant behavior; special emphasis on the process of social typing, regulation of deviance, deviant subcultures, and identities. On demand.
SOC 492. Research Experience in Sociology. 1-5 Credits.
Students enrolled in this practicum work on a research project under the direction of one or more faculty. The practicum is designed to provide hands-on research and/or statistical experience for those enrolled. Repeatable for a maximum of 10 credits. Repeatable to 10 credits. S/U grading. F,S.
SOC 494. Readings in Sociology. 1-5 Credits.
Designed for students who want instruction in subjects not covered adequately in usual course offerings. Specific arrangements must be made with the instructor prior to registration. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 10 credits. F,S.