2016-2017 Catalog



FACULTY: Berg, Legerski, Minnotte (Graduate Program Director), Pedersen, Staples, and Stofferahn (Chair)

Degree Granted: Master of Arts (M.A.)

Thirty graduate credits, including thesis work, are required for a Master of Arts degree. The program of study is divided into four components: scholarly tools, core curriculum, cognate, and thesis. The core courses include sociological thought, social theory, research design, and analytical methods. Courses in the scholarly tools component include one course in statistics and other courses in research methods. The cognate includes nine credits in a minor or cognate; and thesis is comprised of four credits.

Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Mission Statement

The mission of the sociology graduate program is to prepare students for advanced training, for university teaching careers, or for professional careers that allow them to apply their advanced sociological training. The program facilitates students gaining the 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.

Program Goals

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.)

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.
  2. 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.
  3. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  4. Approved status presupposes some undergraduate training in methods of social research, statistics, sociological theory and social psychology with a minimum grade of B in each.

Degree Requirements

Thesis Option:

  1. A minimum of 30 semester credits in a major field, including the credits granted for the thesis and the research leading to the thesis.
  2. At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level.
  3. A maximum of one-fourth (usually 8-9 semester credits) of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
  4. The program may include just the major, the major and a minor, or the major and a cognate area. The major must include 20 credits from the major department, and a minor or cognate area must include at least nine credits.
  5. 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.
  6. Required Courses: (Grade of “B” or better is required for all of the following)
    SOC 500Professional Seminar1
    SOC 510Sociological Inquiry3
    SOC 511Contemporary Sociological Theory3
    SOC 520Advanced Research Design3
    SOC 521Advanced Analytical Methods3
    Select two of the following:6
    Seminar in Research Methods
    Seminar in Sociology (repeatable when topics vary)
    Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (requires admission into Social Entrepreneurship)
    SOC 998Thesis4
    Total Credits30-32


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. 3-4 Credits.

A critical look at problems of theory development and construction, emphasizing historical social theorists. Prerequisite: SOC 511.

SOC 520. Advanced Research Design. 3-4 Credits.

This course emphasizes the development of research design skills including survey research. Prerequisites: SOC 323 and SOC 326.

SOC 521. Advanced Analytical 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 design; and procedures. The student will apply the various analytical methods to available data. Prerequisites: SOC 323, SOC 326, and SOC 520.

SOC 528. Seminar in Research Methods. 3 Credits.

An examination of special topics in the field of research methods. Prerequisite: SOC 323.

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 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. F.

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 598. Individual Research. 1-4 Credits.

Repeatable to 6 credits. Repeatable to 6 credits.

SOC 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable. S/U grading.

SOC 997. Independent Study. 2 Credits.

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. Organizations and Behavior. 3 Credits.

A look at the different ways in which organizations can be conceptualized and studied. The relationships between organizational structure and individual behavior are examined. The study of the effects of environments, including other organizations, on organizational goals. The kinds of organizations studied include industrial, medical, educational and other types. Prerequisite: 6 hours of Soc or consent of instructor. 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. Prerequisite: SOC 301 or SOC 250 and CJ 330. 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. Prerequisite: 6 hours of Soc or consent of instructor. On demand.

SOC 437. Population. 3 Credits.

A basic consideration of formal and social demography. The determinants and consequences of population change. Prerequisite: 6 hours of Soc or consent of instructor. 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. Prerequisite: 6 hours of Soc or consent of instructor. On demand.

SOC 492. Practicum in Sociology. 3 Credits.

Students enrolled in this practicum will be assigned to work on research under the direction of one or more faculty. The practicum is designed to provide directed research experience for those enrolled. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SOC 301, SOC 323, SOC 326, and at least junior status. Repeatable to 6 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. Repeatable to 20 credits. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 20 credits. F,S.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382