Master of Science in Sociology

The Master of Science in sociology is designed to help students adapt to the "post-industrial" economy, prepare for doctoral programs, and acquire skills for teaching in junior colleges. The program provides theories and skills for understanding and solving institutional, regional, national, and international problems. Through a variety of experiences in sociology and related disciplines this degree develops professional competence in using sociology to affect positive change among individuals, families, organizations, business enterprises, communities, and societies.

Master of Science in Sociology--Total Semester Hours=36

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited school.
  2. A satisfactory score on the General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  3. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4 point scale on the last 60 hours of upper division coursework.
  4. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on at least 15 hours of undergraduate courses in sociology. Six hours in anthropology, economics, or geography may count toward this requirement.
  5. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in a statistics course.
  6. Consideration is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant's demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, first generation college graduate, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, and family responsibilities.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Sociology is a 36-hour degree. Students may choose the thesis option or the non-thesis option. The thesis option is oriented to those students who wish to pursue a doctorate and who will need to present a thesis as part of the admission criteria for their doctoral program. Students pursuing a terminal master's may be better served by the non-thesis option.

Core courses: 9 hours

SOCI 5380: Sociological Theory

SOCI 5396: Seminar in Social Science Research

SOCI 5397: Studies in Applied Sociology

Prescribed electives: 15 hours from the list below:

SOCI 5302: Seminar in Deviance

SOCI 5307: Seminar in Metropolitan Problems

SOCI 5310: Internet Communities

SOCI 5321: Intercultural Studies

SOCI 5325: Topics in Social Problems

SOCI 5341: Seminar in Marriage and the Family

SOCI 5385: Studies in Demography

Free electives: 6 hours from the following:

CRIJ 5303: Contemporary Criminological Theory

ECON 5340: Economics of Public Policy

ECON 5660: Fundamentals of Free Enterprise System

POLS 5331: Seminar in Comparative Politics

POLS 5341: Seminar in International Relations

Thesis/applied paper: 6 hours (see below)

Thesis Option; SOCI 5394 and 5395

Non-Thesis Option: SOCI 5388 and 5389

Thesis Option

Six hours of thesis SOCI 5394 and SOCI 5395 are required. SOCI 5395 may be repeated with the permission of the major professor. Students must be registered in that course during the semester in which they plan to graduate. The thesis will be under the tutelage of the major professor who will serve as the thesis committee chair. The committee chair, two additional committee members, discipline coordinator, and the department chair must approve the thesis proposal. To fulfill the graduation requirements, the student is expected to defend the thesis in an oral examination.

Non-Thesis Option

Six hours of applied research SOCI 5388 and SOCI 5389 are required. Registration into these courses will follow the current procedures for independent study as required of all students in the department of social sciences. To register for one of these courses, the student must file the independent study application form. To be accepted, the application must be approved by the committee chair, discipline coordinator, and the department chair. To fulfill the graduation requirements, the student is expected to produce a professional paper of publishable quality as judged by the student's degree committee.

Graduation Requirements

  1. A grade of "B" or better in each core course.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on all work applied to the degree.
  3. All students must pass a final comprehensive written examination
  4. Thesis students must submit a standard master's quality thesis and satisfactorily defend the thesis.
  5. Non-Thesis students must satisfactorily present and defend their research paper.