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Department of Sociology

Master of Science Degree in Sociology

The Master of Science degree in Sociology is designed to prepare graduates with the skills necessary to enter the professional workforce as sociologists or to pursue further study at the doctoral level. Students have the opportunity to acquire a knowledge base in sociological methods, theory and in areas of growing community concern, including health, aging, religion, socioeconomic development, gender issues, and race and ethnic relations. They will have the necessary research skills to define social issues and problems, select data collection techniques, establish appropriate analysis methods, develop statistical reports, and undertake policy analyses for businesses, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Program Admission Requirements. Students applying for unconditional admission must satisfy University-wide and College-wide graduate admission requirements, and be recommended for admission by the Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Sociology. Applicants must have completed 18 semester credit hours of undergraduate courses, 12 of which must be at the upper-division level in sociology or related areas, including a course in research methods or statistics. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate and graduate work.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements will be considered for conditional admission. Conditional applicants must submit indicators of preparation for graduate study, such as completion of additional undergraduate coursework to remove deficiencies, completion of 9 or more semester credit hours of graduate courses, and the achievement of a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). An applicant not eligible for either unconditional or conditional admission may be recommended for admission as a special graduate student (or a non-degree-seeking student). This does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking graduate student; such students must reapply for degree-seeking status.

Applicants for the Master’s Program in Sociology must submit the following materials to the graduate admissions office:

  1. an application form (available online at
  2. an application fee
  3. official transcripts from all collegiate institutions attended, including community colleges
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE®) scores from a GRE-administered examination. This score will be considered as only one element in the evaluation of applicants.
  5. a personal statement (approximately 500 words, or two typed pages) indicating your interest and goals in studying sociology
  6. three letters of recommendation from references who can speak to your qualifications for the graduate program (at least one of these must be from someone who can speak to your academic qualifications)
  7. an academic writing sample (such as a paper written for a class, preferably a sociology class)

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove deficiencies, is 36.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

  1. 9 semester credit hours of core courses:

    SOC 5003    Sociological Theory
    SOC 5063    Research Design

    SOC 5073    Quantitative Research Methods
    SOC 5033    Qualitative Research Methods

  2. 18 semester credit hours of prescribed electives from the following courses:

    SOC 5033    Qualitative Research Methods (if not taken under section A above)
    SOC 5043    Evaluation Research
    SOC 5053    Professionalization Seminar
    SOC 5073    Quantitative Research Methods (if not taken under section A above)
    SOC 5083    Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
    SOC 5123    Family Contexts and Social Change
    SOC 5133    Sociology of Health and Health Care
    SOC 5143    Demography and Community Trends
    SOC 5173    Religion, Health and Mortality
    SOC 5203    Social Stratification
    SOC 5213    Race and Ethnic Relations
    SOC 5223    Mexican Americans: Community, Culture, and Class
    SOC 5233    Sociology of Gender
    SOC 5253    Border Studies
    SOC 5263    Cultural Studies
    SOC 5323    Sociology of Childhood
    SOC 5333    Language and Society
    SOC 5343    Education and Reproduction of Inequality
    SOC 5353    Crime and Delinquency
    SOC 5363    Theory Building and Methods
    SOC 5403    Social Movements
    SOC 5423    Social Psychology
    SOC 6043    Immigration and Society
    SOC 6063    Health and Health Disparities
    SOC 6143    Sociology of Religion
    SOC 6903    Topics in Advanced Sociology
    SOC 6973    Special Problems

  3. 3 semester credit hours of additional electives in sociology or other approved discipline(s)

  4. 6 semester credit hours of Internship or Thesis

    Internship option. Students may participate in an internship (the nonthesis option) after completion of 18 semester credit hours. Internships offer work-oriented experiences in local organizational settings where the principles, theories, concepts, and methods of the discipline can be applied. A research paper under the supervision of assigned faculty is required.

    Thesis option. Students may select the thesis option after they have completed 24 semester credit hours.

  5. Comprehensive examination. Degree candidates are required to pass a written comprehensive examination. The examination is scheduled after a student has completed at least 18 semester credit hours including all core courses in the program. Registration for SOC 6961 Comprehensive Examination is only required if the student is not registered for any other course in the semester he or she is taking the comprehensive examination.

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