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    May 25, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology Major, MA


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The Department of Sociology offers a master’s degree in sociology with a focus on social justice intended for students planning to pursue a doctorate or law degree and for those wishing to apply sociology to a variety of professional fields.  Students entering the program must take courses and write a thesis related to one of our four core fields: criminology, critical race & ethnic studies, environmental sociology, or political economy & globalization. The program is focused on critical inquiry that examines social phenomenon through a lens of power. Upon successful completion of this program, students should have an understanding of important theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to the study of sociology.

Concentrations (Required) and Option Available

Criminology — Thesis

Critical Race and Ethnic Studies —​ Thesis

Environmental Sociology —​ Thesis

Political Economy and Globalization —​ Thesis

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Writing sample
  • Personal statement
  • Completion of the appropriate previous degree (baccalaureate, preferably with a major in one of the social sciences).
  • New students are typically admitted in fall semester only.
  • Applications must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Department of Sociology by January 15.

Academic Standards

  • Once admitted to the program, they must maintain a GPA of at least 3.00.
  • To remain in the program, students must meet annual progress goals as set forth by the Department. 

Criminology Concentration

The criminology specialization promotes critical understandings of the relationship between social forces and definitions of crime, criminal behavior, and the institutions and dynamics of social control. Students are taught to apply sociological theories to research on crime and criminal justice. Students are also provided tools for the preservation of peace and the safeguarding of due process and civil rights. This concentration prepares students for doctoral study or the study of law and for professional opportunities in civil rights. Please note that our criminology focus is not appropriate for those planning to pursue a degree in law enforcement.

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Required Courses

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 21 total credit hours must be completed in 500- and 600-level courses, not including thesis hours (SOCI 500 ).
    • MA students may take 9 credit hours in 400-level courses that carry graduate credit (in consultation with their advisor).
    • Twelve (12) credit hours may be taken outside the department with the advisor’s consent. These courses do not replace required courses. 
  • Students entering the MA program who have not completed at least one undergraduate course in statistics or its equivalent must take STAT 531  prior to enrolling in SOCI 531 .

Non-Course Requirements

  • When a decision is reached about the thesis topic, the student should consult with the faculty member whose interests most closely match the student’s and with whom the student can establish a strong working relationship and request that the faculty member chair the thesis committee.
  • Students must complete all requirements within 6 calendar years of enrollment.

Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Concentration

Courses address questions of power through the study of structural racism, social/national movements, and social (in)justice. Courses equip students with rigorous theoretical and analytical tools to enable an increased understanding of a multicultural and multinational work for the sake of furthering social justice, human rights, and egalitarian democracy. We encourage our students to imagine and create transformative change for racial equality. 

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Required Courses

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 21 total credit hours must be completed in 500- and 600-level courses, not including thesis hours.
    • MA students may take 9 credit hours in 400-level courses that carry graduate credit (in consultation with their advisor).
    • Twelve (12) credit hours may be taken outside the department with the advisor’s consent. These courses do not replace required courses. 
  • Students entering the MA program who have not completed at least one undergraduate course in statistics or its equivalent must take STAT 531  prior to enrolling in SOCI 531 .

Non-Course Requirements

  • When a decision is reached about the thesis topic, the student should consult with the faculty member whose interests most closely match the student’s and with whom the student can establish a strong working relationship and request that the faculty member chair the thesis committee.
  • Students must complete all requirements within 6 calendar years of enrollment.

Environmental Sociology Concentration

Environmental sociology focuses on how social institutions and cultural practices influence behavior. Students will analyze the social causes and consequences of technological choices, policy decisions, and economic production processes affecting resource scarcity and environmental degradation. 

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Required Courses

  • All MA students must complete the following requirements (6 courses for 15 credit hours):
  • SOCI 500  (6 credit hours)

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 21 total credit hours must be completed in 500- and 600-level courses, excluding thesis hours.
    • MA students may take 9 credit hours in 400-level courses that carry graduate credit (in consultation with their advisor).
    • Twelve (12) credit hours may be taken outside the department with the advisor’s consent. These course do not replace required courses. 
  • Students entering the MA program who have not completed at least one undergraduate course in statistics or its equivalent must take STAT 531  prior to enrolling in SOCI 531 .

Non-Course Requirements

  • When a decision is reached about the thesis topic, the student should consult with the faculty member whose interests most closely match the student’s and with whom the student can establish a strong working relationship and request that the faculty member chair the thesis committee.
  • Students must complete all requirements within 6 calendar years of enrollment.

Political Economy and Globalization Concentration

Political economy generally explores the production, allocation, and consumption of goods and services, including the role that state places in these processes. The sociological approach to the study of political economy draws upon distinctive theoretical traditions, methods of analysis, and subject matter. Courses emphasize the social context that frames economic production, resource, distribution, and state action. Courses in the concentration also stresses that social movements have contested and shaped these processes. 

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Required Courses

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 21 total credit hours must be completed in 500- and 600-level courses, excluding thesis hours.
    • MA students may take 9 credit hours in 400-level courses that carry graduate credit (in consultation with their advisor).
    • Twelve (12) credit hours may be taken outside the department with the advisor’s consent. These do not replace required courses. 
  • Students entering the MA program who have not completed at least one undergraduate course in statistics or its equivalent must take STAT 531  prior to enrolling in SOCI 531 .

Non-Course Requirements

  • When a decision is reached about the thesis topic, the student should consult with the faculty member whose interests most closely match the student’s and with whom the student can establish a strong working relationship and request that the faculty member chair the thesis committee.
  • Students must complete all requirements within 6 calendar years of enrollment.

 

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