The Master of Arts degree with a major in sociology requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. At least 21 total hours must be completed in 500- and 600-level courses. MA students may take 9 hours in 400-level courses in departments with graduate programs. Twelve (12) hours may be taken outside the department, with the advisor’s consent. Students must complete all requirements within 6 calendar years of enrollment. All MA students must complete the following requirements (4 courses for 12 credit hours):SOCI 506 ; SOCI 521 ; SOCI 531 ; and one foundations course – choose one from Sociology SOCI 504 SOCI 505 SOCI 507 or SOCI 560 . 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 Sociology 531. Students may additionally elect to complete requirements for the statistics minor. A minor in statistics consists of 9 hours of statistics courses. See Department of Statistics, Operations and Management Science for requirements.
MA students choosing the thesis option are required to complete 12 hours of course work in sociology in addition to the required 12 hours described above and 6 hours of SOCI 500 . 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.
MA students choosing the non-thesis option are required to complete the required 12 hours described above and 18 additional hours of course work. Plans for the completion of the non-thesis MA must be filed in writing with the Director of Graduate Studies. Application for admission to candidacy for the master’s degree should be made as soon as possible after the student has completed required prerequisite courses and 9 hours of graduate course work with a 3.0 average or higher in all graduate work. The student acquires and completes the Admission to Candidacy Application, obtains signatures from the non-thesis committee members and the department head, and submits the completed form to the Graduate School no later than the last day of classes preceding the semester in which she/he plans to graduate.
In place of the thesis project, the non-thesis MA candidate must complete: a paper of about twenty pages on a topic in the interest area; a three-hour written examination in the standard format that covers theory, methods, and the student’s interest area; and defend his/her work in an oral defense. Committee members evaluate the paper, the written exam, and the oral defense as Pass/Fail. Students may have two attempts to pass the written examination. Students must obtain the appropriate forms prior to the defense and submit to the committee chair. After the non-thesis defense, the committee chair submits a signed Pass/Fail form to the Graduate School, documenting the student’s performance in the oral examination. Deadlines for the oral defense are regularly posted in the Department and through the Graduate School. Copies of the paper and the written examination are placed in the student’s permanent file by the committee chair. The committee chair reports the results to the faculty.