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Masters of Arts in Sociology

The Master of Arts program is designed to produce skilled social analysts and researchers. In a society awash in information and opinion based on low quality data, our MA students are trained to design and produce socially relevant research of the highest caliber. Intensive seminars focusing on social theory and selected specialty areas (e.g., Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Immigration, Social Movements) will sharpen your thinking and allow you to become a more effective communicator. In addition, we offer advanced methodological training that provides the opportunity to learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret a range of different kinds of data including in-depth interviews and surveys from representative samples.

MA program requirements build in a number of options so that you can design your course of study to best fit your own career aspirations. In general, the MA in Sociology requires the following:

  1. Four required courses (i.e., Modern Sociological Theory, Research Methods and Design, Statistics, and Multivariate Techniques and Analysis).
  2. Four elective courses (e.g., Environment and Society, Social Movements, Immigration, Aging and Health, Gender Roles, Social Inequality and Diversity, Family, Population, Social Issues in Regional Development, Qualitative Methods, Society and Coastal Policy).
  3. Thesis, Practicum, or four additional courses

Item 3 above includes three options for completing the degree. The thesis is an original scholarly work that demonstrates your ability to conceive and execute a research project. The practicum offers the opportunity to gain invaluable professional experience and may focus on applied social research or best practices in teaching, as described below. The extended coursework option is an alternative to the Thesis/Practicum route and provides students the opportunity to explore specific areas of interest.

Within this framework students may choose to follow one of these suggested tracks:


 Departmental faculty members are highly research active, with publications in well respected Sociology and specialty journals and grants from numerous state and federal organizations. Though faculty research and teaching interests are varied, the department has an emerging focus on issues related to social inequality, stratification, and diversity.

Members of the faculty are also affiliated with the Center for Health Services Research and Development, Center for Health Disparities Research, the Natural Hazards Research Center, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Coastal Science and Policy, the Center for Sustainable Tourism, the Regional Development Institute, the Women's Studies Program, the Religious Studies Program, the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, and the Brody School of Medicine.

The department's Graduate Handbook provides information about graduate faculty and their areas of interest, coursework requirements, areas of concentration, the comprehensive exam, thesis and practicum requirements, assistantship support, and other matters related to the M.A. in Sociology. If you would like further information regarding the M.A. program please e-mail the Graduate Director.

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