Sociology MS

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice offers a Master of Science degree program in Sociology with core courses in sociological theory, research methodology, data analysis, and research report writing. The master’s program is conducted through a selection of appropriate courses within the framework of a non-thesis program. For additional information, students are advised to read the most recent departmental Graduate Handbook, available free from the department or departmental website

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Sociology - Option II Non-Thesis (Online)

30 semester hours program

Core Courses (18 semester hours)
SOC 500Orientation0
SOC 535Readings in Sociology3
SOC 572Classical Sociological Theory3
SOC 573Contemporary Sociological Theory3
SOC 575Advanced Research Methods3
SOC 576Data Analysis in Social Research3
SOC 595Research Literature and Techniques (3 semester hours required)3
Sociology Graduate Electives
12 semester hours (4 graduate electives). Electives must be approved by the Graduate Advisor)12
Total Hours30

Note:  Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is required of all students.

SOC 500 - Orientation
Hours: 0
This course provides an orientation to the university and to the online degree program. It will consist of a series of tutorials and other pertinent information that will prove invaluable for students as they navigate the graduate sociology online program.

SOC 502 - GLB / Comparative Sociology
Hours: 3
GLB/Comparative Sociology - An overview of social, cultural, political, economic and other institutional differences in two or more settings. This seminar introduces students to cross-national differences through a study abroad experience. Prerequisites: None.

SOC 504 - Stu Contemporary Sociolog
Hours: 3
Studies in Contemporary Sociology. Three semester hours. An in-depth study of contemporary theoretical and methodological issues in an area of study within sociology. Topics to be covered may include: suicide terrorism; teaching sociology; applied sociology; qualitative methodology; and the state of sociology. May be repeated when topics vary.

SOC 512 - Soc Perspcts Marr/Family
Hours: 3
Sociological Perspectives on Marriage and the Family. Three semester hours. A critical sociological analysis of the origin, structure, and functioning of the institutions of marriage and family in human society. Four theoretical perspectives in sociology (namely: functionalism, conflict theory, exchange theory and symbolic interactionism) will be employed for discussing and evaluating various problems and issues in marriage and family, particularly in the contemporary American society.

SOC 514 - Family Violence
Hours: 3
A thorough and critical examination of family violence from a sociological perspective. Topics include the meaning, nature, and types of family violence; biological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological theories which attempt to explain hostility, aggression, and violence among intimate people; the philosophy of non-violence; the consequences of violence; and preventive measures and strategies for dealing with violence in the family. Although the course focuses on the American family, illustrations of family violence from other cultures are provided.

SOC 515 - Medical Sociology
Hours: 3
Medical Sociology. Three semester hours. This course will examine research and theory on the changing concepts of health, illness and medical practice as well as place these understandings in socio-historical and comparative context. Topics will include: social epidemiology, the social construction of health/illness, the experience of illness, health professions, alternative medicine and the health care system. Emphasis on how social factors such as gender, race, social class and sexual preference affect both illness and health care. The course will be applicable for students in sociology, criminal justice, social work, and psychology. This course contributes 3 credit hours toward students' fulfillment of degree requirements. There is no lab or prerequisite for this course.

SOC 516 - Sociology of Education
Hours: 0-3
Sociology of Education. Three semester hours. A study of the structure of the social organization of the school and the social and cultural forces which influence the school and those who teach and learn in it. The classroom is analyzed as a social system with special emphasis on the role of teachers. The relationships of education to other social institutions such as the family, economy and political system are examined.

SOC 517 - Teaching Sociology and Criminal Justice
Hours: 3
This course will assist students in developing and formulating ideas, gaining practice and critically assessing information concerning community college and university teaching. In addition to the coverage of teaching literature within the field of sociology and criminal justice, the course will emphasize the development of teaching pedagogy, syllabus and test construction, teaching philosophy, and allow the student to obtain "hands-on" experience in the college classroom.

SOC 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
The student will work on the thesis under the supervision of an advisory committee. Major work will include the development of a prospectus, collection, analysis and interpretation of data and the final writing of the thesis. No credit will be given until the thesis is completed and approved. Graded on a (S) satisfactory or (U) unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Sociology 572, 573, 575, and 576 or permission of Department Head.

SOC 535 - Readings in Sociology
Hours: 3
Readings in Sociology. Three semester hours. This graduate seminar explores advanced sociological principles through the use of selected classic and contemporary readings. Students will be expected to read, synthesize, and integrate a wide variety of sociological materials and to analyze and discuss them from divergent theoretical perspectives.

SOC 553 - Amer Subculture Groups
Hours: 3
American Subcultural Groups. Three semester hours. An examination of cultural diversity in American life, focusing particularly on Black Americans, Mexican Americans, Native American Indians, and Anglo Americans. Describes dynamics of intergroup relations; the impact of ethnicity and social class on cultural patterns; the causes and effects of racism and prejudice. Special emphasis is placed on problems and strengths of multicultural education.

SOC 572 - Classical Sociological Theory
Hours: 3
This course will study the classical foundation of sociology, focusing on the writings of Durkheim, Weber, Marx and Mead. Attention will be given to how these theories have given rise to the major theoretical perspectives in sociology, particularly functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism.

SOC 573 - Contemporary Sociological Theory
Hours: 3
This course will build on the foundation of classical theory to focus on the construction and application of contemporary theories used in current sociological research. The major theoretical perspectives to be studied include: neofunctionalism, neomarxism, critical theory, feminist theory, post-modernism, as well as significant theorists dating from Parsons to the more recent theorists. Emphasis will be placed on the basic assumptions of the various theories, and the relevance of these ideas for understanding contemporary society.

SOC 575 - Advanced Research Methods
Hours: 3
The coverage of the basic techniques and procedures used in social research process. Special attention given to defining research problems, selecting and measuring variables, stating hypotheses, developing sampling designs and gathering data. Students are exposed to methodological designs such as experimentation, observation, content analysis, evaluation research and survey research.

SOC 576 - Data Analysis in Social Research
Hours: 3
Students are exposed to basic techniques of data analysis in social research, particularly by use of computers. Special attention is given to tabulation, statistical testing, and interpretation of data. Analysis of variance, multiple regression, dummy variable regression, path analysis and related topics will be covered with computer application for problem solving.

SOC 577 - Qualitative Methodology
Hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to the use of qualitative methods such as ethnographic research, focus groups, historical/comparative research, content analysis and grounded theory. In addition to addressing philosophical foundations, this course provides hands-on practice in the common strategies to access and collect data (e.g. observation, interviewing, archival data); methods of organizing and representing different forms/genres of data for analysis (e.g. transcripts, electronic texts, images, hand-written notes); and strategies to analyze and represent your analyses for academic audiences.

SOC 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of Department Head.

SOC 595 - Research Literature and Techniques
Hours: 3
Students will write a formal research report based upon primary or secondary data. Emphasis will be given to methods of interpretation and writing a formal paper in sociology. Prerequisites: SOC 572, 573, 575 and 576 or permission of the Department Head.

SOC 597 - Special Topic
Hours: 3
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.