Degree Title and Name: Master of Arts in Sociology
Program Name and Number: Sociology – MA4251
Department/Unit: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Delivery Mode: Athens campus
Term(s) of Entry: Fall
Program Overview: The M.A. program in Sociology at Ohio University prepares students for professional careers in both academic and applied settings. Students are required to complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate level course work and to demonstrate competence at the graduate level in sociological theory and methods.
The Sociology M.A. curriculum offers a range of courses in theory, methods, and substantive topics; students in the program are required to take 12 credit hours of core elements: SOC 6160 (Sociological Theory), SOC 6540 (Social Research Methods), and an additional research methods course selected from several options (SOC 6010, SOC 5500, POLS 6010, PSY 5111, PSY 6111). In addition, students must take a minimum of two 6000-level graduate seminar courses and two more courses of either Sociology 6000-level graduate courses or Sociology dual-listed courses (undergraduate/graduate). Two additional hours are required from the following options: SOC 5930 (Specialized Readings), SOC 5931 (Research Problems), SOC 6920 (Practicum), SOC 6931 (Independent Study) or SOC 6950 (Thesis).
Master’s students have the opportunity to complete a seminar on the sociology of teaching. As a part of the requirements for this course, students complete a teaching e-portfolio and design and deliver several lectures to undergraduate classes and to their peers in the graduate program. Graduate students can compete for limited graduate teaching positions in our department. Those selected teach their own sections of Introduction to Sociology (under the supervision of the graduate director) during their second year in the program. Our students not only have the opportunity to learn to teach but they also have opportunities to apprentice and collaborate with faculty on research projects. Master’s students are often recruited and trained by faculty researchers to assist and partner on data collection and analysis, and in the co-authoring of presentations and publications.
Program Learning Outcomes: After completing the requirement of an M.A. in Sociology, we expect our graduates to be able to demonstrate the following skills and competencies through their class participation and contributions to seminar discussion, their completion of seminar papers, methodological exercises, class presentations, and final projects (thesis, applied/policy project, comprehensive exams).
- Actively acquire the ability to analyze the origins and structure of sociological theory and demonstrate their grasp of theory through course writings, discussion, and presentations.
- Demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast the differing theoretical perspectives, noting strengths and weaknesses inherent in each through seminar writings, discussion, and presentations.
- Learn about and actively reflect on the role of theory in sociological research. They will demonstrate this competency through seminar writings, discussion, and presentations.
- Be able to evaluate contemporary sociological theories and apply them to social research questions. This competency will be demonstrated through seminar writings, discussion, and presentations.
- Learn to review methodological principles and observe and practice normative standards of sociological research; evaluate the implementation of methods in published studies and prior MA thesis work.
- Apply the above principles and standards to the creation of research proposals.
- Demonstrate the ability to develop a research question, contextualize their topic in a theoretical framework, and develop a research design or analytical research review plan to investigate their research question.
Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/socanth/grad/index.cfm
- A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required for the master’s degree.
- Three required Graduate Courses:
- SOC 6160 (Theory)
- SOC 6540 (Methods)
- One of the following:
- Soc. 6010 – Qualitative Methods
- Soc. 5500 – Data Analysis
- Pols. 6010 – Quantitative Methods
- Psy. 5111 – Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
- Psy. 6111 – Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
- Two Graduate Seminars (6000 Level Sociology Courses – Teaching seminar does not count)
- Two Graduate Courses: Seminars or Dual-Listed Courses
- Two Additional Hours of any of the following:
- SOC 5930 (Specialized Readings)
- SOC 5931 (Research Problems)
- SOC 6920 (Practicum)
- SOC 6931 (Independent Study)
- SOC 6950 (Thesis)
Culminating Experience: Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence at the master’s level in sociological theory and research methods, and to show proficiency in their chosen areas of concentration through a thesis, comprehensive exam, or applied/policy project.
- Thesis – Independent research on a topic selected by the student that integrates knowledge and skills to contribute to the research literature in the field.
- Comprehensive Exams: The written exams are in two general areas of sociology related to the student’s specific interests and result in a demonstration of depth and breadth of knowledge.
- Applied/Policy Project: Through the systematic evaluation of a social issue, the student proposes and presents pragmatic recommendations to shape meaningful social/public policy.
Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with 20 hours of undergraduate work in the social sciences, with a preference for sociology. The department is quite flexible in evaluating undergraduate experience. However, we recommend the 20 hours should include statistics, research methods and sociological theory (with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Applicants must have earned an overall GPA of at least 3.0. GRE scores are accepted but not required. These scores are one component of a larger evaluation of an application and offer additional information in the overall assessment. To apply, a completed application for admission and transcripts of all academic work must be submitted with your online application. Please attach to the online application a written statement describing areas of interest and reasons for wanting to study sociology, a writing sample such as a term paper, and letters of reference from three persons qualified to evaluate capability for graduate study in sociology (at least two letters should come from college instructors). International students whose native language is not English must also submit Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) scores.
International Students: This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.