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M.A. and Ph.D. Requirements

A minimum of 30 hours of course work must be completed before a candidate becomes eligible for the master’s degree.  Three of these hours must be Master’s Thesis (Sociology 993).

The three main requirements for an M.A. degree are a methodology course, a theory course, and a research paper and its defense.  The University has a minimum requirement of two full semesters in residence for the M.A. degree.

Because our department admits students who intend to earn their Ph.D.s, the M.A. program is structured as the first phase of the departmental requirements for the Ph.D. degree.  We do not admit students wishing to earn only terminal M.A. degrees.  Completing the M.A. program thus also involves completing the first phase of the Ph.D. program.

An M.A. bypass option is available as an opportunity for students who have completed an M.A. thesis in sociology at another institution to speed up their progress toward the Ph.D.  The requirements for the bypass are the same as for the M.A. degree, with the exception of the paper requirement.

Enrolled students who are interested in the M.A. bypass should contact the Student Services Manager in the graduate studies office for more information.

Students seeking the Ph.D. must complete the M.A. requirement, a minimum of 36 hours of course work (30 of those were completed for the M.A.), a four-course methodology sequence, six credit hours of dissertation research (Sociology 994), written exams in two areas of concentration, a defense of the dissertation proposal, a dissertation and a final oral exam.

Residence credit earned on work for an M.A. is applicable as residence credit for a doctoral degree.

Students who have completed graduate level courses at another institution may petition for the transfer of credits of a maximum of two courses toward fulfillment of the department minimum course requirement.