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The Pre-Doctoral/Master of Arts Program

Tree-lined walkway along North Campus in late summer

The Graduate School requires prospective master’s degree students to complete a program of study for Master of Arts candidates.  The program of study includes all relevant graduate course work for the master’s and must contain a minimum of 37 hours of course work. The courses listed below are required of all sociology graduate students and should be completed within the first two years of residence.

The M.A. Program of Study must include:

1) SOCI 6190: Proseminar in Sociology (Fall and Spring)

2) SOCI 6220: Development of Sociological Theory OR SOCI 6410: Current Trends in Sociological Theory

3) SOCI 6620: Analysis and Interpretation of Sociological Data I

4) SOCI 6630: Analysis and Interpretation of Sociological Data II

5) SOCI 6600: Research Methods and Models

6) SOCI 7300: Masters Research (no more than three credit hours)

5 required courses:  SOCI 6190 (Fall and Spring), SOCI 6220 or 6410, SOCI 6620, SOCI 6630, SOCI 6600

Master’s Research (required by the Graduate School): SOCI 7300    3
6 electives  18
    Total: 37


The program of study may include no more than three credit hours in:

SOCI 8000: Special Topics in Sociology (this course number may only be used for a directed readings course in the student’s area of concentration)

The program of study may not include:

SOCI 7000: Master’s Research, Directed Study

GRSC 7770: Graduate Seminar for Teaching and Laboratory Assistants

Students seeking a master’s degree in sociology may include on their program of study no more than six hours of course work outside the Department. Courses taken outside the Department and included on the program of study must be part of a coherent program toward a master’s degree in sociology. Students may petition the Graduate Program Committee for approval to include on their M.A. program of study additional hours outside the Department. Regardless of course prefix, courses taught by faculty members in Sociology are not considered courses outside the Department.

Master’s Thesis

The MA Thesis is important to a student's training in two respects. First, it offers many students their first opportunity to experience the kinds of individual research and writing projects that are central to a successful academic career in Sociology. Second, it provides Graduate Faculty members in Sociology with an important criterion for assessing students' promise for admission to the Doctoral program. For students seeking Departmental assistantship support, timely completion of the thesis is also a consideration in funding for the third year.

The MA thesis is an independent research project carried out under the supervision of faculty members in the Department. It is intended to provide practical research experience in an area of substantive interest to the student. During Spring Semester of the first year, the student selects a major professor to assist in identifying a suitable research topic. By early Fall Semester of the second year, the student selects two additional members of the Committee, who are involved in shaping the research topic. The Major Professor and one other member of the Committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty. One of the other members may, with the agreement of the Advisor and Graduate Coordinator, be a University of Georgia faculty member from outside the department. The student's petition should include a brief explanation of the reasons for including an external committee member. In style and format, the MA thesis resembles a manuscript submitted to a professional journal. It is single-authored, prepared by the student in consultation with members of the Committee.

After the thesis has been approved, students are strongly encouraged to revise and publish their work and/or present research findings at meetings of the state, regional, or national professional associations. Depending on the amount of faculty input to the research, this may be submitted as a single-authored piece or as a co-authored piece with the Advisor or other faculty. Revisions of thesis completed in the Department have been published in such journals as the American Journal of Sociology, Sociological Quarterly, Social Forces, and Social Science Research.

The Graduate School requires that Master's candidates pass an oral examination, covering the program of study and the thesis. The Graduate School requires advance notification of the date of the exam. The oral examination is conducted by the student's Advisory Committee and chaired by the student's Major Professor. All members of the Advisory Committee must be physically present for the final examination. This is usually known as the Master’s thesis defense.  

Students with Previous Graduate Study

Students entering with prior graduate course work may include up to 6 hours of such course work towards the Master's degree at the University of Georgia, only if the courses involved have not been used to fulfill any other degree requirements. Students entering with graduate courses taken elsewhere may also petition to waive required courses. Students who wish to petition for a course waiver should assemble the necessary documentation, including a course syllabus that demonstrates comparable course content, and submit this material, along with a cover letter, to the Graduate Coordinator at least one week prior to the semester in which the course-to-be-waived is offered.

Students entering with a prior Master of Arts degree or prior graduate course work in sociology must take SOCI 6190.

For those prospective students already in possession of an MA/MS degree, the thesis may be submitted with the application material in December and direct acceptance to the Ph.D. program may be known before April 15. For those prospective students who are expecting to complete an MA/MS degree before enrolling at UGA but prior to applying to the department, the thesis may be submitted by August 1 and acceptance into the Ph.D. program will be known by September 30. Prospective students seeking to have their MA/MS approved will initially be admitted into the MA program. They will file for a change of degree objective if their MA/MS is approved at the department level.

If the committee does not accept the thesis, the applicant will still be admitted into the graduate program, but will be expected to complete the Master’s degree requirements. If the committee does accept the thesis, and thus allows the student to bypass a UGA Master’s degree, the student will still be required to take SOCI 6600 (Graduate Methods) and two semesters of SOCI 6190 (Proseminar).  The student must also make-up any course work deficiencies, such as the required statistic courses (SOCI 6620, 6630) and the required theory course (Soci 6410 or 6190) if such comparable courses were not taken at the student’s previous institution.  These required courses at the M.A. level may not be used by the student on his/her Ph.D. Program of Study.

Degree in Sociology

Students may petition the Academic Program Committee for approval to include on their M.A. Program of Study additional hours outside the Department. Please note, that regardless of course prefix, courses taught by faculty members in Sociology are not considered courses outside the Department.