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Pre-Ph.D./Master of Arts Program


All students entering the graduate program in sociology must take during their first year SOCI 6190: Proseminar in Sociology.  The Proseminar, which is organized by the Graduate Coordinator, socializes students into the discipline of Sociology.  Each week, faculty and advanced graduate students present on a different professional topic.  A wide range of topics are included, such as teaching, time management, choosing a thesis topic, and writing for publication.


Master of Arts Degree

Students seeking an M.A. degree must file a Designation of Major Professor form with the Department.  In addition, the Graduate School requires M.A. Degree candidates to file an Advisory Committee for Master of Arts Candidates (online) and a Master of Arts Program of Study.  Once the M.A. Advisory Committee has been appointed and approved, any requests for changes must be made in writing using the Request for Change in Advisory Committee form.  Committee changes require the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, in consultation with the Major Professor of record and, if necessary, with the Graduate Program Committee. All current and past committee members shall be notified of such changes.  A revised Advisory Committee for Master of Arts Candidates form must be completed and approved by the Graduate Coordinator as well.

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.  The candidate should submit a draft of the master’s thesis to each member of the committee who must have three weeks to read and evaluate it before a defense is scheduled.  All members of the Advisory Committee must be present for the entire examination.


The Master of Arts Program of Study

As noted above, 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.  Graduate course offerings will vary from year to year, and students are encouraged to communicate with the Degree Program Assistant and appropriate Specialty Area Committees about scheduling substantive courses in a timely fashion.  By developing a preliminary Program of Study, the student will help faculty in the specialty areas identify courses that need to be offered and give the department sufficient time to respond to these needs.

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, SOCI 6220/6410, SOCI 6620, SOCI 6630, SOCI 6600                                    16

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 M.A. 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' progress in the graduate program.  For students seeking Departmental assistantship support, timely completion of the thesis is also a consideration in funding.

The M.A. 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.  No later than spring semester of the first year, the student selects a thesis advisor to assist in identifying a suitable research topic.  By early fall semester of the second year, the student selects two additional members of the thesis committee, who are involved in shaping the research topic.  The thesis advisor and at least one other member of the committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty.  The candidate should submit a draft of the master’s thesis to each member of the committee and the committee members must have three weeks to read and evaluate the thesis before a defense is scheduled (Appendix B lists current members of the graduate faculty).  See the Graduate Bulletin for details regarding the composition of the thesis committee.


Students with Previous Graduate Study

Students entering with a recent (within the past five years) Master of Arts or Science (MA/MS) degree and a master's thesis from a U.S. Sociology Department or other related field may request direct entry into the doctoral program (and thus not complete a Master of Arts degree at UGA).  Applicants who seek to directly enter the doctoral program must submit the thesis to the department's Graduate Program Committee for review.  The Graduate Coordinator and two faculty members chosen by the program committee will review the submitted thesis to determine whether it meets departmental standards.

For those prospective students already in possession of an MA/MS degree, the thesis may be submitted with the application material by December 15 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 6220) 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.