M.A. in Sociology
The graduate curriculum allows student individualization of plans through the selection of electives and opportunities for internships and student projects.
Students are accepted to CSULA as unclassified, and then must meet with the advisor to determine whether they meet with the additional departmental criteria to be accepted into the Sociology MA program. Students must meet with an advisor to determine whether they have met all prerequisites to become classified with an official program or need to complete prerequisites as a conditionally admitted student in our program.
Prerequisites must be completed before 500-level courses may be taken. Program requirements must be completed in the order specified. A program is considered "official" only after it is signed off by the student, advisor, department chair, and the graduate dean of the college.
Students should begin their programs with
SOC 497, Introduction to the
Discipline and the Profession. This is required as
prerequisite to the required core theory courses including:
SOC 512 and
514 (Seminars in the History of and Contemporary Sociological
As described above, the MA program includes 32 units of core requirements. Each program must be a minimum of 45 units (50% of which must be 500-level coursework). Initially, each program will include a minimum of 13 units of elective coursework as approved by the advisor, chair, and dean's office.
There is a formal teaching internship in the graduate curriculum. Students will be able to take a seminar on college teaching (SOC 593, Teaching Sociology at the College Level) as well as a teaching internship (SOC 594 - Teaching Sociology Internship) where they work closely with an instructor and gain supervised classroom experience. For more detail, see section below on graduate mentoring and enrichment opportunities.
To complete the program, students must either complete a thesis (SOC 599) or pass a comprehensive exam (SOC 596) in three areas: theory, research methods, and a substantive area of their choice (e.g., deviance, social organization, family, social psychology, criminology, family, sociology of knowledge, urban sociology, and the like).
All new MA students are initially enrolled in the comprehensive examination option. If they meet all criteria to move to the thesis option later in the program, they may elect to do so.
Faculty mentoring and opportunities for student participation combine with the course offerings to enable students to meet their expectations for graduate life. The Department offers MA students four types of credit-earning, mentored independent enrichment opportunities.
For any of these four experiences, students and a faculty mentor work out the details, after which the faculty mentor signs a permit allowing the student to enroll. Research and teaching assistantships are usually done for course credit or on a voluntary basis. These experiences enhance a students resume for job-seeking or Ph.D. program admissions. Occasionally, a few paid research assistantships are available as faculty members obtain grants.
For further information about the thesis requirement or about the comprehensive exams can click on the appropriate link below. Both of these documents are in pdf format and require Adobe Reader to view them. Free copies of Adobe Reader can be downloaded from the Adobe website.
Thesis Requirement - to come
Students should anticipate the thesis to require at least three quarters of concentrated effort AFTER they complete a reasonable proposal draft and obtaining an official thesis committee. They may not enroll in thesis units until both of these requirements have been met.
The Sociology Department maintains a Moodle site with thesis guidelines specific to the department. Any student enrolled in the sociology program has access to this site and should refer to it long before enrolling in thesis units. the site includes: (1) a thesis guideline more specific to sociology; (2) criteria and directions for changing from the comprehensive exam option to the thesis option; (3) a link to the IRB website for human subject research clearance (e.g., if thesis includes questionnaires, interviews, focus groups); (4) an outline of steps for the thesis process.
The department maintains library reserve materials for the thesis effort.
Instructions for accessing the department's Moodle site are below.
The Sociology Department maintains a Moodle Site for Comprehensive Exam Study, and you do NOT NEED to be enrolled for the comprehensive examinations (SOC 596) to use it; you only need to be enrolled at CSULA. You can use the site to study and communicate with others who are also studying for comprehensive exams. Examples of past exams, study guides, and several suggested reading lists are on the site as well as chat rooms for study groups, a bulletin board to post exam-relevant messages, and email addresses for easy communication among students preparing for the comprehensive exams.
Students taking comprehensive exams are encouraged to review questions from prior exams. The Moodle site will have the most recent years of the exams to use as practice. Plan to spend at least 3 quarters studying for the comprehensive exams.
For further information, please contact Dr. Cristina Bodinger-deUriarte (KH-A3051), Graduate Advisor.
For comments or suggestions about links or improvements, contact Dr. Gretchen Peterson, Webmaster.
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