|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
Advanced courses in research methods (SOC
490, Quantitative Research Methods and
491, Qualitative Research Methods) are required core courses as
well. SOC 490 is prerequisite to SOC 410, an advanced course
in statistics. All of these classes are prerequisites for the research
seminar (SOC 590). Students who
successfully complete our M.A. program will have a good grasp of the methodology
of sociological research. They will also be well prepared if they
elect to pursue further graduate or doctoral study. We also
have alumni who have worked as researchers for RAND, WESTED and
other research firms, as well as alumni who have held research
positions or had research responsibilities for school districts,
CALTRANS, and other agencies.
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.
teaching internship has been introduced into 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.
SOC 498 Advanced Cooperative Education
(CR/NC grading) can be used to complete an internship at a site
agreed to by the student and mentor or at a site listed through
Participation in Communities)
SOC 597 Graduate Research (CR/NC grading)
can be used for research assistantships, individual projects, or
other enrichment opportunities.
SOC 598 Directed Study (letter grade) can
be used by students involved in a research project under faculty
supervision. This course is often used to gain faculty
guidance when writing a thesis proposal draft.
SOC 594 Teaching Internship (CR/NC grading)
can be an especially valuable opportunity for those who
intend to pursue a PhD or teach in a community college setting.
This involves functioning as an unpaid teaching assistant
in an undergraduate course. SOC 593 Teaching Sociology at
the College Level (ABC/NC grading) is a classroom-based course
recommended as a companion opportunity. Recent alumni
taking this course are now in tenured and tenure-track positions
at community colleges or in lecturer positions at CSU campuses
or community colleges.
For any of these four experiences, interested
students and a faculty mentor work out the details together, after
which the faculty mentor signs a permit allowing the student to
enroll. Generally, research and teaching assistantships
are done solely for course credit or on a voluntary basis.
These experiences enhance a students resume both for job-seeking or
Ph.D. program admissions. Occasionally, a few paid research
assistantships become available as faculty members obtain grants.
Students who would like 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
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 WebCT 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
The department also maintains library reserve materials specific
to the thesis effort.
Instructions for accessing the department's WebCT site are below.
The Sociology Department maintains a WebCT Site for Comprehensive
Exam Study. TO USE the site, you do NOT NEED to be enrolled for the
comprehensive examinations (SOC 596); you only need to be an
enrolled student here. This means you can use the site to study and
communicate with others who are studying for comprehensive exams.
Examples of past exams, some study guides, and several suggested
reading lists are provided at the site. There are also chat rooms
that can be used for study group purposes, a bulletin board where
exam-relevant messages can be posted, and email addresses specific
to the site for easy communication among students preparing for the
Students who are taking comprehensive exams are encouraged to
review questions from exams given previously. The WebCT site
will have the most recent years of the exams for you to use as
practice. Plan to spend at least 3 quarters studying for the
WebCT Use Instructions
Here are the instructions for using the site. While using
WebCT, you need to dsiable any pop-up blocker you may have.
Go to WebCT Learning Entry Page:
/sites/default/files/academic/aa/ess/webct and click
Log in using your NIS account name and password.
You will self-register in the SOC 599 class for thesis
information and in the SOC 569 class for comprehensive exams