Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
    May 26, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology, M.A.

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The Master of Arts degree in Sociology prepares students for advanced graduate studies in the social sciences and for professional careers in a variety of settings including federal, state, and local government agencies; not-for-profit organizations, community service groups; market research firms; and social service organizations. Coursework incorporates classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives, analysis of cutting edge empirical research, and training in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Students can take coursework and specialize in the following areas: community development, social inequality, social psychology, health, housing, environment, comparative sociology, sociology of family, sociology of religion, and social movements.


To apply to the program, a student is ordinarily expected to have a degree in sociology or a related discipline. Applicants for graduate study in sociology must have:

  1. taken the GRE (the department will waive the GRE for students who have an overall GPA of 3.2 and a GPA of 3.5 in Sociology-see below for details)
  2. a 750-word intellectual autobiography that includes reasons for seeking the degree, and
  3. 3 letters of recommendation.

There is no required minimum GRE score, however, we do have a recommended minimum combined score of 291 (equivalent to 800 in the old scoring system). Students with scores below the recommended minimum will still be considered if they have strong letters of recommendation, a high GPA, and a compelling intellectual biography. Applicants who have taken 21 upper division hours in Sociology at the University of West Georgia, six of which must be from required courses, and who meet the GPA requirements listed above do not have to take the GRE to be considered for regular admission.

To apply or to learn more about the application process, students can consult the following website:

Program Requirements

The core courses for the Master’s program consist of nine hours in theory, research methodology, and statistics. To satisfy the theory requirement, students must take SOCI 6305  or another 6000-level theory course approved by the department’s director of graduate studies. To satisfy the research methodology requirement, students must take SOCI 6013  or SOCI 6613 . To satisfy the statistics requirement, students must take SOCI 6003  or another graduate level statistics course approved by the department’s director of graduate studies. Students who have not taken an undergraduate theory course in sociology must enroll in SOCI 5053  prior to enrolling in SOCI 6003  

Students accepted into the program may choose either Plan I (Thesis) or Plan II (Applied Track). Under Plans I and II students must complete 21 hours of elective course work beyond the core requirements. Under Plan I students must also take three hours of Thesis Preparation (SOCI 6882 ), and three hours of thesis work (SOCI 6999 ). A thesis is required under Plan I. Under Plan II students must register for 3 credit hours of additional research methods coursework and 3 credit hours of Internship (SOCI 6286 ). Courses that will satisfy the methods requirement include: SOCI 6660 , SOCI 6613 , and SOCI 6275 . Graduate research methods courses in other departments can be taken to fulfill this requirement with approval from the graduate advisor. Students opting for the Applied Track must constitute a three-member committee to approve and oversee the completion of a major initiative associated with their internship. Under either plan, students must complete a minimum of 36 hours, one-half of which must be at the 6000-level. A total of six hours may be selected from courses outside the Master’s program in Sociology.

Requirements Plan I Plan II
Core Courses 9 hours 9 hours
Elective Courses 21 hours 21 hours
Thesis Preparation 3 hours N/A
Thesis 3 hours N/A
Internship N/A 3 hours
Additional Research Methods N/A 3 hours
Total Hours 36 hours 36 hours
Final Project Thesis Internship Project

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply qualitative research methodologies.
  • Understand and apply quantitative research methodologies.
  • Understand and apply sociological theories.

Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis and Evaluation Methods

The Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis and Evaluation Methods (GCDAEM) focuses on the design of research studies, measurement of variables, data analysis, and formulation of models. Includes instruction in experimental, quasi-experimental, and case study methods; historical research; participant observation; questionnaire design; sampling theory; and statistical methods.

Learning Outcomes

Certificate students will demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of:

  • Develop data collection instruments and procedures appropriate for specific research projects
  • Show specific knowledge in at least one sphere of program evaluation
  • Be able to apply qualitative and quantitative research techniques


All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.

Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process .

International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students .

Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program of Study

The GCDAEM requires the completion of 15 semester hours of graduate credit.


Students enrolled in the data analysis and evaluation methods program may use certificate courses toward the completion of MA degrees in Sociology or Criminology. Since both departments regularly teach these courses, no additional courses are required to support the certificate program. Both majors allow six credits outside of the department to count toward the major and an additional three with DGS approval. Also, students seeking the certificate in conjunction with other MA degree programs in the college of Social Sciences must consult their graduate advisors to ensure that they are on track to meet degree requirements.

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