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M.A. in Sociology

Advanced training in sociology should enable students to think insightfully and critically about society and human relationships and to serve more effectively in a variety of professions. The department’s M.A. in Sociology prepares students for employment in human services, government agencies, corporations, higher education, and social research positions.

Recent graduates are working as directors of human services agencies, alcohol treatment supervisors, domestic violence program staff members, mental health professionals, researchers, data analysts, direct service practitioners, and educators. The M.A. in Sociology is designed to prepare students for such opportunities with two programs of study: the General Sociology Program and the Human Services Program.

Admission Criteria

In addition to School of Graduate Studies and Research admissions requirements, the applicants to the Sociology M.A. program should have completed at least 12 hours of undergraduate social science courses with an average of “B” or better. Students not meeting this requirement may be admitted if they agree to take additional undergraduate or graduate sociology courses designated by the department.

Program Requirements

Students select either a six-credit thesis option or a non-thesis option. Students selecting the thesis option must successfully complete a six-credit thesis (see requirements for the thesis listed under the catalog description for SOC 795). Including the six-credit thesis, the thesis option requires a total of 36 credit hours for those in both the General Sociology and the Human Services programs. The non-thesis option in both programs requires a total of 36 credit hours and successful completion of a comprehensive exam.

Additional courses are available from other departments on related topics such as counseling, individual assessment, women’s studies, criminology, cross-cultural studies, public policy and finance, community and urban planning, statistical analysis, and program evaluation. Up to nine credit hours may be taken outside the department. No more than one-third of a student’s total credit hours may be dual-level (500-level) courses. Students who enrolled for dual-level courses while undergraduates at IUP may not repeat the same courses for credit as graduate students.

General Sociology Program

The General Sociology Program is designed especially for those students preparing for research professions, doctoral studies, or teaching in the social sciences.

I. Required Core (9 cr.)

SOC 705 Research Seminar in Sociology 3 cr.
SOC 762 Analysis of Social Data 3 cr.
SOC 709 Contemporary Sociological Theory 3 cr.

II. Either

A. (Thesis Option)
SOC 795 Thesis 6 cr.
Approved electives (including at least 9 cr. in Area of Specialization) 21 cr.

or

B. (Non-Thesis Option)
Approved electives (including at least 9 cr. in Area of Specialization) 27 cr.
Comprehensive exam   0 cr.

III. Areas of Specialization (choose one) ¹

  1. Sociology of Deviance
  2. Sociology of the Family/Sociology of the Lifecourse
  3. Medical Sociology
  4. Sociology of Organizations
  5. Social Stratification
  6. Social Change

A specialization enables the student to select a combination of three to five courses (including courses from various other departments) focusing on a particular area of interest. Complementary courses are offered in Women’s Studies, Clinical Psychology, Counselor Education, Criminology, Public Administration, Adult and Community Education, Political Science, Library Relations, History, and other departments or programs.

Human Services Program

The Human Services Program is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of human service fields and to offer advanced training for those already employed in human service professions. The Human Services Program is designed for those interested in service delivery to special client groups like the aging, the abused, and the alcohol dependent, or for those interested in human service administration or evaluation.

I. Required Core (15 cr.)

SOC 710 Sociology of Human Services 3 cr.
SOC 711 Human Services Administration 3 cr.
or    
SOC 712 Methods for Human Service Practitioners 3 cr.
SOC 705 Research Seminar in Sociology 3 cr.
SOC 762 Analysis of Social Data 3 cr.
SOC 709 Contemporary Sociological Theory 3 cr.

II. Internship (6 cr.)

SOC 798 Internship 6 cr.

III. Areas of Specialization (Choose one) 1

  1. Administration and Evaluation of Human Services
  2. Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  3. Health and Medicine
  4. Children and Families
  5. Aging

A specialization enables the student to select a combination of three to five courses (including courses from various other departments) focusing on a particular area of interest. Complementary courses are offered in Women’s Studies, Clinical Psychology, Counselor Education, Criminology, Public Administration, Adult and Community Education, Political Science, History, and other departments or programs.

IV. Either

A. (Thesis Option)
SOC 795 Thesis 6 cr.
Approved electives in a chosen area of specialization   9 cr.

or

B. (Non-Thesis Option)
Approved electives including at least 9 cr. in a chosen area of specialization ² 15 cr.
Comprehensive exam   0 cr.

Both thesis and non-thesis options in the Human Services Program require a total of 36 credit hours.

¹ Students may also design their own specialization, with the approval of the graduate coordinator.

² No more than 9 of these 15 semester hours of approved electives may be from outside the department.

  • School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Stright Hall, Room 101
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1048
  • Phone: 724-357-2222
  • Fax: 724-357-4862
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Summer: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.