Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Master of Arts/Science in Sociology

The Master of Arts/ Science degree program in Sociology is designed to provide options for persons seeking competencies in Sociology, which can be readily applied to the work situation, as well as for persons wishing to follow an academic track, which offers rigorous training in research as preparation for teaching and/or the pursuit of doctoral studies.

For unconditional admission, applicants must have earned a minimum undergraduate academic average of 3.0 in the major area of study, and not less than 3.0 average, overall. Applicants must also have earned 3 credits in statistics, and 9 credits in sociology.

For conditional admission, in addition to earning a minimum cumulative undergraduate academic average of 2.5, preference is shown for applicants who have earned at least 3 credits in sociological theory, 3 credits in social research methods, 3 credits in statistics, and 6 other credits in sociology and a 2.5 G.PA. in the major area. Students admitted conditionally must successfully complete the core courses, excluding Thesis Seminar, within the first 18 hours of study.

General Requirements

  • Candidates for the M.A. degree must earn a minimum of 31- credit hours and submit an approved thesis.
  • Candidates for the M.S. degree must earn a minimum of 34-credit hours and pass a written comprehensive examination.
  • (Note the written comprehensive examination, cannot be taken until the following core course have been completed: SOCI 510, SOCI 511, SOCI 520, AND SOCI 521)

Program of Study
    Master of Arts
        A. Core Program
        (Required of all students)                                        CREDITS
        SOCI 500 Proseminar in Sociology                                       1
        SOCI 510 Statistics                                                            3
        SOCI 511 Classical Sociological Theory                                3
        SOCI 520 Techniques of Social Research                              3
        SOCI 521 Contemporary Sociological Theory                        3
        SOCI 799 Thesis Seminar                                                   3

        B. Electives in Sociology (15 Hours required)
Course work outside of the Department may only be taken with Departmental approval and must supplement and support the program so as to constitute a unified program of study.

    Master of Science

       A. Core Program
        (Required of all students)                                            CREDITS
        SOCI 500 Proseminar in Sociology                                          1
        SOCI 510 Statistics                                                               3
        SOCI 511 Classical Sociological Theory                                   3
        SOCI 520 Techniques of Social Research                                 3
        SOCI 521 Contemporary Sociological Theory                           3
        SOCI 570 Seminar in Applied Sociology                                  3

        B. Electives (18 hours required)
Course work outside of the Department may only be taken with Departmental approval and must supplement and support the program so as to constitute a unified program of study.

Course Offerings 

SOCI 500 Proseminar in Sociology- One Hour; 1 Credit This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the sociological mind, and the manner in which sociologists approach, analyze, and study social phenomena. Emphasis will be placed on the development of sociology as a discipline and the major concepts, theories, issues, research methodologies, and ethical problems associated with the discipline. A major feature of this course is that it will be team-taught, with different topics being taught by different members of the Faculty, thereby providing students with the opportunity to become acquainted with the research interests of Faculty members. Requirement for ALL graduate majors and should be taken during the first semester.

SOCI 510 Social Statistics- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course introduces students to multivariate parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques including multiple and partial correlation, multiple regression, factor analysis and path analysis, as they are applied to sociocultural phenomena. The major focus will be on the use of computer programs (including SPSS, SAS; JMP AND JMP IN) in performing these techniques.

SOCI 511 Classical Sociological Theory- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course aims to provide the student with a thorough analysis of the history of sociological theory and of the specific contribution of the early thinkers in sociology. Attention is paid to the various intellectual streams of thought and to other disciplines which have influenced the development of sociology.

SOCI 520 Techniques of Social Research- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course is designed to enhance the students' knowledge and understanding of the basic research techniques and procedures used in sociological research. It focuses on the formulation of research problems, research designs, questionnaire construction, proposal writing, data collection and data analysis.

SOCI 521 Contemporary Sociological Theory- Three Hours; 3 Credits The paradigms which guide current sociological thought are examined and compared. Problems with theory and application (praxis) are studied through the use of recent sociological research. Prerequisite: SOCI 511.

SOCI 530 Black Americans in Sociological Thought- Three Hours; 3 Credits The treatment of African Americans in the literature and theories of sociology are studied, as well as the contribution of African American sociologists to the development of the discipline.

SOCI 531 Sociology of Oppression- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course will deal with the issue of oppression not only in the United States, but also in the other parts of the world. As such, attention is focused on the social and historical foundations of oppression, the various forms oppression may take, and the consequences of oppression. Particular attention is paid to slavery, colonialism, and racism, as well as to oppression resulting from ethnicity, gender, class, and poverty, religion, political ideology, age, national origin, etc.

SOCI 540 Sociology of Education Three Hours; 3 Credits Education is presented as a social institution in terms of its functions and its structural bases. Attention is given to the internal processes and structure of educational institutions and to their interdependent relationship with other social institutions.

SOCI 543 Race, Education, and Social Inequality- Three Hours; 3 Credits Issues relevant to the education of ethnic minorities are studied. In addition, a variety of topics is considered including the values of ethnic groups toward education, their accessibility to the educational system, the extent of educational ethnocentrism, and the place of ethnic studies within policy control of the educational system.

SOCI 545 Identities and Interactions- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course involves a comparative analysis of the functioning of enculturation in the establishment and maintenance of group identities. It examines (1) how older generations induce younger generations to adopt group identities; (2) the limitation of enculturation as a means of assuming the maintenance of group identity; and (3) the psychological, cultural, and social relativity of group identity.

SOCI 550 Sociology of the Family- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course involves the study of the family as a social institution including its biological and cultural foundations, its historic development and its changing structure and functions. With respect to social change, crucial disorganizing and reorganizing factors are isolated.

SOCI 552 Family Systems Around the World- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course has two focuses; namely, the reasons which explain the necessity for all societies to have kinship systems and the tremendous variety they have assumed from place to place and over time; and, the nature of marriage, its place in the value system, its function as part of social control, and its adaptability to change. Attention is also given to divorce, sexual taboos, and nontraditional modes of mating, for example, within gender, with communes, and across ethnic boundaries. Included also is an examination of systems which are unilineal, double-unilineal, cognatic, and non-unilineal.

SOCI 553 The Black Family in America- Three Hours; 3 Credits The domestic organization of black Americans is studied, taking into account (1) their African heritage; (2) their history of enslavement and ongoing economic and political oppression; (3) their patterns of mating, marriage, and divorce; (4) their patterns of fertility and attitudes towards the young; and (5) their increasing integration into the mainstream of American society.

SOCI 554 Intimate Relationships - Three Hours; 3 Credits An understanding of contemporary courtship, and marriage and family interaction as social psychological phenomena is provided. Consideration is also given to the major sources of marital strains and conflict in the family.

SOCI 555 Alternatives to the Traditional Family Structure- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course examines living arrangements that substitute for, or supplement, those in the traditional family. A critique of traditional family structure is given. Among the alternative lifestyles considered are communal living, living together, bachelorhood (for both females and males), single parent families, homosexual unions, co-marital relationships and serial monogamy. Also considered are lifestyles influenced by a variety of religious and counterculture ideologies.

SOCI 560 Seminar in Urban Sociology- Three Hours; 3 Credits In this course, students are presented with a broad theoretical matrix in which to examine the process of urbanization in relationship to ecological organization, technological change, planning practice, and development policy.

SOCI 562 Collective Behavior- Three Hours; 3 Credits This course deals with the concept of collective action (sometimes referred to as collective behavior) and the various theories that are employed to explain this phenomenon, not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world, the social factors that account for the emergence of this form of group action, efforts that are made to contain it, and the consequences of such action. Particular attention is paid to such forms of collective action as slave rebellions, strikes, protest demonstrations, fads, riots, and especially anti-colonial movements and other categories of social movements.

SOCI 564 Race and Ethnic Relations - Three Hours; 3 Credits The sociological responses of ethnic groups to the special character and problems of contemporary urban life are examined and analyzed. Also included is the study of the effects of ethnicity on people's accessibility to, and service by, political structures, business and financial organizations, and public and private service agencies, and the type of coverage which they receive by mass media.

SOCI 565 Sociology of Migration - Three Hours; 3 credits This course deals with the various social factors that undergird both internal and external migration. As such, the course focuses on a number of theories of migration, structural factors that conduce to migration, and the social consequences of migration. Special attention is paid to the concept of migration, the effect of poverty and other economic factors, racial/ethnic discrimination, political persecution, etc., on migration; and the impact of conflicts with host populations, competition for scarce infrastructural resources, etc., that result from migration.

SOCI 566 Sociology of Baltimore - Three Hours; 3 Credits This course provides students with an opportunity to use theories and principles associated with urban sociology for the systematic and diachronic study of the Baltimore metropolitan area as an urban system. A particular focus of the course is the treatment of culture, social organization, and social problems within the research context of a case study. In addition students may undertake, within a supervised context, the analysis of demography, ecology, crime, criminal justice, education, transportation, work, racial and ethnic relations, housing, zoning, commerce, and neighborhood organization as they pertain to the Baltimore metropolitan area.

SOCI 570 Seminar in Applied Sociology - Three Hours; 3 Credits This course examines the present application of sociology to resolution of social problems and focuses also on the role of the applied sociologist in the non-academic work setting. This course is required for those students who choose the Master of Science option.

SOCI 600 Evaluation Research - Three Hours; 3 Credits This course provides students with an understanding of program evaluation as it encompasses systematic observations that are designed to determine whether a social program or practice achieves its goals. In particular, students will be exposed to that aspect of applied sociological research that focuses on program design and planning, program monitoring, outcome evaluation and economic efficiency, and the employing of science to gather valid and reliable data.

SOCI 797 Thesis Guidance - Two Hours; 2 Credits Thesis guidance provides students, who have not completed their thesis in the assigned semester, a mechanism for continuing their work under faculty supervision.

SOCI 799 Thesis Seminar in Sociology - Three Hours; 3 Credits

Contact Information
Angela Howell, Ph.D.
Interim Chairperson and Associate Professor, Sociology
Tel:  (443) 885-3518/3338