MA Program

Graduate School Bulletin: Sociology
Sociology Graduate Courses

The UWM Department of Sociology provides graduate instruction to students with a BA in sociology or closely related field, and to students who have already received a terminal MA in sociology at another institution. Our flexible program provides both terminal MA and PhD degrees. Students interested in applied research careers can receive the training they require from our terminal MA program. Students interested in teaching and researching at the university level will be well-prepared by our PhD program to do so.

The UWM Department of Sociology has a strong and very diverse faculty, able to provide mentoring to a diverse group of graduate students. Our graduate programs employ a cohort structure with an initial required course sequence that builds student solidarity and professional networks while instilling a solid foundation in sociological theory, research, and analytic skills.

The MA program was established in 1964 and has annually enrolled about 25 graduate students. The program’s graduates enjoy considerable career success. Some have pursued the PhD degree at major research universities, while others have found their skills marketable in a wide variety of other fields.

Courses and Credits

The MA degree has two primary components: coursework and a capstone project consisting of a MA thesis, paper, or examination. There is a degree required minimum of 30 graduate credits. Thirteen (13) credits are fulfilled by the following required courses:

  • Sociol 701 – Professional Seminar (1 cr)
  • Sociol 715 – Systematic Sociological Theory (3 cr)
  • Sociol 750 – Research Methods in Sociology (3 cr)
  • Sociol 760 – Advanced Statistical Methods in Sociology (3 cr)
  • Sociol 900-level sociology seminar course (3 cr)

The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, will select the remaining 17 elective credits. Up to five credits of SOCIOL 790, Master’s Level Thesis/Paper, may be taken as degree credits by students who elect the thesis/paper capstone option.

With permission of the student’s advisor, up to six graduate credits may be taken outside the department in courses related to the individual’s plan of study. No more than six credits of undergraduate/graduate courses (U/G), excluding those previously taken as an undergraduate, taken at the graduate level may be applied toward meeting degree requirements.

Capstone Project: Thesis, Paper or Examination

The student must write and defend an acceptable thesis, paper or examination in fulfillment of the requirements for the MA degree in Sociology.

Thesis or Master’s Paper Option

The thesis or master’s paper is intended to be a relatively limited research exercise, focused on a manageable topic. It does not necessarily have to involve original research. It may be completed through enrollment in SOCIOL 790. Acceptable thesis or master’s paper options include, but are not limited to, collection of data for hypothesis testing or exploratory research, secondary analysis of available data, theoretical critique, conceptual analysis and library research on a clearly defined problem. List of recent MA Papers/Theses

Examination Option

The Master of Arts examination option is based on a bibliography developed by the student in consultation with his/her committee. The bibliography will represent both classical statements and recent debates in at least one area of sociological specialization.

The examination itself will be a set of three questions developed by the MA committee, from which the student must choose two. The student will have two weeks to write a take-home examination. Within two weeks of the completion of the written examination, there will be an oral examination on the same material.

Suggested Graduate Course Sequence

This is an ideal sequence which assumes full-time study and the absence of academic deficiencies on the part of the student.

FIRST YEAR: Fall Semester

Courses

  • Sociol 701–Proseminar in Sociological Inquiry (1 credit hour)
  • Sociol 715–Systematic Sociological Theory (3 credit hours)
  • Sociol 750–Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • Elective (3 credit hours)

Action

  • Meet with Director of Graduate Studies prior to registering for semester courses and near the end of the semester.

FIRST YEAR: Spring Semester

Courses

  • Sociol 760–Advanced Statistical Methods in Sociology (3 credit hours)
  • Electives (6 credit hours)

Action

  • Meet with Interim Advisor/Director of Graduate Studies prior to registering for semester courses and near the end of the semester.
  • Select chair of MA Capstone committee by end of semester

SECOND YEAR: Fall Semester
Thesis or Paper Option

Courses

  • *Electives (3 credits)
  • 790 MA Thesis/Paper

Action

  • Select members of M.A. Committee
  • Complete proposal for thesis or MA paper and schedule proposal hearing; begin research and writing
  • Complete IRB protocol, if necessary

SECOND YEAR: Spring Semester
Thesis or Paper Option

Courses

  • 790 Thesis (2 credits)
  • *Electives (3 credits)

Action

  • Finish Research and Writing
  • Complete assessment of program
  • Oral defense of thesis or paper

SECOND YEAR: Fall Semester
Examination Option

Courses

  • *Electives (6 credit hours)

Action

  • Select members of MA Committee
  • Develop a bibliography in consultation with MA Committee

SECOND YEAR: Spring Semester
Examination Option

Courses

  • *Electives (6 credits)

Action

  • Write Examination
  • Complete assessment of program
  • Oral defense of examination

All enrolled MA students have access to a D2L site, Sociology MA Grad Students Site – UWM Sociology MA Program. Loaded on this site are sample MA Proposal and Papers from the last 10 years for your review. If you are unable to access this site, please contact the Sociology Department Office.

Graduate Grievance Procedures

Federal law and UWM policy require programs and departments to have procedures for graduate students to appeal academic decisions such as grades or scholastic standing. These procedures ensure the protection of students’ rights. These pages serve as a reference on procedures for graduate student academic appeals.