Our unique program prepares you for professional practice in human service agencies, teaching, applied research settings, as well as prepares you for further academic study in sociology and related fields.
We offer concentration areas in culture, community, and health AND environment, globalization, and sustainability. In addition to these two concentration areas, the Department will work with individual students to identify and develop their own concentration area.
With the support of dedicated faculty, you may design a program of study that meets your interests and helps you develop the knowledge and practical skill sets you need to realize your goals.
Our Master’s graduates are critically informed and civically engaged. They bring their advanced training in research, teaching, and social services into the workforce, enriching the communities in which they live and work.
See what current students and graduates have to say about our program on our student testimonials page.
Ready to begin your journey? Apply to our program.
Funding Opportunities Accordion Closed
The Sociology Department is typically funded to offer 7-10 students graduate assistantships (GAs) each year. Assistantships, which are primarily for new students both, are awarded on a twenty-hour or ten-hour basis.
Some assistantships for continuing students may be available. In-state and out-of-state tuition waivers are also available on a limited basis.
Tuition discounts are also available through the Western Regional Graduate Program.
Benefits Accordion Closed
An award of an assistantship includes a waiver of the out-of-state portion of tuition. You would still be responsible for paying the in-state tuition, but at a discounted rate. All graduate assistants also receive a yearly stipend, paid bi-weekly, to help fund their education.
We offer, on a competitive basis, the following funding opportunities:
20-hour Graduate Assistantship (includes a stipend, full tuition waiver, and health care insurance)
10-hour Graduate Assistantship (includes a stipend and 50% tuition waiver)
In-state and out-of-state tuition waivers
Hours Accordion Closed
In order to maximize the number of students we can support, the department typically awards more ten-hour assistantships than twenty- hour assistantships.
We try to match the interests of the assistants with those of faculty members. The work assigned to graduate assistants varies greatly; faculty may need a GA for:
- Research assistance
- In-class support with large classes
- Course grading
- Special projects
Renewal Accordion Closed
An assistantship contract is awarded for one year only. If funds are available, it is the department’s philosophy to recommend renewal of this contract for a second year. This recommendation for renewal presumes an assessment by the Committee on Graduate Studies that the student is making satisfactory progress in the program and has been responsible in carrying out assistantship duties in the first year. Initial decisions on the award of assistantships (both for first year awards and renewals) will normally be made at the time of admissions for the following academic year.
Requirements Accordion Closed
If you receive a graduate assistantship, you are required to:
- be enrolled for no less than 9 and no more than 12 credit hours per semester
- have no grades below “B” in coursework for your degree
- complete at least 9 hours of credit toward your degree requirements each semester
See the Graduate Assistant Policy Handbook for more details.
Assignments Accordion Closed
The Graduate Coordinator determines your assignment and will contact you regarding your assignment no later than the week before classes for each term. Be sure to contact the faculty member to whom you’ve been assigned immediately, so that you can begin the work. You will receive notification of who you are assigned to work with during the first week in August.
Variations Accordion Closed
You’ll notice that the expectations vary from professor to professor, depending on the demands upon the professor that semester. Keep a log if you think you are working more than your 10 or 20 hours per week.
From One Semester to the Next
Your graduate assistant assignment the next semester will likely be different—a different class, professor, or project. Over time, the quantity and quality of the workload evens out because of different assignments.
Flexibility Accordion Closed
Generally, the hours required vary from week to week, and month to month. For example, when assisting with teaching, after assignments come due there is a focused effort to grade, record, and return the assignments to students as soon as possible. You may also:
- attend the professor’s undergraduate classes
- hold office hours
- facilitate discussions
Experiences Accordion Closed
This depends on your background, the class, and the professor’s needs. Research assistance tends to vary as well, but more according to any deadlines that the project must meet. At the end of the semester, you should check into end of semester grading or other deadlines with your professor before you make your travel plans for the holidays.
Professors are generally responsive to necessary absences or to a due date for a graduate class, and will lighten up your load that week if they possibly can. Faculty members are also generally receptive to personal requests for experiences—such as opportunities to:
- hold office hours
- learn software relevant to teaching or research
Alternatives Accordion Closed
Graduate assistantships, typically in student services, are available outside of the department.
Like graduate assistantships through the Department of Sociology, these assistantships include a health insurance premium (for 20-hour assistantships), stipend, and tuition benefit.
However, most of these positions will require a separate application. Other graduate assistantship positions may be advertised through the Graduate College and/or on Jobs for Jacks, the university’s employment database.