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Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Department

MA - Sociology

Information about the program can be found at the department website: http://www.sjsu.edu/siss/academics/grad/index.html

Admissions Requirements

Candidates must meet all of the university admission requirements as established by the university catalog. The Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences sets criteria for admission into the Sociology Master of Arts Program that are higher than the base standards established by the university. The requirements of the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences are as follows:

  1. An earned baccalaureate at an accredited college or university with a grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale).
  2. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of B or better: sociological theory (SOCI 101 or equivalent), research methods (SOCI 104 or equivalent), and social science statistics (SOCI 15 or SOCI 102 or equivalent).
  3. An approximately 1,000 word statement of purpose discussing the applicant's purpose for pursuing an M.A. degree in Sociology, the applicant's areas of interest(s) and previous academic/professional experience, and the applicant's career goals.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members who can assess the applicant's potential for graduate level work in Sociology. In certain cases, one letter may be from an employer who can attest to the applicant's ability and potential for graduate work.
  5. A writing sample that consists of a 6-10 page paper (or portion of a paper) that highlights the applicant's writing ability and analytical skills.

Depending on whether or not they have completed the prerequisite requirements, applicants can be admitted in either classified or conditionally classified standing.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

Requirements for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy

After completing a minimum of 9 units of letter-graded instruction at the graduate level (with at least a "B" average), students may apply to candidacy. Additionally, admission to candidacy requires

  1. An approved program of study consisting of 30 units, developed in consultation with the graduate advisor and in conformity with university and departmental requirements.
  2. Completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). The university requires that all graduate students complete the GWAR as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape.

Further requirements of the department for advancement to candidacy include submission of a declaration of a plan of study to the department's Graduate Committee, detailing the student's intent to complete either a special study project (SOCI 298) or a thesis (SOCI 299). If the plan is deemed satisfactory, the student will be advanced to candidacy.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures of this catalog.

Department Graduation Requirements

Requirements for the M.A. in Sociology include 30 units of graduate level course work. All students are required to complete SOCI 200, SOCI 201, SOCI 204, and SOCI 205 with a grade of "B" or better. With approval of the department's graduate coordinator, up to 9 units of upper-division undergraduate course work in Sociology, graduate-level non-sociology course work, or a combination of the two, may count toward the total 30-unit requirement.

Plan A (Thesis): Students selecting the thesis option must demonstrate research and writing competency and show the ability to conduct independent research. Upon successful completion of the four required core courses and after receiving approval from the Graduate Committee for the declared program of study, the student selects a thesis committee consisting of at least three members, two of whom must be from the faculty in the Sociology Department. The chair of the committee must also be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the department. The student may enroll in up to 6 units of thesis/research hours (SOCI 299) with the professor designated as chair of the committee.

Plan B (Special Study): After the successful completion of the four required core courses and after receiving approval from the graduate committee for the declared program of study, the student enrolls in 3 units of SOCI 298 with the professor who is selected as the student's advisor.


Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see http://info.sjsu.edu/gcw.html.
This requirement is satisfied by passing SOCI 201.
Requirements of the Masters30
Core Courses12
SOCI 200. Sociological Practice3
SOCI 201. Graduate Sociological Theory3
SOCI 204. Quantitative Data Analysis3
SOCI 205. Seminar in Qualitative Research Methods3
Electives12-15
200-level Sociology electives and up to 6 units of approved. 100-level courses in Sociology or 200-level courses in another department
Culminating Experience3-6
Complete one option (Plan A Thesis or Plan B Project):
Plan A (Thesis)6
SOCI 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
Students will take SOCI 299 twice
Oral Thesis Defense
Plan B (Special Study Project)3
SOCI 298. Special Study1-4

Total Units:30

Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

In all plans, students may have only 12 units of C/NC courses.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.