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15 hours of advanced level courses are required to achieve the certificate.

The following courses are offered annually:


Research Proposal Writing

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of the principal technical and theoretical skills necessary for the development of research projects in the social sciences. Furthermore, it investigates the primary assumptions of qualitative and quantitative research and stressing their scope and limits. Through an examination of the epistemological characteristics of major paradigms in the social sciences, the course illustrates various analytical techniques necessary for the preparation of research proposals. This activity includes techniques for the identification of research questions, the development of justifications, the integration of theories and methods, and the development of analytic designs. This is a course specifically designed for students who would like to be involved in research grant writing and in conducting research. Credit 3.

Program Evaluation and Impact Assessment

This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of social impact assessment and program evaluation. This course explores basic knolwdge, as well as technical skills, related to conducting a social impact assessment and program evaluation. Attention is also given to hands-on experience in the form of a group activity or an individual project covering a practical case study in the field. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Credit 3.

Research Methods

This course includes the advanced study of logic, principles, and procedures involving techniques of design, data collection and organization, analyses and interpretation for qualitative and quantitative sociological research. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor. Credit 3.

Applied Research Methods

This course studies specialized research methods including evaluation research and social needs assessment for sociology and related social sciences. These methods vary from the more common survey techniques by the nature of the unit of analysis (most often a case study), the types of data collection (interviews, focus groups, and existing data), and the analytical techniques used (more qualitative). Generally, these techniques are applied to the solution of community problems. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Credit 3.



Advanced study of the structure and processes of change as expressed in local problem-solving action. Attention is given to an understanding of the organization of local social life through which individuals are meaningfully related to the larger society. The specific objective is to emphasize the transition to nonterritorial communities and the attendant issues regarding the effectiveness of intermediate control and decision-making structures in meeting needs and providing services. This includes a concern for problems related to the emergence of structures (groups and institutions) cutting across town, city, metropolis, or state boundaries. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Credit 3.

Community Health

This course provides graduate students with the conceptual and substantive knowledge of the field of medical sociology. The course focuses on salient sociological issues in health and medicine, such as the social construction of health and illness, social inequalities in health and health care, medicalization, the health profession, the health care system, and bioethics. Special attention is paid to the roles of social, cultural, and institutional factors in understanding health and health care issues. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Credit 3.

Environment and Natural Resource

This course is designed to provide graduate students a thorough background in the major theoretical perspectives regarding environmental sociology. This background will enable students to view environmental issues from alternative positions and to formulate possible solutions to contemporary environmental problems. The course focuses on the social construction of the environment and on environmental problems and solutions. Credit 3.

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