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The Degree Plan

Click here for the Degree Plan PDF

Effective Fall 2014, students may select one of two degree tracks:

  1. Comprehensive Exam track
  2. Thesis track

Effective Fall 2014, students deficient in Undergraduate Research Methods and/or Statistics must fulfill these requirements before enrolling in graduate program.

Students pursuing a masters degree in Sociology (regardless of track option) must take the following core courses: SOCI 5310, 5312, and 5414.


Only graduate level courses satisfy the degree requirements. While you may register for undergraduate courses, these classes will not count towards completion of this degree plan.

Core Classes

The core classes are offered every semester including summer (Social Statistics and Pro Paper Practicum excepted). While we do not mandate a specific matriculation sequence, we recommend that you complete the core classes early in the degree plan as they are foundational classes for the discipline. Likewise, if you enter our program without a sociology background, it may be in your interest to take the undergraduate equivalents of the graduate core to familiarize yourself with the sociological perspective, sociological research methods and statistical analyses of data. If you opt to register for undergraduate courses, please be aware that these courses do not count towards completion of the degree plan.

The three required core classes are listed below. Click on each one to show or hide the course description:

SOCI 5310. Seminar in Sociological Theory (Every Semester)
SOCI 5312. Seminar in Sociological Research (Every Semester - Except Summer)
SOCI 5314. Social Statistics (Every Semester - Except Summer)

Applied Core

The Applied Core courses concentrate on commonly used skills within and outside of sociology. You are required to complete one applied core class as part of your degree plan. Applied Core classes are offered once a year either in the Fall or Spring semester. Once the applied core requirement is met, applied core classes serve as regular sociology electives. Click on each one to show or hide the course description:

SOCI 5378. Techniques of Research Proposal Writing in the Social Sciences (Odd year Fall)
SOCI 5376. Applied Research Methods (Even year Spring)
SOCI 5380. Social Impact Assessment and Program Evaluation (Even year Fall)
SOCI 5313. Qualitative Research Methods (Odd year Spring)


The degree plan requires seven electives (21 hours). Most of these electives are offered every other year; however, the department offers one or two electives during the summer. You do not have to take all of your electives in one concentration area.

Click on each one to show or hide the course description:

Environment & Social Change and Development

SOCI 5324. Seminar in Social Change and Development (Odd Year Spring)
SOCI 5351. Seminar in Environmental Sociology (Odd Year Fall)
SOCI 5320. Sociology of Community (Even Year Spring)
SOCI 5338. Sociology of Disaster (Even year Fall)


SOCI 5355. Seminar in Social Inequality (Even Year Fall)
SOCI 5337. Gender and Society (Even Year Spring)
SOCI 5353. Seminar in Race and Ethnic Studies (Odd Year Fall)
SOCI 5386. Sociology of Aging  (Odd Year Spring)

Culture & Institutions

SOCI 5333. Sociology of Religion (Even Year Fall)
SOCI 5331. Sociology of the Family (Odd Year Spring)
SOCI 5322. Seminar in Medical Sociology (Even Year Spring)

Applied Sociology

SOCI 5378. Techniques of Research Proposal Writing in the Social Sciences (Odd year Fall)
SOCI 5380. Social Impact Assessment and Program Evaluation (Even year Fall)
SOCI 5376. Applied Research Methods (Even year Spring)
SOCI 5313. Qualitative Research Methods (Odd year Spring)

Additional Sociology Electives

SOCI 6360. Seminar in Sociology - Special Topics Course


Professional Paper Overview

The Professional Paper Practicum is a seminar to help you polish your professional paper. It is required and is generally taken the semester you anticipate graduating. If an August graduation is anticipated, you must enroll in the Professional Paper Practicum during the Spring semester. This means an acceptable draft must be submitted and approved during the previous Fall semester. Click the course title below to show or hide the course description. Click here for more in depth information about this requirement. (back to top)

SOCI 6098. Professional Paper Practicum (Every Fall & Spring)


Transfer Courses & Credit Requirements

You may take 3 graduate classes outside of the Sociology department and they may count towards the 7 required electives. Students have taken MA level classes in Psychology, Criminal Justice, History, and Geography to name a few. It is up to you which courses you may take outside of this department. However, keep in mind that these other programs give preference to their graduate students. You will need to obtain approval from their graduate advisor or chair before enrolling in these classes which might entail waiting until a few days before the semester begins before learning whether or not you may register for the class.

Our program allows two graduate level classes completed outside of SHSU to transfer into your degree plan (earned grade of B or better). The Director of Graduate Studies must evaluate and approve these transfer classes. A course syllabus is required; we must also have your official Masters transcripts on file.

You may print a copy of the degree plan. You can also view or print a mock degree plan that provides an example of how to set up your timeline of classes according to when they are offered. You can also view the course rotation schedule from the main SHSU website.

If you are receiving any kind of financial aid through the university, you will need a minimum of 6 credits every semester. You are required to maintain continuous enrollment until you graduate. The Sociology MA program restricts enrollment to a maximum of 9 credit hours per semester. Check out the SHSU Graduate Studies FAQ page to read about other important information including GPA requirements. You can also read about the SHSU Graduate Studies graduation procedures to learn about deadlines and fees.

For more information, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

If you notice any discrepancies between the information on this page and other SHSU Graduate Sociology course descriptions or class offerings located elsewhere, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for clarification. This program is expanding and growing, and information will be updated periodically.