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campus photoSam Houston State University has a solid foundation in providing services to online students. The library has a full list of accessible databases for downloading journal articles, and library books are even loaned and mailed to you free of charge. You will have to open an Illiad account in order to get books and articles mailed to you that are not available online. Students have found this loan service to be incredibly accurate and reliable.

Of possible interest to graduate students residing in the greater Houston metropolitan area, all of the services of the main campus – library, bearkat card, financial aid, computer lab, etc. – are also available at The Woodlands campus.  A guide to all of the services available from the library at The Woodlands Center can be found here: 

A more complete summary of the services available to students at The Woodlands Center campus can be found here:


To see which textbooks are required for your class, you will have to visit the SHSU bookstore and click on the textbooks link. Sometimes required books are not listed and you'll find them on the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester. If the book prices are too high for you, renting through the bookstore is an option or you might want to see if you can find the books elsewhere on addall.com. You'll need the exact ISBN number so be careful when ordering books through another vendor.

Writing Center

Graduate school consists of a lot of writing. It is important that your skills are up to speed; in fact, many students often lose points due to poor writing style. The writing center at SHSU offers free help to online students including identifying grammatical errors and proofreading. They have a service offered via Skype as well.

It is also important to note that plagiarism is not tolerated when you write your papers. To learn more on how to avoid copying another author's work, visit the library link on plagiarism. If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism please contact the writing center.

Professional Memberships in Sociological Organizations

Membership and attendance at sociology conferences is an excellent way to learn about the range of research interests covered within the discipline. It is expected that graduate students will become members of at least one sociology association. The most common memberships among SHSU sociology faculty and resident graduate students include the International Sociological Association, the International Rural Sociology Association, the American Sociological Association, the Rural Sociological Society, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Southwestern Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological  Society to name a few. All of these organizations offer discounted rates for student membership.

We offer limited funding for students presenting paper at international, national or regional sociology conferences. In order to qualify, proof of paper acceptance on the program and conference attendance is required. Awarded funds are reimbursed to students after the event. Appropriate documentation and receipts must be submitted.  Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information.

Click here to view a comprehensive list of professional organizations in the field of Sociology. Becoming a member in one or more of these groups and attending their meetings is a great way to network and gain more socialization into the profession.

Tips for Success

Click on the following titles to read more about each topic:



  • Use your Degree Plan as a checklist for program requirements.
  • Be patient with yourself as you may not understand every new concept right away.
  • Participate in course discussions
  • Ask Questions
  • Take the core classes first (like theory and research methods).
  • Purchase the ASA Style Guide, or use reliable ASA format information (the Writing Center also has a link to ASA format).


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