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Welcome Letter


Congratulations on your acceptance into the MA program in Sociology at Sam Houston State University and welcome to the program. We are very excited about having you join our community of students and scholars.

This program offers a strong foundation in sociological theory, multivariate statistics, and research methods that will teach you fundamental social science skills useful in many professions. This is crucial if your goal is to transfer into a Ph.D. program in sociology. On the other hand, if your goal is to develop skills to make you more marketable in your current position or in other fields, the applied portion of our curriculum includes proposal development, social impact assessment, program evaluation and applied research methods. Combined with our wide-ranging electives on topics including the environment, disaster and risk, community, medical sociology, family, aging, gender, and race/ethnicity, you will gain a well-rounded knowledge base that works in multiple environments both within and outside academia.

The faculty consists of world renowned scholars who are committed to enriching your academic experience while at Sam Houston State University. Read about who we are on the main faculty and staff page.

The following information offers some suggestions to help you succeed. The core classes of our graduate program are (1) SOCI 5310 - Seminar in Sociological Theory; (2) SOCI 5312 Seminar in Sociological Research; and (3) SOCI 5414 Social Statistics. Ideally, these classes should be taken during your first year in the program as they form the foundation for the elective courses and for writing your professional paper.

These foundational courses assume a basic level of familiarity with sociology. Graduate level courses assume you have had the undergraduate equivalents which you may not have taken. Although we do not require that you take the undergraduate level equivalents before enrolling in the graduate level classes, it is strongly encouraged that you do especially if you have no familiarity with sociology or a sociological perspective. For example, our graduate level statistics class assumes you are familiar with undergraduate statistics which includes mean, median, mode, standard deviation, confidence intervals, t-tests, z-tests, analysis of variance, etc. If you are not familiar with this level of statistics, it is very difficult to successfully complete the graduate stats class.

If you have not already done so, please like the SHSU Sociology Graduate Program Facebook page. Relevant program material is posted here including upcoming conferences that you might be interested in attending; registration dates; and an assortment of other information that may be of use to you.

Registration for the upcoming semester is already underway. Our classes fill quickly – indeed, some have already closed. In order to register, you must email the Director of Graduate Studies (or Graduate Assistant) the classes in which you would like to enroll along with your Student ID number and the class CRN. We will unblock your registration hold as quickly as possible upon receiving this information from you. This is a process you will follow every semester for registration.

Again, welcome to the program. If I can help you in any way, feel free to either call or email me. Or if you are in the area, stop by and see us.

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Sociology
Sam Houston State University