Master of Arts in Sociology: Thesis

Thesis Track

Graduate students who select the Master of Arts Thesis Track are required to write a master’s thesis. The thesis is an original research work that demonstrates the candidate’s theoretical, methodological and substantive skills in the discipline. This track is designed especially for students who plan to continue graduate education or whose professional interests require enhanced analytical skills.

The Thesis Track requires 37 hours of graduate credit, 31 of which must be in Sociology and in courses numbered 5000 or above. Six credit hours of thesis related courses (SOCI 6098: Thesis Practicum and SOCI 6099: Thesis) in Sociology are also required and these courses cannot be taken in the same semester.

Thesis Track Process

  • Before enrolling in SOCI 6098, the student must complete at least 24 credit hours, including the three core required courses (SOCI 5310, SOCI 5312, and SOCI 5314) and one of the applied core elective courses (SOCI 5378, SOCI 5380, SOCI 5376, or SOCI 5313).
  • Thesis Approval: To select the thesis track option, students need to fulfill the criteria listed below and be approved by the Graduate Committee. Students who are not approved to conduct a thesis must complete their Masters of Arts degree in Sociology via the comprehensive exam track. Approval must be received before students can enroll in SOCI 6098 Thesis Practicum.
  • The thesis committee should be formed prior to taking SOCI 6098. The thesis committee is composed of at least three members: the thesis chair (academic advisor) and two sociology faculty members. External members can also be included in the committee as additional members.
  • Students will develop a thesis proposal during the SOCI 6098 Thesis Practicum course.
  • The thesis chair and committee members must approve the student's proposal by the last day of the SOCI 6098 class.
  • Upon approval of the thesis proposal, students may enroll in SOCI 6099 Thesis. Students must complete their thesis and pass the formal oral defense by the indicated deadlines in the Academic Calendar ( and the SHSU Thesis / Dissertation Timelines ( 
  • Students must submit the final thesis, following the University protocol, by the indicated deadlines in the Academic Calendar and the SHSU Thesis / Dissertation Timelines. The required thesis format can be found here (Forms and Publications -

For more information, please contact Dr. James Stykes, Director of Graduate Studies