A “Program of Courses” form must be completed, usually by the beginning of second year, specifying the courses to be used to satisfy degree requirements. The form (officially called “Courses for a Graduate Program Other than a Doctoral Program”) is available from the sociology department office or the Director of Graduate Studies. The program of courses is developed in consultation with, and must be approved by, the Director of Graduate Studies. Students’ degree progress is maintained by the graduate school in the MyNIU system.
Transfer of Credit
ith the approval of the department and the Dean of the Graduate School, a student may transfer a maximum of 15 semester hours of graduate courses taken from other accredited colleges and universities. Credits earned through correspondence at other institutions cannot be transferred.
The department considers sociological theory and sociological research methods as the core components of the M.A. program. All students must be knowledgeable in these areas. To satisfy the theory requirement, the student must take Classical Sociological Theory (SOCI 670) and/or Contemporary Sociological Theory (SOCI 671). To satisfy the methods requirement, the student must take Sociological Statistics (SOCI 675) and Advanced Research Methodology (SOCI 676), and Qualitative Research Methods (SOCI 677). It is highly desirable that the core courses be taken as early in the student’s graduate career as possible, for they provide the essential foundation for subsequent course work. They also form the content of the comprehensive exams.
Additional Course Work
In addition to the 15 hours in core courses, each candidate for the master’s degree must complete additional courses. Courses should be selected to focus on one or two fields represented by faculty specializations. The Graduate Director will help each student to design a cohesive plan of course work.
A student who acquires an intense interest in a specific topic may enroll in Independent Study in Sociology (SOCI 690) for one, two, or three semester hours of credit. The student will work under the close supervision of a faculty member whose expertise covers the area in which the student’s interest lies. Both the consent of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies must be obtained before registering for SOCI 690. No more than 6 hours of credit may be earned in this course.
Evidence of Mastery
In order to earn the master’s degree, students must evidence mastery in both the core and a chosen substantive area of sociology. Mastery is measured in different ways.