MA in sociology degree requirements

The Department of Sociology offers the master of arts degree in sociology.

Core Courses

All graduate students working toward a MA in sociology must take a total of 34 credit hours, six hours of which are in thesis/research study hours:

Fall Spring
Year 1

SOC 604 Proseminar in Sociology-MA
SOC 609 Statistics I
SOC 628 Contemporary Theory
SOC 691 Social Problems in Louisville (during which the student becomes acquainted with the literature related to a potential research study/thesis topic)

SOC 610 Statistics II
SOC 618 Qualitative Research Methods
SOC 622 Survey Research and Design

*By semester’s end, the student secures their research study/thesis chair (if not already identified), methodologist, and third committee member (who must be on graduate faculty but can be from any UofL department).  With the chair’s assistance, the student seeks IRB approval, as needed, over the summer to be able to conduct/analyze their research with their methodologist in SOC 693 during the fall semester.

Year 2

SOC 611 Statistics III
SOC 690 Independent Study (during which the student writes – or continues to write – their research study/thesis under the supervision of their chair)
SOC 693 Research Study Administration (an independent study during which the student conducts/analyzes their thesis/reserach study research under the supervision of their methodologist)


SOC 695 Research Study (during which the student completes remaining work on the research study/thesis under the supervision of their chair/committee and then defends the study before the department by semester’s end)

In lieu of a thesis, students will complete a research study/thesis, a roughly 30-page article-length paper, providing them the experience of developing a manuscript.  The independent study during the first and third semesters are designed to acquaint the student with the literature relating to their research study/thesis topic and then provide an opportunity to write their research study/thesis under the direct supervision of their chair.

Students must earn a minimum grade of B+ in all courses (with the exception of two courses in which they may earn a B) to remain in the program.  A third course in which a grade of B or below is earned must be repeated and may be repeated only once.  Any student failing to earn a B+ or higher in the repeated course and/or needing to repeat a second course, as mandated by the guidelines above, will be dismissed from the program.  (Per the Graduate School’s policy, when a student repeats a course, their GPA will be calculated on the basis of the last grade earned, although the original grade will remain on the transcript.)