Degree Options

Graduate Degree Options in Sociology

General Sociology

The graduate course of study in General Sociology allows students to extend their undergraduate course work in Sociology. The graduate program is designed to provide extended training in theory and methods, and the application of theories and methods to social issues, problems, and policies. While the curriculum allows students considerable freedom to pursue their own sociological interests, it is necessary that the student's interests draw upon the interests of a particular departmental faculty member (please refer to the listing of faculty research interests). Students are encouraged to develop a plan of study with their advisor.

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Criminology is a field of study which examines the making of law, the nature and extent of crime and criminality, and efforts to control crime. This option builds upon the required course work in Sociology, and allows students to pursue the extended study of crime and the criminal justice system. The Criminology option (CRIM) prepares students for careers in criminal justice research or administration, as well as further graduate work at the doctorate level. In addition to the core courses listed above, students in the Criminology option must take two additional classes:

  • SOCI 538 Seminar in Crime and Deviance: Criminological Theory
  • one additional section of SOCI 538 Seminar in Criminology & Deviance


Inequality and Social Justice

The Inequality and Social Justice option (ISJ) investigates the mechanisms that produce and ameliorate disparities across ascribed groups. This option calls on students and faculty to examine the causes and consequences of inequalities based on class, gender, race/ethnicity, disabilities, age, and sexual orientation.  Attention is given to local, national, and global sites of inequality, including work and labor markets, financial institutions, education, health, religion, and families.  In addition to the graduate core, students in the Inequality and Social Justice option must take two additional classes:

  • Seminar in Inequality and Social Justice (545)
  • Three credits in any 500 level course approved by ISJ committee (need not be in Sociology)

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Rural and Environmental Change

Rural regions are facing rapid social, economic, demographic, and environmental change. The Rural and Environmental Change option (REaCH) develops analytical and practical skills for understanding rural and environmental change globally and in the American West, and its policy implications for such areas as: rural health, welfare and work, community development and assessment, indigenous peoples, and natural resource management. This option will prepare students for employment in either a government, private, or non-profit agency concerned with the above topics, or for pursuing a doctorate in this area at another university. In addition to the graduate core, students in the Rural and Environmental Change option must take two additional classes:

  • Seminar in Rural and Environmental Change (571)
  • The graduate increment for two additional classes from the following list:  Rural Sociology (346), The Community (350), Population and Society (355), Gender and Global Development (371), Sociology of Poverty (443), or Environmental Sociology (470). *Note: the preceding courses must be taken with a graduate increment.

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