Anna Zajicek
Department Chair
211 Old Main

Shauna Morimoto
Graduate Director
229 Old Main

Sociology and Criminal Justice website

Degree Conferred:
M.A. in Sociology (SOCI)

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: Community; criminology and criminal justice; terrorism; social inequality, organization and change; social data analytics using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Areas of Concentration: General sociology and criminology.

Application Requirements for the MA in Sociology Program: Applicants for graduate studies in sociology must be admitted to the Graduate School and must also submit the following: 1) at least two letters of recommendation from people who can judge the applicant’s academic potential as a graduate student; 2) a sample of written academic work (i.e., a research paper); 3) a one page statement in which the applicant discusses the educational objectives sought by entering our graduate program; 4) satisfactory GRE scores.

Prerequisites to Degree Program: Prior undergraduate work in social theory, research methods, statistics, and writing is considered necessary for successful performance at the graduate level. SOCI 3303 (or an approved equivalent), SOCI 3313 and SOCI 3423 (or an approved equivalent) are required to eliminate deficiencies. Additionally, students applying to the criminology concentration must show prior undergraduate work in introductory criminal justice or criminology. SOCI 3023/CMJS 3023 (or an approved equivalent) is required to eliminate deficiencies for students pursuing the criminology concentration. Undergraduate deficiencies must be removed by taking the appropriate undergraduate courses during the first twelve hours of graduate work or the first time the courses are offered.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree: (Minimum 32 hours.)

Core Requirements:
SOCI 5001Proseminar (Fa)1
SOCI 5253Classical Social Theory (Fa)3
SOCI 5311LApplied Data Analysis Laboratory (Sp)1
SOCI 5313Applied Data Analysis (Sp)3
SOCI 5013Advanced Social Research (Fa)3

M.A. in Sociology with a concentration in General Sociology: In addition to meeting all of the core requirements outlined above, students wishing to pursue a master’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in general sociology must complete the following courses: 

Required Courses
SOCI 5263Contemporary Social Theory (Sp)3
SOCI 5083Applied Qualitative Research (Fa)3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Special Topics (Irregular)
Public Policy, Children and Families (Irregular)
Seminar in Social Inequality (Irregular)
The Community (Irregular)
Sociological Perspective on Social Psychology (Irregular)
Theories of Deviance (Irregular)
Total Hours12

M.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology: In addition to meeting all of the core requirements outlined above, students wishing to pursue a master’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in criminology must complete the following courses:

Required Course
SOCI 5413Seminar in Criminological Theory (Sp)3
SOCI 5423Research in Criminology (Fa)3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Victimization (Irregular)
Seminar in Terrorism (Irregular)
Social Control (Irregular)
White Collar Crime (Irregular)
Crime and Commuity (Irregular)
Total Hours12

In addition to these common core courses, the courses required in a specific concentration, and the six hours of specialization-specific restricted electives, the student must take sufficient hours of electives to reach 32 semester hours total. The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice retains the right to make exceptions to the list of concentration-specific electives. Such exceptions must be approved by the Graduate Committee and authorized in writing by the Graduate Director. A maximum of three elective credit hours may be taken at the 4000 level without prior approval by the Graduate Committee. Students may apply three hours of independent study toward the degree provided that a research proposal is approved by the instructor prior to enrollment in the course. The student’s adviser must authorize courses outside of the department. Except for rare circumstances, no more than three hours of credit outside of the department will count for the degree.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice offers a thesis and non-thesis option. Completion of the program for all students is contingent upon passing a comprehensive examination covering major course work.

Thesis Option: Students must take 26 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit. All M.A. candidates in this option are required to develop and present a prospectus of the thesis to their thesis committee. They must also write and orally defend their thesis, including research methods, theory, and the area of thesis concentration.

Non-Thesis Option: Students must take 32 hours of course work. Students must select an area of study as listed in the departmental graduate handbook. Under this option, students must take a written comprehensive examination in theory, research methods, and the area of study.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.


SOCI 4063. Organizations in Society (Sp). 3 Hours.

Review of literature on work and organizations, with focus on race, class, gender inequalities, and interactions between society and organizations; discussion of topics related to white collar crime and deviant behavior inside modern corporations. Prerequisite: SOCI 2013.

SOCI 4183. Social Network Analysis (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduces the fundamentals of Social Network Analysis (SNA), and its applications for research in various social science fields. Prerequisite: SOCI 2013.

This course is cross-listed with PLSC 4613.

SOCI 4603. Environmental Sociology (Sp). 3 Hours.

The course provides a social perspective on environmental issues. It examines the linkage between society, ecological systems and the physical environment. It provides conceptual framework(s) for analyzing environmental issues, considers the role of humans in environmental issues, and enhances understanding the complexity of the relationship between societal organization and environmental change. Prerequisite: Junior or above standing.

This course is cross-listed with HDFS 4603, SUST 4603.

SOCI 5001. Proseminar (Fa). 1 Hour.

An informal forum for graduate students and faculty to present and discuss ongoing research interests as well as the current state of the discipline. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 500V. Advanced Problems in Sociology (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-3 Hour.

Individual research on problems or problem areas. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5013. Advanced Social Research (Fa). 3 Hours.

An examination of experimental and quasi-experimental designs used in the analysis of sociological data with focus upon appropriate units of analysis and design selection, sampling, interview techniques, and questionnaire construction. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor consent.

SOCI 503V. Special Topics (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.

Designed to cover specialized topics not usually presented in depth in regular courses. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

SOCI 5043. Public Policy, Children and Families (Irregular). 3 Hours.

The study of the impact of public policy on children and families, and the ways in which policies are created, modified, and changed. Includes the history of public policy concerning children and families. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5083. Applied Qualitative Research (Fa). 3 Hours.

An introduction to research strategies including intensive interviewing, participant observational fieldwork, content analysis, historical analysis, and comparative research. Emphasis on the practical aspects of designing and executive research involving multiple methods of data gathering and analysis. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5113. Seminar in Social Inequality (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Major theories of stratification; types of stratification systems, comparisons of modern and traditional systems; emergent trends. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5133. The Community (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A sociological analysis of the theory, methods and materials used in the study of the community. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5153. Sociological Perspective on Social Psychology (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Principles, concepts and methods used in analyzing effects of social structures and processes on the self and interaction. Topics include exchange theory, role analysis, symbolic interactionism, social construction of reality, socialization, interpersonal competence, organizational and leadership development, social dislocation, and stress. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5233. Theories of Deviance (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A survey of major theories-classical, developmental, ecological, functionalist, conflict, subcultural, control, and phenomenological-explaining morally condemned differences in society. Particular emphasis is on practical implications of each perspective for policy and social control. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5253. Classical Social Theory (Fa). 3 Hours.

A survey of social theory up to the late 20th century. An introduction to the classical sociological themes that continue to inform research, analysis, and policy formation. Major issues will include the relationship between the individual and the community, and the sources of stability, conflict, and change. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5263. Contemporary Social Theory (Sp). 3 Hours.

Analysis of contemporary social theories & major theoretical debates. Emphasis is on critical evaluation & application of theoretical perspectives to current social issues affecting families and communities. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5311L. Applied Data Analysis Laboratory (Sp). 1 Hour.

Provides instruction for data transformations required for the advanced statistical procedures used in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Also provides instruction in the use of advanced statistical procedures covered in SOCI 5313. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5313. Applied Data Analysis (Sp). 3 Hours.

Covers basic concepts and applications of the general linear model to a variety of sociological research issues and problems. Also provides an introduction to binary dependent and multivariate categorical data analysis for sociological research. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Familiarity with statistical computer programs is assumed.

SOCI 5413. Seminar in Criminological Theory (Sp). 3 Hours.

An examination of the causation of crime, focusing primarily on sociological theories. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5423. Research in Criminology (Fa). 3 Hours.

Examination of empirical research in criminology, focusing on methodological problems, strategies, and findings. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5433. Victimization (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Study of the causes, correlates, and consequences of victimization, focusing on theories of victimization and the role of victims in the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5443. Seminar in Terrorism (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Examination of the causes and consequences of terrorism. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5453. Social Control (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Study of sociological theories and research on formal social control, primarily institutional responses to criminal behavior. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5463. White Collar Crime (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Study of the nature of white collar, professional, and corporate crime. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5473. Crime and Commuity (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Examination of how neighborhood structural characteristics and social organization affect crime, as well as how the presence of crime and disorder in a community can affect neighborhood social organization. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 5503. Research Internship (Sp, Su, Fa). 3 Hours.

Supervised research experience. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

SOCI 600V. Master's Thesis (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. May be repeated for degree credit.

Douglas James Adams, Associate Professor
Anthony Justin Barnum, Instructor
Juan Jose Bustamante, Assistant Professor
Lauren Copley, Visiting Assistant Professor
Grant R. Drawve, Assistant Professor
Mindy Sue Engen, Professor
Rodney L. Engen, Associate Professor
Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, University Professor, Bernice Jones Chair in Community
Casey Taggart Harris, Associate Professor
Patricia S. Herzog, Assistant Professor
Lori C. Holyfield, Professor
Brandon Jackson, Assistant Professor
Patricia Koski, Associate Professor
Shauna Morimoto, Associate Professor
Bill Schwab, University Professor
Christopher A. Shields, Assistant Professor
Brent Lamar Smith, Distinguished Professor
Shaun A. Thomas, Associate Professor
Marcella Thompson, Instructor
Steven K. Worden, Associate Professor
Song Yang, Professor
Anna Zajicek, Professor