Shauna Morimoto
Department Chair
211 Old Main
479-575-3205
Email: smorimot@uark.edu

Casey Harris
Graduate Director
479-225-1963
Email: caseyh@uark.edu

Sociology and Criminal Justice Website

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

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: Community; crime, health and well-being; terrorism; social inequality, organization and change; social data analytics using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Areas of Concentration: General sociology and criminology.

M.A. in Sociology with General Sociology Concentration

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/CRIM 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 5001Proseminar1
SOCI 5253Classical Social Theory3
SOCI 5311LApplied Data Analysis Laboratory1
SOCI 5313Applied Data Analysis3
SOCI 5013Advanced Social Research3

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 Criminology 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 Criminology 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.

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 Theory3
SOCI 5083Applied Qualitative Research3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
Special Topics
Seminar in Social Inequality
The Community
Theories of Deviance
Total Hours12

M.A. in Sociology with Criminology Concentration

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/CRIM 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 5001Proseminar1
SOCI 5253Classical Social Theory3
SOCI 5311LApplied Data Analysis Laboratory1
SOCI 5313Applied Data Analysis3
SOCI 5013Advanced Social Research3

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 Criminology 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 Criminology 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.

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 Theory3
SOCI 5423Research in Criminology3
Restricted Electives
Select two of the following:6
SOCI 5433
Seminar in Terrorism and Homeland Security
SOCI 5453
Crime and Commuity
Total Hours12

Graduate Faculty

Adams, Douglas James, Ph.D., M.A. (University of Arizona), Associate Professor, 1995, 2002.
Allison, Kayla, Ph.D., (Indiana University-Bloomington), M.A. (University of Arkansas), B.A. (Indiana University-Bloomington), Assistant Professor, 2020.
Barnum, Anthony Justin, Ph.D. (Howard University), M.A. (University of Arkansas), B.A. (Hendrix College), Teaching Assistant Professor, 2016, 2018.
Bustamante, Juan Jose, Ph.D. (Michigan State University), M.S., B.A. (University of Texas Pan American), Associate Professor, 2012, 2018.
Drawve, Grant R., Ph.D. (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), M.A., B.A. (Southern Illinois University), Associate Professor, 2016, 2021.
Engen, Mindy Sue, Ph.D., M.A. (Pennsylvania State University), B.S. (Georgia State University), Professor, 2005, 2017.
Engen, Rodney L., Ph.D. (University of Washington), M.S., B.S. (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Associate Professor, 2009.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., Ph.D. (State University of New York at Albany), M.A. (University of South Carolina at Columbia), B.A. (Susquehanna University), University Professor, Bernice Jones Chair in Community, 2005, 2014.
Gruenewald, Jeffrey A., Ph.D. (Michigan State University), Associate Professor, 2019.
Harris, Casey Taggart, Ph.D., M.A. (Pennsylvania State University), B.S. (Texas A&M University), Associate Professor, 2011, 2017.
Hearne, Brittany Nicole, Ph.D., M.A., (Vanderbilt University), B.S. (Texas A&M), Assistant Professor, 2018.
Holyfield, Lori C., Ph.D. (University of Georgia), M.A., B.S.E. (University of Arkansas), Professor, 1995, 2012.
Jackson, Brandon, Ph.D. (Florida State University), B.A. (Southern Methodist University), Associate Professor, 2018.
Koski, Patricia, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Washington State University), Associate Professor, 1984, 1988.
Morimoto, Shauna, Ph.D., M.S. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), B.A. (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Professor, 2008, 2014.
Niño, Michael D., Ph.D. (University of North Texas), M.A., B.S. (West Texas A&M University), Assistant Professor, 2020.
Sabon, Lauren, Ph.D. (University of Tennessee-Knoxville), M.S/M.A. (Marshall University), B.S., B.A. (West Virginia University), Teaching Associate Professor, 2014, 2017.
Schwab, Bill, Ph.D., M.A. (The Ohio State University), M.A. (University of Akron), B.A. (Miami University), University Professor, 1976, 2011.
Shields, Christopher A., Ph.D., J.D., M.A., B.A. (University of Arkansas), Teaching Associate Professor, 2003, 2017.
Thomas, Shaun A., Ph.D., M.A. (Louisiana State University), B.A. (University of Akron), Associate Professor, 2015, 2017.
Worden, Steven K., Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin), M.A., B.A. (Portland State University), Associate Professor, 1986.
Yang, Song, Ph.D., M.S. (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), M.A. (Nankai University, China), B.A. (Branch College of Nankai, China), Professor, 2002, 2016.
Zajicek, Anna, Ph.D. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), M.S., B.S. (University of Silesia, Poland), Professor, 1994, 2006.

Courses

SOCI 5001. Proseminar. 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. (Typically offered: Fall)

SOCI 500V. Advanced Problems in Sociology. 1-3 Hour.

Individual research on problems or problem areas. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer)

SOCI 5013. Advanced Social Research. 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. (Typically offered: Fall)

SOCI 503V. Special Topics. 1-6 Hour.

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

SOCI 5083. Applied Qualitative Research. 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. (Typically offered: Fall)

SOCI 5113. Seminar in Social Inequality. 3 Hours.

Major theories of stratification; types of stratification systems, comparisons of modern and traditional systems; emergent trends. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SOCI 5133. The Community. 3 Hours.

A sociological analysis of the theory, methods and materials used in the study of the community. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SOCI 5233. Theories of Deviance. 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. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SOCI 5253. Classical Social Theory. 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. (Typically offered: Fall)

SOCI 5263. Contemporary Social Theory. 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. (Typically offered: Spring)

SOCI 5311L. Applied Data Analysis Laboratory. 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. (Typically offered: Spring)

SOCI 5313. Applied Data Analysis. 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. (Typically offered: Spring)

SOCI 5413. Seminar in Criminological Theory. 3 Hours.

An examination of the causation of crime, focusing primarily on sociological theories. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Spring)

SOCI 5423. Research in Criminology. 3 Hours.

Examination of empirical research in criminology, focusing on methodological problems, strategies, and findings. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

SOCI 5443. Seminar in Terrorism and Homeland Security. 3 Hours.

Examines the evolution of modern terrorism and homeland security, focusing primarily on the dynamics of American terrorist movements (ideologies, motives, and tactics). Social, political, and criminal justice responses to terrorism are also considered. (Typically offered: Spring)

SOCI 5473. Crime and Commuity. 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. (Typically offered: Irregular)

SOCI 5503. Research Internship. 3 Hours.

Supervised research experience. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer)

SOCI 5603. Environmental Sociology. 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. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both SOCI 4603 and SOCI 5603. (Typically offered: Spring)
This course is cross-listed with HDFS 5603.

SOCI 600V. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for degree credit.