Sociology

Chair: Susan L. Brown
Graduate Coordinator: Stephen Demuth
222 Williams Hall
Phone: 419-372-2294
E-mail: socdept@bgsu.edu
Program Web Page: https://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/sociology/graduate-program.html

Degrees Offered
MA
Ph.D

Programs Offered
MA in Applied Demography
PhD in Sociology with specialization in Criminology, Demography, Family Studies, or Social Psychology

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
For admission to the MA program, applicants must have a satisfactory academic record and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants must have completed undergraduate courses in methodology, and statistics. In cases where applicants lack familiarity with sociology or another social science, they may be admitted on a conditional basis providing that the deficiencies are remedied during the course of study. A remedial plan will be developed by the Graduate Coordinator for the student's guidance.

Applicants to the PhD program should be strongly motivated individuals whose records indicate that they are capable of successfully completing a PhD degree. Applicants must have completed undergraduate courses in sociological theory, research methodology, and statistics. In cases where applicants are deficient in sociological background, they may be admitted on a conditional basis providing that the deficiencies are remedied during the course of study. A remedial plan will be developed by the Graduate Coordinator for the student's guidance. Applicants with only a bachelor’s degree will complete an MA thesis and obtain a master’s degree along the way. Applicants who already have completed a master's degree in sociology or a related field are also encouraged to apply for admission to the doctoral program. The completion of an MA thesis is a requirement of the doctoral program.

Admission Procedure
Applicants seeking admission to the graduate programs in sociology should follow the instructions outlined in the Graduate Admission section of this Graduate Catalog. All application materials should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. In addition, applicants should review the admissions requirements specific to the program to which they seek admission. Additional requirements for the MA and PhD programs in sociology include: scores on the Graduate Record Examination, a sample of academic writing (e.g., a class paper, thesis, or thesis proposal), and three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from professors familiar with the applicant's academic work. The department also requires that applicants include a five-hundred word essay describing the research interests they hope to pursue in graduate school, their professional goals and aspirations, and why they believe that the BGSU Sociology Department's graduate program will help them pursue these interests and achieve these goals. This essay is particularly important since it helps the Graduate Committee decide if the department can meet the applicant's career goals.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts
Candidates for the MA in Applied Demography must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit and write a formal thesis. The thesis may be a replication of a previous study, a secondary analysis of data from another study, the product of original research based on primary data, or a piece of library research. Students must pass a final oral examination on the thesis.

Students are required to complete 12 credits in core methods and statistics courses, 12 credits in demography courses, and a minimum of 3 thesis credits. For a description of the curriculum and a list of approved courses, please see: http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/sociology/graduate-program/ma.html.

Doctor of Philosophy
Candidates for the PhD in Sociology are required to complete 90 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the bachelor's degree or 60 hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree, if the candidate already has obtained the MA. Students with only a bachelor’s degree must complete a master’s thesis and will obtain an MA degree along the way. Credit hour requirements, however, are secondary in importance to breadth and depth of knowledge as evidenced by performance on the departmental major area preliminary examination and demonstrated research competence. The dissertation, a mature piece of scholarship embodying the results of original research, is central to the student's plan of study. Students who enter with an MA are expected to develop a dissertation proposal early in their program. Students who enter with a bachelor’s degree will begin to develop a dissertation proposal soon after completing the requirements of the MA. Students are given considerable flexibility in developing their programs of study within the program’s four areas of specialization which include criminology, demography, family studies, and social psychology. All students are expected to achieve a level of basic competence in theory, research methods, and statistics.

Students are required to complete 21 credits in core theory, methods, statistical, and pedagogy courses, 15 credits in a major area of specialization, 12 credits in a minor area of specialization, and a minimum of 16 dissertation research credits. For a description of the curriculum and a list of approved courses, please see: http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/sociology/graduate-program/phd.html.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online by clicking the “Browsing Course Catalog” button at http://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/courses-and-classes/class-course-information.html. Graduate courses offered by the Department of Sociology use the prefix: SOC.