Sociology MA, Applied

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College : Sciences Degree :MA
Department : Sociology Option : Thesis, Nonthesis
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The Department of Sociology offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Applied Sociology. Beyond a curriculum appropriate for general applied sociology, the program includes a graduate track in Domestic Violence as well as instruction and opportunities pertaining to the study of deviant behavior and crime; social inequalities; and health, families and communities.


Degree-seeking students in the Applied Sociology program may choose either the thesis or a nonthesis course of study. Both options require 30 hours of course work, at least half of which must be at the 6000 level or above. The thesis option is designed primarily for students who plan to enter doctoral programs and is highly recommended for students interested in community college teaching. The nonthesis option is more appropriate for students entering or continuing professional careers following the MA degree.

Total Credit Hours Required:
30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

The Master of Arts degree is conferred when students have fulfilled the requirements of either the thesis or nonthesis option. Students must earn a grade of "B" (3.0) or better in the program’s core courses. Courses may be retaken to achieve a better grade; however, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their program of study.

By the end of their first nine hours of course work in the program, students should select a permanent faculty adviser and determine their preliminary program of study, either in the thesis or nonthesis track. Students should maintain close contact with their faculty adviser in order to develop a viable program of study and avoid graduation delays.

Required Courses—12 Credit Hours

Students receive an independent learning experience in the core by completing a research study in each of the 12 hours of required courses.

  • SYA 5625 Proseminar (3 credit hours): Should be taken as early as possible in the program.
  • SYA 6126 Social Theory (3 credit hours)
  • SYA 6305 Social Research (3 credit hours)
  • SYA 6455 Research Analysis (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

Students will select a minimum of 12 credit hours of unrestricted electives in consultation with their faculty adviser. No more than 3 hours may be taken in UCF graduate programs outside the department. The department’s graduate director must approve all courses taken outside the department prior to enrollment.

A listing and description of courses offered by the Department of Sociology is found in the "Courses" section of the Graduate Catalog Menu.

Under special circumstances, students may enroll in a graduate-level Directed Independent Study course or a Directed Independent Research course to fulfill their nonrestricted elective course requirements. These courses, like most graduate seminars, require written research reports. Enrollment in these courses requires written approval from the student’s adviser. No more than 6 hours of graduate-level courses in Directed Independent Study or Directed Independent Research may be included in a student’s program of study.

Nonthesis students may substitute up to 6 hours of their elective course work by completing a graduate practicum/internship (SYA 6946). The practicum must be approved by the student’s permanent adviser and the department’s graduate program director.

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

The thesis option requires a minimum of 6 hours of thesis credit and a successful defense of a thesis. Students may enroll in thesis hours after they have successfully completed the four required courses and their thesis committee has been approved by the department, college, and Graduate Studies.

The students’ permanent faculty adviser will chair their committee, which also will include two additional graduate sociology faculty members in the department. The additional members of the thesis committee are selected in consultation with the student’s permanent faculty adviser.

When a topic has been selected, students, in conjunction with their permanent adviser, will develop a thesis proposal. Copies of the proposal will be routed to members of their thesis committee and a proposal hearing scheduled. All students must pass a proposal hearing as well as a final oral defense of their thesis. Students who elect to write a thesis should become familiar with the university’s requirements and deadlines for organizing and submitting the thesis.

  • Thesis (6 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

The nonthesis option requires that students complete SYA 6657 Program Design and Evaluation and 3 additional hours of SYA 6918 Directed Research, SYA 6946 Internship or Practicum, SYA 6909 Research Report, or SYA 6908 Directed Independent Studies. Both the Program Design and Evaluation course (SYA 6657) and "directed research or internship" courses require community-oriented research projects to develop research skills in sociology.

  • SYA 6657 Program Design and Evaluation (3 credit hours)
  • SYA 6918 Directed Research, SYA 6946 Internship or Practicum, SYA 6909 Research Report, or SYA 6908 Directed Independent Studies (3 credit hours)

Applied Project

Nonthesis students must complete an applied project. The nature and implementation of each project will be determined by the student and their adviser. 

Before students may begin the applied project, they must earn a grade of "B" (3.0) or better in each of the core courses. Students will work directly with a faculty adviser to develop a project and the adviser will supervise the project. 

The grading system for the project is Pass/No Pass. Students who receive a grade of Pass will be allowed to graduate assuming all other requirements are met. 

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Applied Sociology MA program pay a $39 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $19.50 per semester.

Independent Learning

As with all graduate programs, independent learning is an important component in the Applied Sociology master’s program.Students will demonstrate independent learning through research seminars and the thesis (thesis students only).The nonthesis option requires the course, SYA 6657, Program Design and Evaluation, which requires a research study as the independent learning experience. Also, research studies are included in each of the 15 hours of required courses to provide independent learning.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE scores taken within the last five years.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least two from academic sources familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.
  • A personal statement of 250-500 words identifying areas of research interest, faculty with whom they would like to work, and describing the applicant's academic and professional experience and goals.

The applicant’s records will be reviewed on an individual basis for academic deficiencies and evaluated to assess their potential for success in the program. Supplemental course work may be recommended.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree. Note also that there is no automatic connection between acceptance as a non-degree-seeking student and acceptance into this degree-granting program. Consult the graduate program director whenever questions arise.

Application Deadlines

Sociology MA, Applied *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 1Jul 1Nov 1Apr 1
International Applicants Jan 1Jan 1Jul 1Nov 1
International Transfer Applicants Jan 1Mar 1Sep 1Dec 1
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.