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MS Degree in Sociology

Due to budget cuts, SDSU has suspended the Master’s (PhD) program in Sociology for the time being.

Master's students receive advanced training in theory, methods, and the practical application of sociological knowledge. At South Dakota State University, master's students may enroll in thesis, applied, and non-thesis options. Students traveling down the thesis and non-thesis tracks take advanced courses in sociological theory and methods; only the details vary. Students opting for the applied option specialize in community development.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science   

  1. Option A- Thesis                                                                       30 Credit Hours
  2. Option B-Research/Design Paper                                            32 Credit Hours
  3. Option C-Coursework Only                                                       35 Credit Hours

Core Requirements

  • SOC 501- The Research Process                         Credits: 3
  • SOC 504- Sociological Inquiry                           Credits: 3
  • SOC 590- Seminar (COM)                                    Credits: 1-3(1 credit required) (Orientation)
  • SOC 707- Sociological Practice and Public Policy Credits: 3

Select one of the following options

      Option A-Thesis

  • SOC 798-Thesis (COM) Credits: 1-7 (5 credits required)
  • SOC Electives Credits:15

     Option B-Research/Design Paper

  • SOC 788-Master's Research Problems/Projects (COM) Credits: 1-3 (3 credits required)
  • SOC Electives Credits:19

      Option C-Coursework Only

  • SOC Electives Credits:25

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Required
TOEFL: Required score of 575 paper-based, 90 Internet-based
IELTS:  6.5

Each applicant is required to provide two signed letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the student’s academic record as part of the graduate school application process. In addition, we require that interested applicants submit a writing sample (past term paper for example) and a personal statement. The personal statement should outline the applicant’s academic goals and describe how those goals connect with SDSU faculty expertise and interests.

The thesis and non-thesis options are detailed in A Guidebook to Thesis and Non-Thesis Options of the Masters Program in Sociology. Information on graduate assistantships is also available. We also provide a study guide for master's students nearing the end of their program; this guide helps structure the studying for comprehensive exams. For more information about these graduate programs, please contact Meredith Redlin, the Graduate Program Coordinator.

The Applied Option in Community Development is detailed in a GPIDEA Student Guide. For more information about this program, please contact either Meredith Redlin, GPIDEA program advisor in the Department of Sociology & Rural Studies, or Aimee Maher, SDSU GPIDEA coordinator, in Continuing and Extended Education.