University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Sociology M.A.

Master of Arts - Sociology


Core Courses9
Thesis or Applied Experience options21
Total Hours30

Degree Specific Credits: 30

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0


  • Graduate students must have previously taken or plan to take SOCI 455 or an equivalent.
  • At least half of all credits earned must be at the 500-level; however, with few exceptions, 300 and 400-level courses may also be applied to the graduate degree. All undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit require a "graduate increment" consisting of additional reading or writing.
  • Students in the graduate program can pursue either a thesis option or an applied sociological experience option:
    • Students interested in the thesis option must complete 30 credits. A minimum of three of these credits (and a maximum of six) will be SOCI 599: Thesis/Professional Paper. A thesis is an original, in-depth study of a social phenomenon, in which the student makes clear linkages between sociological theory, data collection and/or analysis, and research findings.
    • Students interested in the applied experience option must complete 30 credits, six of which must be in SOCI 590: Sociology Internship. Students who select this option will complete a year-long internship, and will engage in extensive written reflection about that experience under the supervision of a faculty member.
    • Students will formally express interest in one of these two options during the spring semester of their first year. Students interested in the thesis option will submit a brief proposal for their project. The SOCI faculty will review all thesis proposals, select a sub-set of proposals to support, and assign a faculty mentor to each selected project. Students interested in the applied sociological experience option will work with their faculty advisor to select several appropriate field sites for their applied experience, and will apply for internships at that site. During their second year, these students will work with the faculty member supervising the department’s internship course to develop, and complete an extensive written reflection about their applied experience.


Core Courses
The Master of Arts Degree in Sociology is based upon a mandatory core of three graduate SOCI courses (9 credits), which all students must complete.
Complete all of the following courses:
SOCI 561Qualitative Methods3
SOCI 562Quantitative Methods3
SOCI 520Contemporary Social Theory3
or SOCI 538 Seminar in Crime & Deviance
or SOCI 488 Writing for Sociology
Thesis or Applied Experience21
Complete the following course for the thesis option:
Thesis/Professional Paper (for a minimum of 3 credits and a maximum of 6)
Complete the following course for the applied experience option:
Sociology Internship (for a minimum of 3 credits and a maximum of 6)
Total Hours30

Minimum Required Grade: C