Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A.
This program is offered in Durham.
The Department of Sociology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology. The master's degree program emphasizes theory and methodology. Students in the doctoral program are expected to select one major area for intensive study and examination. There are five major substantive areas for possible specialization: crime and conflict, family, social stratification, health and illness, and community and environment. Students may pursue specialties within or across the major areas of specialization or propose to the graduate committee other major areas of specialization that fall within the faculty's competence.
In addition to meeting the general Graduate School requirements, applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All international applicants must take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.
Undergraduate majors in other fields may be admitted. However, if the student's undergraduate work has not included introductory courses in sociological theory, research methods, and statistics, these courses must be taken, or equivalent knowledge demonstrated, in addition to the requirements outlined above.
All students entering the program must complete the M.A. before admission to the Ph.D. program. The department welcomes applicants who plan to continue for the Ph.D. as well as students planning for the M.A. only.
Social Work (SOC)
SOC 815 - Criminological Theory
Introduces graduate students and advanced undergraduates to the major theoretical literature in crime and delinquency. Covers both classical and contemporary theory, with empirical assessments of theories, including macro- and micro-level control, strain, and learning theories as well as recent developments in biosocial, deterrence, labeling, and critical/feminist theories.
SOC 820 - Sociology of Drug Use
Examines licit and illicit drug use from a sociological perspective. Draws primarily from the sociology of mental health and criminology to explore a variety of drug-related topics including: historical and current U.S. drug trends, dominant theoretical approaches about the initiation into, and continued use of drugs, drug-related crime, therapeutic use of drugs, prevention and treatment of drug problems, and drug-related policies.
SOC 825 - Social Demography
Social demography examines the linkages between changes in the size, composition and distribution of the population and changes in social, environmental, economic and political factors. The course examines demographic methods and the materials and the analytical techniques used by demographers to analyze population redistribution, fertility, work, marriage, migration and mortality. The policy implications of demographic change will be examined with attention to the United States as well as the developed and developing world.
SOC 830 - Communities and the Environment
People and the natural environments in which they live fundamentally structure communities around the globe. Economic change, expanding development, and human migration are transforming social and environmental conditions in both rural and urban settings, altering the identities of many communities as well as their relationships with the natural world. The importance of these emerging social and environmental issues has made them a focus for social science inquiry. This course exposes students to a range of sociological concepts, theories, and research approaches related to the study of communities and environmental issues. Some of the substantive themes that are covered include: population dynamics and environmental change; social capital and social networks; political economy and community development; collective action and social movements; science, technology, and environmental risks; and environmental racism and justice. The principal assignment for the course will be a research project where students investigate a community or environmental issue of their own interest.
SOC 840 - Sociology of Mental Health
Introduces students to different sociological approaches for studying and understanding mental health and illness. Students examine the social distribution of mental illness in the United State and the social-structural factors that help to explain mental health variations. Also addresses issues surrounding mental health treatment, systems, and policies for the mentally ill.
SOC 845 - Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality
Sociological perspectives on race and ethnic relations for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Topics include the creation of racial and ethnic identities; the nature and extent of segregation; education, employment, and wealth inequalities; and the effects of state policy. Course emphasizes both theoretical and empirical assessments.
SOC 873 - Childhood and Social Policy
This course will expose students to a variety of sociological perspectives on childhood in American society. Focus will be on the analysis of how social institutions, like the modern American family, school, economic system, justice system and communications media affect children. Assumes a prior understanding of important sociological concepts, critical thinking skills and social science writing ability.
SOC #880 - Social Conflict
Analysis of the social conditions associated with the major forms of conflict management in human societies: discipline, rebellion, vengeance, negotiation, mediation, law, therapy, supernaturalism, and avoidance.
SOC #888 - Advanced Medical Sociology
This course is intended to provide an in-depth introduction to the major theoretical frameworks of medical sociology and empirical research examining social factors that influence individual’s health and illness. We will take a critical approach in our examination of: the distribution of health and illness (by socioeconomic status, sex/gender, and race/ethnicity); medicalization and social control; and the social construction of health and illness. Most of the learning in this course will take place through shared facilitation of class discussions based on the reading.
SOC #894 - Evaluation Research
This course is designed to cover major methodological and practical issues in the field of evaluation research, including the definition and meaning of evaluation; the purposes of evaluation; the design and conduct of evaluation studies; evidence-based policy writing; and the uses of evaluation results. This is an advanced undergraduate-level and graduate-level course. The prerequisite for the course is successful coursework in methods of research and statistical analysis.
SOC 897 - Special Topics
Occasional or experimental offerings. May be repeated for different topics.
SOC 899 - Master's Thesis
Students typically complete 6 credits, however, it can be taken up to 10 credits when permitted by the department by petition. Cr/F.
Repeat Rule: May be repeated for a maximum of 10 credits.
SOC 900 - Pro-seminar
An introduction to the discipline of sociology and to the graduate program. Topics include writing for professional audiences, publishing, applying for support, TA workshop, writing a thesis or dissertation. Meetings with faculty members throughout the semester. Cr/F.
SOC 901 - Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics
Application of statistical methods to the analysis of social data, with particular emphasis on multiple regression and related topics.
SOC 902 - Sociological Methods II: Research Design
Systematic investigation of each step in the design and implementation of sociological research. Selected techniques of data collection and analyses are pursued. Prereq: methods of social research; social statistics;/or their equivalents or permission.
SOC 903 - Sociological Methods III: Advanced Social Statistics
Multivariate statistical methods for the analysis of social data. Topics include problem-solving with multiple regression, categorical-variable models, dynamic models, and others.
SOC 904 - Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods
An introduction to qualitative and historical methods of data gathering and analysis in the social sciences. The seminar is intended as an intensive workshop training in such techniques as participant observation, in-depth interviewing, content analysis, and archival exploration. Students conduct qualitative and/or historical research and are responsible for designing an individual project, collecting and analyzing appropriate data, and writing a research paper.
SOC 905 - Research Practicum
This course is designed to help students improve and finalize a research paper for publication. Students will also critique and edit one another's work to develop peer-review skills. Through successive revisions, students are expected to finalize and submit their manuscripts to a scholarly journal at the end of the course. Since students' projects will be at different stages of needed revision, the course schedule and content will remain flexible to accommodate different students' needs. Prereq: SOC 901 and SOC 902; or permission from the instructor.
SOC 911 - Sociological Theory I
The content, presuppositions, and implications of the body of classical sociological theory, exemplifying the full range of sociological inquiry.
SOC #912 - Sociological Theory II
The content, presuppositions, and implications of contemporary sociological theory. Students engage in theory construction and analysis and in this endeavor are encouraged to develop their particular interests in substantive areas. Prereq: SOC 911.
SOC 921 - Crime and Conflict
Serves as the core course for the Crime and Conflict concentration. Theories and patterns of crime; the social origins of violent and nonviolent conflict; the role of social factors in the justice system; alternative forms of crime control and conflict management.
SOC 975 - Sociology of the Family
Major approaches in the sociological study of families. Individuals in families, family relationships, and families as groups and the interrelationships among these levels. Interactional and systemic properties of marriage, parent-child relations, and extended family relations.
SOC 980 - Social Stratification
Introduces students to the core of theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues in social stratification. Readings include classical and contemporary theories of stratification and work exploring the sources and consequences of stratification. Inequalities based on class, race, and gender examined.
SOC 990 - Teaching Sociology Seminar
Helps graduate students explore teaching techniques and improve their teaching skills. Topics include: setting course goals, designing lectures, evaluating student course work, leading discussion, and experimenting with innovative teaching techniques. (Also offered as GRAD 974.)
Equivalent(s): GRAD 974
SOC 995 - Reading and Research
A student prepared by training and experience to do the independent work under the guidance of an instructor may register. Prereq: 16 graduate hours of sociology and permission. Hours and credit to be arranged. May be repeated for different topics.
SOC #997 - Advanced Special Topics
Credits: 2 or 4
Occasional or experimental offerings.
SOC 999 - Doctoral Research
See https://cola.unh.edu/sociology/people for faculty.