Masters Program

Master of Arts Program in Sociology

Degree Requirements

Course Work (30 credits minimum)

  1. Sociology Courses (24 credits including required courses listed and thesis):
    • Soc 509 Research Methods (3)
    • Soc 510 Sociological Theories I (3)
    • Soc 511 Sociological Theories II (3)
    • Soc 522 Intermediate Statistics (3)
    • Soc 590A Orientation to Sociology (1)*
    • Soc 590B Orientation to Sociology (1)*
    • Soc 699 Masters Thesis (2-6)
  2. Supporting courses (0-6 credits): courses in fields other than sociology as approved.

*Credit for SOC 590A and 590B is optional; attendance is mandatory. Students receiving a 9-credit tuition scholarship, who opt for the one credit, will be responsible for payment of the 1-credit of tuition if the one credit results in their tuition exceeding the 9-credit tuition scholarship.

The required courses guide students toward expertise in the areas of methods and theory. In addition, students are expected to take courses which will help them develop their own area of specialization. All course work, including the thesis and transferred credits, must be completed within the six year period prior to the awarding of the degree.

Resident Study: Each student is required to complete at least 9 credits of study in one semester of a regular academic year, or with permission from the Graduate Director, one full-time summer session.

Ancillary Duties: A student may be required to satisfactorily perform ancillary teaching, research, or administrative duties that contribute to a student's academic development (whether or not the student receives financial support from the University).


Transfer Credit: Students may receive up to six transfer credits toward the 30 credits required for the MA degree. The procedure follows:

  1. A student petitions the Graduate Committee to approve transfer credit for one or more courses (up to six semester credits). The petition must clearly state the catalog title and catalog number of the course, the name of the institution at which the course was taken, and whether the student seeks credit for a specific course in the Albany curriculum or general elective credit.
  2. Supporting documentation should include the course syllabus, reading list, and other materials which would aid in the evaluation of the course.
  3. The Graduate Director, in consultation with appropriate faculty, determines whether the course(s) will be recommended for transfer credit.
  4. The student is notified of the Graduate Director’s decision, and the Director’s recommendation is forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  5. Credit for approved transferred courses appear on the student's permanent record (transcript).

Master's Thesis

  1. The student chooses the general topic and the chair of their thesis committee. The chair of the committee must be a member of the sociology faculty.
  2. The chair works with the student in selecting the specific topic and two committee members.
  3. The topic (or title) of the thesis and committee composition must be submitted to the Graduate Director.
  4. Upon approval, the student is notified by letter and is asked to complete The Graduate Studies Office Application for Approval of Subject of Thesis for the Master’s Degree form (see Appendix 1), which must be signed by the Graduate Director and forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.
  5. Before the form is forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies, copies are made for the student and the student file.
  6. Upon the approval of the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, the student registers for SOC 699. The student registers for the section for which the thesis chair is listed as instructor of record; the thesis chair provides the student with the required Permission Number. Information pertaining to the preparation of the typed thesis and other relevant procedures pertaining to the submittal of the thesis to Graduate Studies is sent to the student by the Office of Graduate Studies.
  7. A student may register for SOC 699 in more than one semester, but the total number of credits of all registrations may not exceed the number approved for the thesis.
  8. At the discretion of the thesis committee, an oral examination covering issues which bear directly on the thesis may be conducted. If an oral examination is required by the committee, it must be passed prior to the formal acceptance of the thesis.
  9. The student submits the final approved, typed copies of the thesis and supporting documents to Cathy Rose.
  10. A grade of I (‘Incomplete’) remains on the student's transcript until the thesis is accepted by the Dean of Graduate Studies, who then arranges for the grade of S (‘Satisfactory’) to be posted.
  11. The student must apply for the awarding of the degree at the Office of the Registrar (Campus Center, B-25) (see Appendix 8). The deadline date for application for the degree and the deadline date for completion of all requirements for the awarding of the degree in a given semester appear in the academic calendar for that semester. The academic calendar can be found in the Schedule of Classes, and on-line.