Program Overview

Master of Science in Applied Sociology



The purpose of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice is to instruct students in the theory, methods and application of sociological principles to real world problems and to train students for careers in public and private agencies, community organizations, and further graduate studies.

The Master of Science degree is designed for students who have just completed their baccalaureate degree in the social sciences and for those currently working who would like to pursue a graduate degree to expand their professional opportunities. Organizations and agencies of all types are increasingly using social science research for program planning, development, evaluation and problem solving. The demand for accountability within agencies continues to increase nationwide. Public and nonprofit private agencies must now show that they provide needed services and that these services meet the demonstrated need. In recent years, governmental and private agencies have turned to social science research to provide the information needed to develop effective and efficient programs. Persons with Master of Science in Applied Sociology are trained to work as middle to high level administrators or researchers in public and private agencies. Agencies and entities, such as law enforcement agencies, the judicial system, city, parish, and state agencies, (such as mayor's offices, school boards, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Louisiana Department of Social Services Office of Community Services), health care facilities, Legal Services Corporation, law firms, and Youth Service Bureau, have expressed an interest in our graduates.
Graduates of the program will:

  • Possess an in-depth understanding of contemporary social theories, research methods and statistics, and the ability to integrate and apply them to solving real world problems.
  • Be competent in using both qualitative and quantitative social research techniques, including: program evaluation (program design and planning, program monitoring, outcome evaluation), needs assessment, social impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and social indicators development, used to measure social trends.
  • Review the scientific method, ethical issues in applied research, the principles of measurement, development of searchable questions, a survey of research designs most frequently used in applied social science research (including, survey research, experiments, in-depth interviews, focus-groups, and content analysis).
  • Have the knowledge and skills to work as administrators in a wide variety of settings, possessing familiarity with day-to-day operations, policy analysis, fund raising, and planning and grant writing.
  • Be able to use appropriate statistics and research methodologies for addressing specific problems.
  • Be able to interpret social science research and communicate research results to non-academic audiences, such as, clients, employers, funding agencies, citizens groups and the general public.
  • Be able to work with diverse populations.
  • Have an understanding of the extent, causes, consequences and potential solutions to problems of inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
  • Possess concentrated training in specific content areas (Criminal Justice, Globalization and Social Diversity, and Public Policy).

The total semester hours required for the degree are 36.