Applied sociology is an academic area that applies social research and theory in real world settings such as planning, development, evaluation, and problem solving by organizations and agencies. 

The purpose of Southeastern’s Master of Science program in Applied Sociology is to:

  1. Teach students how to use the theories and research methods of sociology to solve real world problems.
  2. Train students to utilize the sociological perspective to research, analyze and develop strategies for the effective and efficient functioning of community institutions, organizations and groups of individuals.
  3. Prepare students to deal with contemporary issues of multiculturalism and globalization that condition the problems and solutions with which such professionals will deal.
  4. Prepare students to be able to work with diverse populations and develop a clear understanding of the extent, causes, consequences and potential solutions to the problems of inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
  5. Promote an understanding of the dynamic relationship between the human population and the natural environment.


Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Master of Science Degree Program in Applied Sociology must meet the following criteria:

  1. Meet all University admission requirements including submitting a completed application for admission and payment of the application fee.
  2. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in Sociology, Criminal Justice, or a related field.
  3. Satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses: sociological theory, social research methods and elementary social statistics. At the Graduate Faculty Committee’s discretion, students may be required to take some or all prerequisite courses before being allowed to enroll in the department’s 600 and 700 level classes.
  4. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (overall or last 60 hours) will be eligible for a waiver of the GRE from the department and allow for a regular admission status.
  5. Students with an overall GPA of 2.8-2.99 for their last 60 hours of course work will be eligible for a waiver from the department on a provisional status. Acceptance under provisional admission means that the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice will require that the admitted student earn a 3.0 GPA for their first nine hours, after which they will convert to a regular admission.
  6. Students with a GPA below 2.8 must earn an admissions index score of at least 450 points for a provisional admission and a score of at least 500 points for a regular admission. The index score is calculated using the student’s GPA (overall or last 60 hours, whichever is higher) multiplied by 100 plus the total GRE score (verbal and quantitative) multiplied by 0.85: [(GPA x 100) + (GRE x 0.85)].
  7. Students will be required as part of the application packet to submit a personal/autobiographical statement. This statement should provide background information on the applicant, such as educational and work background, their undergraduate studies and how they believe this has prepared them for graduate work. Additionally, this statement should include a discussion as to what drew them to the Master’s of Applied Sociology program and how they see this degree aiding them on their future education/career path.
  8. In additional to the above requirements, students will also be required to submit two (2) letters of recommendation. These letters of recommendation should speak to the student’s potential to succeed in a graduate program. At least one letter of recommendation should be from a current or former instructor who can directly speak to the applicant’s academic skills.


Review of Application and Supporting Materials by Graduate Faculty

Once a completed application has been received, it will be sent out for review (along with supporting documentation) to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice graduate faculty. A majority vote on the part of the graduate faculty will allow for admission to the graduate program.


Requirements for Registering for Class

To register for courses in the M.S. in Applied Sociology curriculum, students must:

  1. Obtain the Graduate Coordinator’s written authorization prior to registration each semester. Advising for all graduate courses is mandatory. Only after being advised by the Graduate Coordinator will students be allowed to register in the departmental office.
  2. Have an approved up-to-date degree plan on file with the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
  3. Be in ‘good-standing’ (maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all coursework with no more than two “C” grades [6 credit hours]).


Requirements for the Applied Sociology Degree

To receive the Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Sociology Degree, students must:

  1. Satisfactorily complete 36 semester hours of graduate course work as outlined below.
    1. No more than 6 hours of 500-level course work may be counted toward a degree.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all course work.
    1. No grade of “D” or “F” may be counted toward a degree. Any course to be counted toward a degree in which a “D” or “F” is earned must be repeated with a grade of at least “C.”
    2. No more than 6 hours of “C” grades may be counted toward a degree.
    3. No grade of “C” in program core courses (601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606) will count toward the M.S. in Applied Sociology degree. The student is required to retake any core class in which a grade of “C” was earned and earn a “B” grade or an “A” grade prior to being allowed to register for any section of 690, 760, and 770.
  3. Complete either an Internship or Thesis Option as discussed below.
  4. Be recommended for the degree by the Graduate Faculty Committee.
  5. Meet all requirements for the M.S. in Applied Sociology degree within 6 years of enrolling the M.S. in Applied Sociology program.


Readmission Procedures

Students who have not been enrolled in classes or Thesis/Internship hours for more than one year MUST must apply for readmission through the University and pay the application fee:

If required materials are still valid, (e.g., GRE scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) then it is at the discretion of the Graduate Coordinator to reaccept them either in full or in part. Returning students MUST be in good standing with the department to return. A student who is in good standing with the department is subject to a review of reapplication by the graduate committee for readmission and is subject to three possible outcomes:

  1. Full Readmission: Student will be allowed to reenter the program and continue coursework or thesis/internship work.
  2. Provisional Readmission: Student is readmitted to the program subject to the completion of specified requirements to be determined by the Graduate Coordinator and Major Professor if applicable. Provisional readmission will convert to full readmission so long as the student is making progress in the timeline established.
  3. Denial of Readmission: Upon review, the graduate committee decides that the student in question has not made significant effort to complete their program in a timely and efficient manner or the student has failed to perform in a manner expected of a graduate student.  


Applied Sociology Curriculum

SOC 601: Complex Organizations 3 hours
SOC 602: Social Stratification and Structured Inequality 3 hours
SOC 603: Applied Social Theory 3 hours
SOC 604: Applied Research Design and Methodology 3 hours
SOC 605: Advanced Statistics for Applied Sociology 3 hours
SOC 606: Evaluation and Assessment 3 hours 
Concentration Electives1 12 hours
SOC 760: Field Internship Research or 770 Thesis Research and Thesis 6 hours
Total 36 hours


SOC 603, SOC 604, and SOC 605 should be taken within students’ first 15 hours of graduate coursework.


Areas of Concentration

Criminal Justice

SOC 620: Applied Criminological Theory

SOC 630: Race, Gender, Class and the Criminal Justice System

SOC 635: Applied Mapping in the Social Sciences

SOC 645: Dimensions of Homicide


Globalization and Sustainability

SOC 625: Population Policy

SOC 655: Applied Environmental Sociology

SOC 660: Participatory Research and Popular Education

SOC 665: Globalization and Social Transformation


The following may be used in any concentration when appropriate and approved by the Graduate Coordinator in the Applied Sociology program2:

All SOC 500 level courses

SOC 607: Public Policy

SOC 650: Applied Study Abroad

SOC 690: Independent Study in Applied Sociology3

SOC 698: Special Topics in Applied Sociology

ANTH 698: Applied Topics in Anthropology

CJ 698: Special Topics in Criminal Justice

GEOG 698: Special Topics in Geography


1Electives must be selected from students’ area of concentration. If not, electives may be selected with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the student’s Major Professor.

2Other graduate courses in Sociology or a related field may be used with the permission of the Graduate Coordinator.

3To register for an independent study course, the student and the professor guiding the work must agree to the course requirements and submit a completed and signed “Independent Study Syllabus/Agreement” to the Graduate Coordinator. No student will be allowed to enroll in an Independent Study class with outstanding grades of “I” or “F” in other courses. Additionally, no student will be allowed to enroll in an Independent Study class with outstanding grade(s) of “C” in core classes (601,602, 603, 604, 605, 606).   


Internship Option

Taken after the completion of the required 30 hours of coursework, the internship involves application of sociological principles to work within an organization, agency, institution, or business setting, depending upon the student’s area of interest. An Agency Supervisor, student’s Major Professor and the Internship Committee supervise the work. Students may choose to register for 6 credit hours of SOC 760 for one semester or 3 credit hours of SOC 760 for two consecutive semesters. Students enrolled in this option will be required to meet with their Committee three times – once before the internship begins, a second time to defend a proposal and a third time to defend the final paper.

No student will be allowed to enroll in the Internship (SOC 760) with outstanding grade(s) of “I” or “F” in other courses. Additionally, no student will be allowed to enroll in the Internship with outstanding grade(s) of “C” in core classes (601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606). All students choosing the internship option must adhere to the Graduate School’s rule mandating continuous registration for all students researching or writing theses.


Thesis Option

Taken after the completion of the 30 hours of coursework and the successful completion of the “Thesis Proposal Defense,” the thesis is a major work of original and independent research on a topic of interest, undertaken by the student and supervised by the student’s Major Professor and Thesis Committee. All students choosing the thesis option must adhere to the Graduate School’s rule mandating continuous enrollment researching and writing theses.

No student will be allowed to enroll in Thesis (SOC 770) with outstanding grade(s) of “I” or “F” in other courses. Additionally, no student will be allowed to enroll in Thesis with outstanding grade(s) of “C” in core classes (601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606).