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Core Courses for M.A. degree:

SYA 6126 Contemporary Sociological Theory
Emphasizes logical and conceptual dimensions of theory and theory construction.

SYA 6305 Methods of Research
Logic and practice of research; problems of observation and data collection, data processing and evaluation.

SYA 6405 Sociological Statistics
Logic and application of parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses for Sociological data.


Core Courses for Ph.D. degree:

SYA 7939 Interdisciplinary Professional Seminar (PROSEM). Required as the first course for all students
An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of sustainable communities. Examination of relevant epistemologies, methodologies and theories that will inform studies. Taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty members from participating departments.

SYA 7019 Advanced Sociological Theory
Alternative approaches to exploring continuing and recent issues and controversies in Sociological theory.   Implications of different theoretical positions for the conduct and interpretation of empirical research.  The particular theoretical issues and controversies examined will be determined, in part, by student interests and linked to the development of their dissertation proposals.  Prerequisite:  SYA 6126 (Sociological Theory) or its equivalent. 

SYA 7515 Advanced Research Methods and Study Design in Sociology
A focus on developing practical skills to design and evaluate academic research in the social sciences.  Issues of reliability, validity, generalizability, fit between epistemological and methodological frameworks, significance and importance of questions and findings. Prerequisites:  SYA 6305 (Methods of Research) and SYA 6405 (Statistics) or their equivalents. 

SYA 7939 Capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar (Taken as a final course)
Exploration of how innovative multidisciplinary strategies can produce communities that are environmentally sound, economically prosperous and socially equitable. Issues will be addressed in a multidisciplinary environment of inquiry where communication across disciplines is promoted. Taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty members from participating departments.

SYA 7980 Dissertation Proposal Development I/II

Elective Courses for M.A./Ph.D (offered at a maximum once every four semesters)


SYA 6315 Qualitative Research Methods
Designed to introduce students to qualitative research methods, such as participant observation and intensive interviewing that require the researcher to get close to the social situation of interest. 

SYA 6316  Ethnography
Examines the theoretical and practical issues in ethnographic research and various styles of ethnography.  Provides hands-on training in ethnographic data collection and qualitative data analysis. 

SYA 6909 Independent Study

SYA 6912 Directed Research

SYA 6933 Special Topics in Sociology
Content varies.  Topics in recent semesters have included:  Social Psychology; Race and Immigration; Religion, Culture & Society; Narrative Identity; Women’s Status & Global Conflict; Sociology of Health and Illness

SYA 6971 Thesis: Master's

SYD 6605 City and Community
Provides training in the field of urban and community sociology.  Focuses on the field’s early theoretical foundations, “classic” research, and contemporary debates.  Concentrates on the U.S. although some cross-cultural comparisons will be offered.

SYD 6707 Race and Ethnicity
Introduces students to the historical development of race, the social construction of racial and ethnic identities, race-class-gender interrelationships, and various issues of immigration. Students will explore numerous theories-both cultural and structural-used to explain racial and ethnic inequality today.

SYG 6936 Seminar in Teaching Sociology
Provides a key link for future teaching sociologists, assisting them to make the switch from consumers to educators of the sociological perspective. Places equal emphasis on theoretical and practical issues surrounding teaching Sociology.

SYO 6255 Seminar in Sociology of Education
Application of sociological theory to the social institution of education. Primary attention directed toward the social organization of educational systems.

SYO 7435 Sociology of Disability in Urban Society
This course critically evaluates current controversies about the utility of a variety of theoretical perspectives and research methods in understanding the lived experience of disability in 21st century urban society.

SYP 6008 Social Problems, Identity & Community
An examination of social problems using social constructionism theoretical perspectives. Topics focus on how humans create meaning and how this meaning influences reactions to conditions defined as social problems.

SYP 6016 Emotions in Everyday Life
Explores the role of emotions in the everyday lives of individuals, within the micro-social contexts of identities, interactions, and social relationships.

SYP 6357 Comparative Social Movements
Provides an overview of the various theoretical perspectives used to explain the emergence, growth, strategies and success of social movements in contemporary America and in other countries.

SYP 6425 Sociology of Consumer Culture
This course critically examines the key theories and analyses of American consumerism with special attention to inequalities of race, class and gender.