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    Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne
  Feb 23, 2018
2013-2014 Graduate Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Sociological Practice (M.A.)

Return to Part 3 — Program Descriptions Return to: Part 3 — Program Descriptions

Indiana University
Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Augusto De Vananzi, Graduate Program Director
260-481-6669 ~ 260-481-0474 ~ ~ Liberal Arts Building 241

The M.A. in sociological practice at IPFW prepares you to be a skilled practitioner of sociology. As a discipline, sociology examines the structures and dynamics of human life in groups. The goal of the program is to have students apply the sociological perspective to research, analysis, and intervention in the function of social institutions, organizations, and groups.

Successful completion of the M.A. in sociological practice program will enable you to:

  • Acquire an advanced understanding of sociological practice including history, theory, professionalism, and ethics.
  • Develop skills in the design, implementation, and analysis of social research and in the interpretation of social science research data for a nonacademic audience.
  • Develop skills to design and implement flexible, creative, research-based Interventions to affect change in groups, organizations, and societies.


To be considered for regular admission, you must have a baccalaureate degree including a major in sociology or a related discipline with a GPA of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). GRE scores are optional. Your application for admission must include an essay that will demonstrate that your writing skills and career objectives are in line with the program. An interview is recommended.

If you have not completed an undergraduate degree in sociology, you may be admitted contingently if you have completed the following core undergraduate sociology courses or their approved equivalent with a grade of B or better in each course: sociological theory, sociological methods, and statistics. If you do not have one or all of these core undergraduate classes, you may be admitted with the contingency that you will need to complete these undergraduate courses or their approved equivalent before you are allowed to enroll in the parallel graduate courses.

Academic Regulations

In addition to fulfilling the academic regulations that apply to all Indiana University graduate students, you must earn a grade of B or better in each course applied toward the degree.

Financial Aid

To be considered a full-time student and qualify for financial aid, graduate students must be enrolled for at least 9 credits per semester. Sources of financial aid for graduate students include, but are not limited to, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and Federal Work Study. You may qualify for appointment as a teaching or research aide. Such appointments carry a stipend as well as partial remission of fees.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in sociological practice is a 33 credit program composed of the core and applied research elective components.

Core Component (18 credits)

The core component is designed to provide you, through a series of foundation seminars, with a general level of graduate training in the intellectual tools of sociology. Included are theory, methods, statistics, and professional development.

Elective Component (15 credits)

The elective component provides an opportunity to develop a curriculum emphasizing the applied research component of sociological practice. After successfully completing the core component (except for the practicum or thesis), you will meet with your mentor to design a program selecting electives in applied sociology or other approved graduate courses.

Practicum Option (6 credits)

The practicum option gives you hands-on professional practice experience. It is generally divided during a two-semester sequence. During the first semester, you will develop a practicum proposal intended to outline the expectations and anticipated outcomes of the practicum experience. The proposal must be approved by the practicum committee before you can register for the final semester of the sequence. While developing the proposal, carrying out the practicum, or writing the report, students may enroll for additional credits of SOC P698 as needed, but only 6 credits of the course will count toward meeting the degree requirements. The practicum will serve as a capstone experience in which you integrate and apply what has been learned in formal course work. The final report (40100 pages) must incorporate policy recommendations for resolving a problem or improving the functioning of the organization or situation in which you were involved.

Thesis Option (6 credits)

The thesis option prepares students for professional practice through a more traditional applied research project. The thesis should exhibit advanced theoretical and methodological knowledge, as well as demonstrate independent thinking and evaluation of the quality of a potentially publishable professional journal article.

Upon approval of the thesis committee, you will enroll in the first semester of SOC P699 and develop a thesis proposal. The proposal is intended to outline the problem addressed along with the theory and methods to be used. The proposal must be approved by the thesis committee before the student can register for the final semester of SOC P699. While developing the proposal or writing the thesis, students may enroll for additional credits of SOC P699 as needed, but only 6 credits of the course will count toward meeting the requirements.

Return to Part 3 — Program Descriptions Return to: Part 3 — Program Descriptions