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Master of Arts in Applied Sociology

Admission to this program is currently closed to new students.

This program's curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong theoretical and methodological foundation with specialization in one of the two thematic concentrations: Sociology of Health and Medicine; or Community Development and Social Change. Fieldwork placements provide direct and practical experience with local public and private agencies addressing community health and social justice issues.

The graduate coordinator serves as the general advisor for all entering graduate students. Upon admission, students will be assigned to a faculty member for advising and mentoring. Students can elect to keep this faculty member or, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, choose another faculty advisor. The faculty advisor is responsible for assisting students in writing a Plan of Study, which outlines how individual students will fulfill the requirements of the program. Faculty advisors will also assist the student in selecting her/his thesis committee (two additional faculty members). Graduate thesis committees must be formed after completing a minimum of 12 units and before a maximum of 21 units.

Students may view the general requirements of the University, the specific requirements of the department and information about the steps leading to the master's degree in sociology in this catalog.

Admission Procedures

Consideration for admission requires submission of a program application and university application. Submit all program application materials to the Department of Sociology in one complete package.


1. A Bachelor's degree with a major in Sociology, or related degree, and have earned a 3.0 GPA.

2. Completion of a minimum of one upper-division sociological theory course (equivalent to SOC 356 or SOC 357) and a research methods course (equivalent to SOC 355).

3. Students whose undergraduate work is deficient in sociology will be required to complete appropriate pre-requisite courses. Course deficiencies will be determined by the Department's Graduate Committee after taking into account each student's background and goals. Prerequisite courses will not count toward credit in the M.A.

4. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination.

5. Official transcripts.

6. Three letters of recommendation, including at least two from individuals well acquainted with the applicant's academic ability.

7. A 3-4 page personal statement describing the student's qualifications and reasons for wanting to pursue an Applied Sociology M.A. at CSULB.

8. Experience in community organizations is helpful, but not required.

Program Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) units of upper division and graduate level courses, of which twenty-four (24) must be at the 500/600 graduate level. A student's program is outlined in the Plan of Study that must be developed in consultation with a sociology faculty advisor within the first 12 units at CSULB.


1. Core Courses

Take the following courses:

  • SOC 656 Seminar in Sociological Theory (3)
    Prerequisites: SOC 356, SOC 357 or equivalent or consent of instructor.
  • SOC 670 Sociological Practice (3)
    Prerequisites: SOC 656 and SOC 696, or their equivalents or consent of instructor.
  • SOC 696 Methods in Applied Social Research (3)
    Prerequisites: SOC 170 and SOC 355 or their equivalents or consent of instructor.

2. Concentration Area Courses (3 courses, 9 units) in one concentration area:

Sociology of Health and Medicine:

  • Applicable courses include SOC 562; HCA 502; HSC 500, HSC 503, HSC 528, and HSC 625.

Community Development and Social Change:

  • Applicable courses include SOC 536, SOC 540; PPA 525, PPA 610, PPA 660 and PPA 670.

3. Applied Skill Cluster (2 courses, 6 units): Applicable courses include ANTH 560, HSC 500, HSC 503, PPA 670.

4. Internship (one course, 3 units): SOC 695.

5. Capstone Course (1 course, 3 units): SOC 698.

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Students must satisfy the general requirements of the University for advancement to candidacy;

2. In order to be recommended for advancement to candidacy, students must obtain the written approval of their master's degree program course work by their committee chair and graduate advisor;

3. Students must file a written statement in the department approved by the Faculty Advisor, indicating how the student plans to complete all remaining requirements for the degree. The statement will include the members of the thesis committee, and the date for completing the thesis or for taking the comprehensive examination.

Capstone Experience

All graduate students must complete one of the following options:

  • A. Comprehensive Examination in the areas of theory, applied research methods, and substantive issues in their concentration;
  • B. Thesis.

Students following the comprehensive examination option will earn 3 units of credit in SOC 697 and those writing a thesis will be granted 3 units of credit in SOC 698.

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