Department of Sociology

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Main Office
Chilton Hall, 390
P.O. Box 311157
Denton, TX 76203-1157
(940) 565-2296
Web site: www.unt.edu/soci

David A. Williamson, Chair

Graduate Faculty: Creedy, Dash, Esterchild, Eve, Lawson, Moore, Rodeheaver, Seward, Williamson, Yancey, Yeatts, Yoder, Zafirovski.

The department offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees:

Areas of focus include (but are not limited to) social inequality, medical sociology, sociology of the family, and sociology of religion.

In a cooperative agreement with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, students also may earn a dual degree in public health with a specialty in health services research.

Research

Research in sociology at UNT ranges from studies of individuals within the broader society, such as the study of social inequality and fatherhood, to the study of whole organizations and social institutions such as the study of religion and organizational performance. Faculty routinely obtain research grants from funding sources such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Commonwealth Fund. Faculty routinely hire graduate students as research assistants.

Degree Programs

Master of Arts, Master of Science

Admission Requirements

1. The applicant must apply for and be granted admission to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies through the office of the graduate dean and also must apply separately to and be accepted by the sociology program (see departmental web page for details).

2. An acceptable score on the aptitude (verbal and quantitative) section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants.

This score must be filed before final approval of an application can be given.

3. For unconditional admission to the master’s program, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 18 hours of sociology; have a grade point average of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of courses for the bachelor’s degree and a GPA of 3.0 on all sociology courses; and have acceptable scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. See the department’s web page or contact the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for information concerning acceptable admission test scores.

4. The applicant who does not meet some of these requirements may be considered for conditional admission provided substantial alternative evidence of ability to do graduate work is submitted to the program’s graduate admissions committee. For conditional admission, the applicant must have a grade point average of 2.8 on the last 60 hours of courses for the bachelor’s degree (or a GPA of 2.8 on all undergraduate work); a GPA of 2.8 on all sociology courses; and acceptable scores on the verbal and quantitative sections on the GRE. See the department’s web page or contact the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for information concerning acceptable admission test scores. Additional course work may be required when the applicant has fewer than the 18 hours of sociology (or their equivalent) required for unconditional admission. The committee may also request additional evidence of the applicant’s ability to do graduate work.

5. The graduate admissions committee of the program is responsible for recommending acceptance or rejection of applicants to graduate programs in sociology. Applicants are expected to submit all pertinent materials well in advance of the anticipated date of entering the School of Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Master’s Degrees

1. All master’s candidates in sociology are required to take SOCI 5200, Seminar on Research Methods and Design; SOCI 5150, Contemporary Sociological Theory; and SOCI 5210, Introduction to Social Statistics; or their equivalents.

2. Students must establish an advisory committee and prepare a degree plan approved by the committee. The candidate’s committee is composed of three faculty members with at least two from sociology, one of whom serves as the major professor, and one faculty member from the minor department, which can be sociology. The major and minor professors are appointed before the student prepares the degree plan, and the third member is added at the time of the comprehensive examination. The degree plan and major and minor professors must be approved by the dean of the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the student, department chair and graduate adviser.

Thesis Option

1. Of the required minimum of 30 graduate hours for the master’s degree, 24 hours must be graduate sociology courses, including a 6-hour thesis.

2. A minor of 6 graduate hours in a related field must be approved by the chair of the sociology department and the student’s major professor.

3. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must present evidence of a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. (This is not a requirement for candidates for the Master of Science degree.)

4. Successful completion of a thesis and satisfactory performance on the comprehensive examination complete the requirements for the master’s degree. The comprehensive exam is principally the candidate’s oral defense of his or her thesis but may include related questions on theories, research methods and social statistics used in the discipline. Candidates are eligible to complete the exam after they have established an advisory/thesis committee, had their degree plan approved and completed 21 semester hours of graduate credit toward the degree. The examining board consists of the candidate’s three-member advisory/thesis committee.

Non-Thesis Option

1. Of the required minimum of 36 hours for the master’s degree, 30 hours must be graduate work in sociology.

2. A minor usually consists of 6 graduate hours, but up to 12 graduate hours may be taken in courses outside of sociology with consent of the department chair and the student’s major professor.

3. A total of 6 graduate hours may be earned in SOCI 5940, Internship.

4. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must present evidence of a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. (This is not a requirement for candidates for the Master of Science degree.)

5. Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive examination completes the requirements for the master’s degree. The comprehensive exam, as determined by the candidate’s advisory committee, is usually oral but may be written or both. The oral exams normally last one and one-half hours and the written exam length varies by format. If the candidate answers the questions without access to books, journals or other written material, the exam usually lasts four hours. If a take home exam, the student is usually allowed two weeks to complete the exam. The exams are principally over, but not limited to, completed course work with an emphasis upon theories, research methods and social statistics used in the discipline. Candidates are eligible to complete the exam(s) after they have established an advisory committee, had a degree plan approved and completed 27 semester hours of graduate credit toward the degree. The examining board consists of the candidate’s three-member advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy

The objective of the sociology program is to produce intellectually well-rounded graduates capable of (1) functioning effectively in either an academic milieu or a sociological practice setting, (2) analyzing human social groups and relationships between groups and (3) evaluating the influence of social factors on social situations. All doctoral students are required to study core social theory and social research and may concentrate in a variety of substantive areas including (but not limited to) social inequality, medical sociology, sociology of the family and sociology of religion. UNT houses separate academic departments in applied gerontology and criminal justice, providing doctoral students with the opportunity to concentrate in these additional areas of study. The sociology PhD program participates in a federated program with Texas Woman’s University and Texas A&M University – Commerce. Doctoral students are able to take sociology courses at these institutions and apply them to their PhD degree. This further broadens the student’s exposure to sociology faculty and substantive areas of study.

Admission Requirements

Students initially must apply to and meet the general admission requirements of the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies at UNT. Applications of students who satisfy the graduate school’s admission standards are forwarded for review to UNT’s sociology department. The department is responsible for recommending acceptance into the federation doctoral program through UNT. The following requirements must be met for admission.

1. For unconditional admission to the PhD program in sociology, the applicant must have a master’s degree; have completed a minimum of 18 hours of sociology, at least 3 graduate semester hours in social research methods, 3 graduate semester hours in social statistics and 3 graduate semester hours of social theory; have at least a 3.5 (B+) GPA for master’s courses; and have acceptable scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). See the department’s web page (www.unt.edu/soci) or contact the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for information concerning acceptable admission test scores.

2. For possible conditional admission, requiring an appeal to the graduate school, the applicant must have a master’s degree, at least a 3.0 (B) GPA for all master’s credit, acceptable scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (see the department’s web page or contact the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for information concerning acceptable admission test scores), and substantial alternative evidence of potential success in graduate studies. Additional course work is typically required when the applicant has fewer than the required number of hours and courses needed for unconditional admission. The sociology department may request additional evidence of the applicant’s ability to do graduate work.

3. Outstanding undergraduates without the master’s degree who meet all possible unconditional requirements may be considered for conditional admission into the doctoral program.

The dean of the graduate school will notify the applicant of admission to graduate studies and admission to the sociology program. Prior to enrolling for the first term/semester of doctoral work, the student should consult with the department’s graduate adviser to schedule courses for that term/semester.

Degree Requirements

1. The minimum program for the PhD in sociology consists of 90 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, plus up to 9 hours of a tool subject; or 60 hours beyond the master’s degree, plus up to 9 hours of a tool subject. All students are required to complete:

a. a minimum of 12 semester hours in research methods and statistics, including at least two 6000-level courses;

b. a minimum of 12 semester hours in sociological theory, including at least two 6000-level courses;

c. a minimum of 12 semester hours with a concentration in the student’s major area of study, including at least two 6000-level courses;

d. a minimum of an additional 12 semester hours in either another sociology concentration area or a related minor field;

e. a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation;

f. a tool requirement which may require 9 hours in tool subjects (e.g., a language, use of SPSS, or courses such as teaching sociology, grant writing, publishing, etc.).

2. Students may earn limited credit in cooperative education or in an internship as part of their PhD course work.

3. Students must complete a research tool requirement. The student must complete 9 graduate semester hours of course work (the tool courses must be recommended by the student’s committee and approved by the chair of the department) or demonstrate language proficiency in French, German or Spanish. Substitution of another language may be approved by the graduate dean upon recommendation of the student’s advisory committee. The advisory committee may require proficiency in a language when the dissertation research demands it.

4. A student must carry a full load of 9 hours for any two consecutive terms/semesters to fulfill the residency requirement.

5. The student must establish an advisory committee and prepare a degree plan approved by this committee. The advisory committee is composed of four members. At least three, including the major professor or chair, must be from the full-time sociology faculty. One of these may be from the TWU faculty. The fourth faculty member serves as the minor professor, who must represent a second concentration within sociology or a minor outside the program (if a minor is declared). This committee is appointed by the dean of the graduate school upon recommendation of the student, department chair and graduate adviser. In conjunction with approval of the degree plan, the advisory committee may administer a diagnostic review to assist the student in completing the program. The degree plan of the individual student must be completed during the first term/semester of the second year of graduate work or before completion of 18 semester hours in the program and taking the qualifying exams.

6. Qualifying examinations are required of all students. Examinations are written in theory, methods and statistics, and two areas of concentration. The theory, methods and statistics exams must be taken within or at the completion of the student’s first 27 hours of PhD work. The exams are prepared and evaluated by committees composed of faculty from both UNT and TWU. The concentration and minor exams can be taken once the 12-hour course requirement for a concentration has been completed. These exams are prepared and evaluated by the student’s advisory committee who may administer an oral examination upon successful completion of all written exams. Preparation for these exams includes, but is not limited to, course work, reading key literature and participation in study groups.

The successful completion of these examinations is a prerequisite for admission to candidacy for the degree. Admission to candidacy is granted by the appropriate graduate dean upon recommendation of the advisory committee and the chair, and also is based upon the student’s academic record and successful completion of the tool requirement.

After admission to candidacy, the student must add an outside member to their advisory committee. This fifth member must be from outside the federated sociology department’s faculty. This person must be approved by the student’s major professor, the department’s graduate adviser and the appropriate graduate dean.

7. Under the direction of the advisory committee the candidate must write a dissertation representing original research. It must make a significant contribution to the discipline of sociology in the student’s area of concentration.

The student must defend orally a written dissertation proposal that meets with the approval of the student’s advisory committee before the dissertation is written. The final written dissertation must be defended orally before the committee and approved by them.

Dual Degree in Sociology/Public Health

The Department of Sociology (UNT) and the School of Public Health (UNTHSC-FW) offer a dual degree program with a specialization in health services research. Students in the program complete a master’s or doctoral degree in sociology and the Master of Public Health (MPH). The dual degree program is administered by the Department of Sociology (Dr. Erma Lawson, Program Director).

Students must complete either a master’s or doctoral degree in sociology, including designated electives in sociology as well as designated electives in the interdisciplinary field of health services research. The designated electives must include the track core requirements (Seminar in the Sociology of Health, Economics of Health Care, Medical Geography and Seminar in Evaluation Research). The master’s degree in sociology requires a minimum of 30 hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option); the doctoral degree requires a minimum of 90 hours beyond the bachelor’s or 60 hours beyond the master’s degree.

To receive the second master’s degree in the field of public health, students must complete a minimum of 24 additional hours, including the required MPH core courses (Environmental Health, Principles of Epidemiology, Health Administration, Principles of Public Health, Biostatistics I and II, and Behavioral Epidemiology) and either a thesis or both the capstone course in public health and a special problems course.

Courses of Instruction

All Courses of Instruction are located in one section at the back of this catalog.

Course and Subject Guide

The “Course and Subject Guide,” found in the Courses of Instruction section of this book, serves as a table of contents and provides quick access to subject areas and prefixes.

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