The master’s program in public sociology, focuses on social justice and environmental sustainability, while fostering a network of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who are committed to social change. Public sociology translates sociological knowledge and skills for communities where these resources are needed.
The concept of social justice emphasizes a holistic understanding of the relationships between people, built and “natural” systems, and the social implications of particular structures and relationships. Race, class, gender, and the environment are central to analysis, as well as strategies for action. The action component emphasized in our program is tightly linked to the idea of public sociology. We understand public sociology as social change work that draws heavily on knowledge of social movements, community organizing, and applied research methods as particular plans are strategized, implemented, and evaluated.
Our MA students choose an experience emphasis in either Practicing Sociology or Teaching Sociology. Regardless of their emphasis, our alumni graduate with a solid foundation in social theory and social research that is marked by a departmental commitment and curricular integration of public sociology and social justice, as well as knowledge and skills for social action. Sociology faculty members, along with the Sociology and CJS Community Advisory Board, cultivate a range of field placement opportunities for students emphasizing Practicing Sociology.
Students develop their specialization by drawing on coursework, carefully selecting a field placement and working with faculty mentors.
In the Teaching Sociology emphasis, students learn cutting-edge pedagogical practices, and receive both hands-on experience and close mentorship. This is great preparation for facilitating and leading groups, designing and delivering workshops, teaching at the community college level, and creating educational and training materials.
In the Practicing Sociology emphasis, through classes, a 240-hour placement, paid research opportunities, and their thesis/capstone work, students become well-trained and valuable applied sociologists. They develop skills in qualitative, quantitative, and program evaluation methods; frameworks (theory) needed for complex analytical thinking and problem solving; and advanced professional communication skills- writing, speaking, presentations.
Requirements for the Degree (39 units)
For a description of degree requirements to be fulfilled in addition to those listed below see, “Master’s Degree Requirements ”.
Students must earn a “B” (3.00) or better in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree.