FAU
Department of Sociology

The Specialist Track (M.A.)

This track is designed for students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in Sociology or a closely related field. The specialist track is intended for students who have superior writing, communication, and analytical skills necessary for intensive training in sociological research. This track requires the student to write and successfully defend a master's thesis as part of the process of developing the knowledge and skills required for admission into Ph.D. programs. Students may apply for admission to the specialist track as early as after their first 9 credits, but must apply prior to completing 18 credits of graduate study. For the full-time student, the academic progression in this track typically consists of:


Semester One:
1. Successfully complete three sociological foundation classes.
2. Submit a tentative plan of study.
3. Submit a proposal for semester two's seminars to the graduate director.

Semester Two:
1. Successfully complete three sociological foundation classes.
2. Submit initial application for the specialist track to the department chair during the first month of the second semester. The chair will convene a meeting of faculty who have worked with the student during his or her first 9 credits and in any other academic capacities; if the committee supports the student's application, the student will be admitted to the specialist track.
3. Find a faculty mentor who has a scholarly background in the area of the thesis topic and is willing to supervise the thesis. The faculty member confirms this responsibility for thesis supervision with the department chair.
4. Work with the thesis chair to choose members of the thesis committee.
5. Under the supervision of the thesis chair, write a thesis proposal.
6. Defend the thesis proposal before the thesis committee. The defense should occur before the end of the second semester of study or, for part-time students, before the completion of 18 credits of graduate study. The defense requires a thesis proposal, a thesis writing plan that includes a detailed table of contents for the thesis and a suggested time line for the completion of each chapter or part of thesis, and a preliminary bibliography.
7. Submit final application for admission to the specialist track after a successful thesis defense.
8. Submit formal plan of study to graduate director after consultation with thesis chair. A plan of study must be filed with the Graduate College before the completion of 18 credits of graduate course work.

Semester Three:
1. Successfully complete 3 to 6 credits of Master's Thesis.
2. Successfully complete 3 to 6 credits of approved graduate course work. The course work should complement the thesis research and must be approved in advance by the chair of the thesis committee.
3. Submit final thesis writing plan to the thesis committee no later than the end of the semester.
4. Submit a final plan of study and graduation application to the department three weeks before the end of the semester.

Semester Four:
1. Successfully complete 3 to 6 credits of Master's Thesis and complete the thesis
2. Defend the thesis at an oral exam by the committee.
3. Submit the final copy of the thesis to the department by March 15 if graduating in May and by October 20 if graduating in December.
4. Successfully complete 3 to 6 credits of graduate coursework.


Required Courses For the Specialist Track: Students must complete 36 credits to receive their Master's Degree, including: An approved research methods course, 3 credits;  An approved theory course, 3 credits; Master's Thesis, SYA 6971, 6 credits



Note: Graduate teaching assistants are required to take a 3-credit teaching practicum course, preferably in the beginning of their second year.
 
 
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 Last Modified 4/1/14