There are two paths of study in the program, the generalist track and the specialist (thesis) track.  Both require succesful completion of 36 hours of course work, including required sociological theory and research methods courses.  

The Generalist Track offers students a broad graduate education in sociological methods, theories, and subfields that can serve as the basis for a wide array of professional careers in the public and private sector, like education, non-profits, government, law, and public policy. 

The Specialist Track is for individuals working on a Master's thesis.  A Master’s thesis must demonstrate original empirical research and a conceptual contribution to a debate in a field or subfield of sociology.  This track is designed for students who want to focus on a particular research area and can define a research project very early in their graduate career.  Details on the MA Thesis requirements are available here.  


All students are required to successfully complete 36 hours of course work, including two required courses: Research Methods and Design (3 credit hours) and Social Theory (3 credit hours). The remaining 30 credit hours of course work may consist of graduate-level seminars of the student’s choosing, directed independent studies with faculty, and/or thesis credit hours for those writing a thesis.  Information on Featured Graduate Courses is available here.

Generalist Track students complete 30 credit hours of course work consisting of graduate-level seminars of the students choosing and/or directed independent study.  Each graduate-level seminar is 3 credit hours.

Specialist Track requires students take thesis credit hours (i.e., directed independent study devoted to thesis research and writing) for a portion of their required course work. Students working on a thesis must take a minimum of 6 but no more than 12 hours of thesis credits.  Graduate-level seminars of the student's choosing will comprise the remaining credit hours. 

No comprehensive exam is required of Sociology MA students.


Further Information

Potential applicants interested in learning more about the FAU MA in Sociology are encouraged to speak with Dr. J. Lotus Seeley (, Director of Graduate Studies for Sociology.