MA in Sociology

Thesis or Project

Thesis-Based

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

All students in this program are required to complete a minimum of 15 graduate credit units. This includes:

  • SOC 840.6 Advanced Theory
  • SOC 841.6 Advanced Methodology
  • 3 elective credits in the area of your research. The three elective credits are to be selected in consultation with the candidate's supervisor and advisory committee.
  • SOC 990 Seminar - All students are required to attend all SOC 990 seminars. Students are also required, as part of their program of studies, to present a 990 seminar based on their research.
  • GSR 960 and possibly GSR 961 - All MA students are required to pass GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity. If they are conducting research with human subjects, they must also pass GSR 961 Ethics and Integrity in Human Research. 

SOC 994 Thesis
MA students must register in this class continuously while in the program.

The potential thesis topic is to be selected and approved in consultation with the candidate's supervisor and advisory committee. A formal thesis proposal must be submitted to and approved by the advisory committee.

The thesis proposal may be submitted to the advisory committee at any time after admission to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, but preferably prior to the end of the student's first year in the graduate program.

Conditionally-qualified students who are required to take additional undergraduate classes must have satisfactorily completed all such classes before the advisory committee will accept and approve the thesis proposal.

The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies provides information on the preparation of a thesis which can be found by clicking here.

Project-Based

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • SOC 840.6 Advanced Theory
  • SOC 841.6 Advanced Methodology
  • 6 elective credits in the area of your research. The six elective credits are to be selected in consultation with the candidate's supervisor and advisory committee. A maximum of six credits at the graduate or undergraduate level may be taken in a related discipline outside of Sociology with the permission of the advisory committee. Please check the graduate classes being offered in this academic year listed under MA Thesis.
  • SOC 990 Seminar - All students are required to register and attend all SOC 990 seminars. Students are also required, as part of their program of studies, to present a 990 seminar based on their research.
  • GSR 960 and possibly GSR 961 - All MA students are required to pass GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity. If they are conducting research with human subjects, they must also pass GSR 961 Ethics and Integrity in Human Research.

SOC 992 Research Project
MA students must register in this class continuously while in the program.

A research paper on a topic approved by the candidate's advisory committee is required. The paper should be concerned with discussing a meaningful sociological question and may require some empirical research, a critical review of the literature, or a critical analysis of a theoretical problem.

The advisory committee is responsible for the supervision and final evaluation of the paper. The paper is graded in the same manner as regular courses and not on a pass-fail basis.

Rejection of the non-thesis project will be regarded in the same manner as failure in regular courses. In such cases, revision of the paper and/or submission of a new paper is required on the approval of the Department of Sociology.

COLLEGE APPROVAL

The advisory committee, program of study, and thesis topic must be approved by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Any changes to the advisory committee, program of study, or research topic must also be submitted to the College for approval. This approval should be obtained early in the candidate's graduate program in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the completion of the degree requirements.

PROGRESS GUIDELINES (Time Guidelines)

It is expected that MA project-based students will normally complete the following requirements by the suggested deadlines:

  • permanent advisory committee - is to be finalized by January of the first year in the MA program. The advisory committee will be selected by the student in consultation with the interim advisor and chair of the Graduate Studies Committee. The Graduate Studies Committee must approve the membership of the advisory committee.
  • the research project proposal is to be developed and approved by October of the second year in the program.
  • research project completion - students in the project-based option are expected to complete the SOC 992 Research Project within the same time period in order to convocate by October of the third year in the program.

PhD in Sociology

For program requirement information, please go to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website

The purpose of the PhD program is to train students as scholars and specialists in the field of Sociology. In addition to mastering a broad knowledge of Sociology, PhD students should become specialists in particular areas of research. In the first two years of the program, students are expected to complete the course work that would ensure them proper training in the field, as well as to develop a proposal for dissertation research. The last years of the program are devoted to original research by the student under the supervision of the supervisor and the advisory committee. Students who graduate from the program must develop an intellectual maturity that is demonstrated in the ability to conduct independent research that results in a defensible doctoral thesis.

Admission Criteria

Applicants applying to the PhD program in Sociology must meet the requirements for admission as set out by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Applicants are expected to have obtained a MA degree in Sociology or in a related discipline relevant to an area of research which the student intends to specialize in. Applicants are considered for admission by the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee on the basis of scholastic accomplishments as evident by university grades, recommendations by professors, and original works by the student. Although students will be informed of a recommendation for admission by the Department, the official admission and information about it is the responsibility of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

Completion of a minimum of 18 credit units in Sociology including:

  • SOC 840.6 - Advanced Theory, or its equivalent
  • SOC 841.6 - Advanced Methodology, or its equivalent
    • Please note that students who have taken these courses, or their equivalents, will only be required to take 9 credit units towards their degre
  • SOC 891.3 - Theories and Methods of Social Analysis
    • Please note that this course was designed specifically for PhD students.
  • 3 credit units in the area of specialization 

In addition, the program of studies may include Special Topics courses in the students’ area of specialty (SOC 898.3), provided they are approved by the supervisor and the Graduate Studies Committee.

SOC 990 Requirement

All students are required to attend the SOC 990 seminar series on a regular basis, and to give at least one presentation based on their research. The seminar involves presentations of papers and discussion by graduate students, department and cognate faculty, and visiting scholars. Each graduate student will receive credit for SOC 990 when they have successfully presented a seminar; normally upon completion of their data collection and at least preliminary analysis of research findings. All faculty and graduate students are encouraged to participate on a regular basis in order to foster a strong intellectual climate and to promote interaction and mutual discussion of research relevant to Sociology.

Courses from the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

All PhD students are required to pass GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity. If they are conducting research with human subjects, they must also pass GSR 961 Ethics and Integrity in Human Research.

Qualifying Exam

Every PhD student is expected to complete a qualifying exam. This exam is to take place in the first year of the program. 

The oral examination (defence) for the award of the MA degree at the University of Saskatchewan (or another recognized university) may, at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee, be accepted in lieu of the Qualifying Examination.

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive examination normally takes place after the completion of the course work. For most students this is sometime in the second year of their program. The comprehensive examination consists of:

  1. Two written examinations, one on Theory/Methods, and the other in the student’s substantive area of research specialization.  The written examinations are developed by the student’s Advisory Committee. Each written exam is to be completed within 48 hours from the time it is given to the student, and normally both exams are completed within a one week period.  The reading lists for these comprehensives are finalized by the student’s Advisory Committee. 
  2. An oral examination conducted by the Advisory Committee, to be scheduled shortly after completion of the written exams.

The final result of these two components is graded as a pass/fail by the Advisory Committee. 

Students who have successfully published one or more refereed journal articles may, at the discretion of the advisory committee, request to have this considered in lieu of the comprehensive examination. An oral examination, and possibly additional written or oral components, will still be required in both cases. The oral examination will be graded as a pass/fail by the advisory committee. 

Doctoral Dissertation and Oral Defence - SOC 996

PhD students must register continuously while in the program and are expected to complete a doctoral dissertation in three or four years.

The PhD program offers training and research opportunities to students in six areas of specialization, which are often combined with important sub-specializations in areas of faculty strength. In addition to the core areas of Sociological theory and research methods, the Department of Sociology has identified the following six major areas of research:

  1. Criminology and the Sociology of Law
  2. Sociology of Agriculture and Development
  3. Sociology of Education and Work
  4. Sociology of the Family and Gender Studies
  5. The Sociology of Health, Health Care and Medicine
  6. The Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

These areas have been developed in the Department of Sociology based on a combination of factors including the specialties of faculty members, their research interests, their publication records, and their academic reputation. Most students are expected to focus their research in one of these areas. Students may be allowed to specialize in an area outside the six areas provided that it is in the interest of the student and the Department of Sociology to do so, and that the Department of Sociology can find an appropriate supervisor to supervise the student's research.

Composition of the Advisory Committee

The Advisory committee is composed of:

  1. Supervisor or co-supervisors (the co-supervisors count as one person);
  2. Two additional faculty members, normally from the Department of Sociology;
  3. One external member from a cognate department;
  4. Chair of the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee (or designate). 

The advisory committee is established by the student, and approved by the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee. Students are encouraged to speak to all faculty members working in their area of study. 

PhD students are expected to work closely with their supervisor who will meet regularly with the student to ensure that appropriate progress is made throughout the program. The advisory committee will meet periodically, and at least yearly, with the student to discuss the progress of the student.

Course Descriptions

For information and descriptions of graduate level courses offered by the Department of Sociology, pleae visit the University of Saskatchewan Course Catalogue.

Residence Requirement

The Department of Sociology is committed to creating, and maintaining the best learning environment possible for graduate students enrolled in its various academic programs. To help meet this goal, graduate students are expected to spend a certain amount of time on campus. Ideally, time spent on campus gives students the opportunity to interact with faculty, researchers, and other students.

Normally, the residence requirement for a MA degree in Sociology can be met by being a resident for a minimum of one regular academic session (i.e., September to April) as a full-time student. For students enrolled in the Department's Ph.D. program, a minimum of two regular sessions as a full-time student is required.

Under certain circumstances, an exemption or reduction of minimum residence requirements may be granted. Students may request special consideration for an exemption under the following conditions:

  1. A compelling reason exists for living elsewhere (i.e., full-time employment outside of Saskatoon). Students must inform the Chair of the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee and the Department Head of these circumstances as early as possible. Ideally, students should make clear their intention to request a waiving of the residence requirement prior to admission into a program of study.
  2. Arrangements must be made with instructors to allow students to take required courses using distance education technology. In certain circumstances, students may need to bear the costs for using such technology.
  3. Students must maintain registration as a fully-qualified, full-time student for at least one (MA) or two (PhD) regular academic sessions.
  4. Students who are granted a waiver on a residence requirement acknowledge that they are ineligible for funding from the University of Saskatchewan and the Department of Sociology.
  5. It is the responsibility of the students to maintain regular contact with their supervisor and to actively engage in the academic work as prescribed by the Department of Sociology.

Dual Degree

The Dual Degree Master's Program

In 2006 the Dual Master's Degree Program in Sociology of Development and Globalization had been developed in conjunction with an emerging relationship between the University of Saskatchewan and Xi'an Jiaotong University in China. The novel features of the dual degree option are that it is structured in such a way as to offer students the capacity to receive graduate degrees from both institutions in conjunction with coursework, research, and supervision experiences in each setting. It draws on existing fields of specialization with a focus on Development and Globalization in order to incorporate expertise in areas of programming and research strength within each of the two institutions. The unique character of the dual degree is reflected in stipulations regarding supervisory committees, research activities, and time frames in order to accommodate course work, research activities, and faculty resources within the two institutional and national settings.