Graduate Courses

Listed below are detailed descriptions of the graduate courses. Some graduate courses listed are not offered every year. Students should check in the Sociology Department Office to find out which courses are available for each semester. If students have any questions concerning a particular course they should talk to their advisor or the course instructor.

Course Numbering System

100-299 Courses designed for freshman and sophomores.
300-499 Courses designed for juniors and seniors.
500-699 Courses designed primarily for juniors and seniors, but can also be taken by graduate students who have fewer than 30 hours of graduate credit.
700-799 Courses designed primarily for graduate students who have fewer than 30 hours of graduate credit, but can also be taken by undergraduates.
800-900 Courses designed primarily for graduate students who have fewer than 30 hours of graduate credit.

Required Courses

Sociology 810 Sociological Inquiry

The goals of this course are to understand the characteristics of sociologically interesting and rigorous research and to design a research proposal that shares those characteristics.  The focus of students' proposals will be their M.A. or Ph.D. research projects.  We will read several books and articles that represent a variety of research approaches (ethnographies, surveys, interviews, document analyses, historical studies, comparative research, etc.), and we will deconstruct them in order to understand their theoretical and methodological approaches, strengths and weaknesses, breadths and limits.  Assignments will include 1) presenting and discussing the assigned books and articles, 2) a written review of another student's research proposal, 3) an oral presentation of that other student's research proposal, 4) a written research proposal for one's own project.

Sociology 811 Sociological Research

The use of the scientific method to study social phenomena including: the formulation and testing of hypotheses; techniques for collecting data; measuring social variables; interpreting research findings; the relationship of theory and facts. Prerequisite: A distribution course in sociology. LEC

Sociology 812 Analytic Methods in Sociology

Consideration of quantitative methods of analysis including both parametric and non-parametric techniques. Prerequisite: A course in statistics. LEC

Sociological Theory

Sociology 802 Modern Social Theory

This seminar will focus on the later 19th and early 20th century “theories of society,” addressing the origins and developmental tendencies of Western modernity and their relation to premodern social orders. Primary texts of the major theorists (eg. Marx, Durkheim, Nietzsche, Weber, Simmel, and Mead) will be studied in historical context. The tradition’s analytical and critical resources and problematic features will also be explored. Finally, the connections between this tradition and contemporary sociological approaches will be explored. LEC

Sociology 803 Issues in Contemporary Theory

A critical examination of recent trends and debates in sociological theory. This is a thematically oriented course in which classical as well as contemporary views will be explored. Attention will be directed to theoretical issues under discussion in fields such as symbolic interactionism, semiology, ethnomethodology, critical theory, macrosociology, and others. LEC

Sociology 804 Sociology of Knowledge

Sociology of Knowledge examines how social forces, particularly social relations of inequality, shape the contours of knowledge and the privileging of some kinds of knowledge over others. Several paradigms within sociology have addressed this problematic but, particularly in recent decades, the most fruitful work has been done by feminist scholars. In this course we will read some of the “classics” in sociology of knowledge, feminist critiques of mainstream knowledge, and feminist perspectives on knowing and the known. Finally we will take a critical look at the social institutions organizing the production of knowledge in western sociology: the discipline and the academy. LEC

Sociology 808 Feminist Theories

This course will explore and evaluate accounts of social structure, social processes, and consciousness developed in the feminist literature. We will review a range of theoretical arguments, including liberal, historical, materialist, psychoanalytic, cultural, and Black feminist theories. Some of the readings will focus on limitations and distortions within mainstream social theory; others will center on the development of alternative social theory using the standpoint of women as a point of departure. LEC

Sociology 900 Seminar on Special Topics in Theory

Each seminar will explore problems of theory in sociology. Topic, instructor, and hours of credit will be announced in the Timetable. Seminars will be offered by different instructors on different topics, and a student may take more than one topic. LEC

Sociological Methods

Sociology 910 Seminar in Special Topics in Methods

Each seminar will explore problems of methods in sociology. Topic, instructor, and hours of credit will be announced in the Timetable. Seminars will be offered by different instructors on different topics, and a student may take more than one topic. LEC

Sociology 930 Seminar in Comparative Studies

Each seminar will explore problems of comparative studies in sociology. Topic, instructor, and hours of credit will be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Seminars will be offered by different instructors on different topics, and a student may take more than one topic. LEC


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