Our program stresses the development of social research skills, including quantitative and qualitative data gathering, analysis, and presentation with an emphasis on social justice. The applied research emphasis is embedded within the program’s curriculum. For example, the core course on theory explore the way key sociological theories can be applied to contemporary social problems. Elective courses and the required internship build on this interplay between theory and applied research.
The M.A. Program is structured around two thematic concentrations and a Community-Based Scholar Internship.
Sociology of Health and Medicine:
Sociology of Health and Medicine focuses on the ways in which the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, culture, class, institutions, organizations, the environment, political and community contexts influence community health and well-being. Additional areas of inquiry include social epidemiology, health care organizations and professions, issues of access to care and quality of care, including health inequalities and disparities, and health care policy and prevention practices in the United States and in comparative perspective.
Community Development and Social Change:
Sociology of Community Development and Social Change emphasizes the theoretical and methodological preparation explicitly linking local, regional, national, and global processes (economic, political, cultural) to community-level social problems. Substantive areas of study include organizations and institutions, social movements, policy advocacy, community engagement/organizing, and human rights and social justice (e.g., immigrant rights, environmental justice, racial and gender justice, violence prevention, youth/child rights, and workers’ rights, and equitable access to quality jobs, housing, healthcare and education).
Community-Based Scholar Internship:
The distinguishing feature of this MA is the Community-Based Scholar Internship, a “learning lab” that gives each student the opportunity to apply his/her classroom knowledge and skills in the real-world context of a local/regional community organization. We intentionally match students with community organizations/agencies to maximize the possibility that students will positively impact the mission of the organization/agency and develop their final MA project from the collaboration.