Degree Requirements



Core Courses

All students must complete the following courses in a satisfactory manner:
SOC 5050 - Proseminar in Sociology  (Students are required to take this course in their first semester.)
SOC 5070 - Seminar:  Research Methods
SOC 5160 - Seminar:  Social Theory II

Students who have not taken an undergraduate course in Social Theory are also required to take SOC 5150-1 credit Seminar in Social Theory I.

AND one of these courses:
SOC 5170- Advanced Statistics and Research
OR SOC 5180- Community Organization and Analysis
OR SOC 5200-Program Evaluation
OR SOC 5830- Race and Ethnic Relations (Participant Observation)

OR SOC 5010-Media Studies (Content Analysis)

No grade lower than B in one of the required MA core courses will count toward the Master's degree.


To help ensure the success of graduate students, the UCCS Sociology department requires students enroll in no more than ten (10) credit hours per semester.  Students who desire to take more than ten (10) credit hours will need to meet with the Graduate Director for approval.


No more than eight (8) semester hours from other accredited institutions or in non-degree coursework may be transferred toward the master's degree in Sociology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.  All transfer credits must be cognate to Sociology and approved by the Sociology Department and the Graduate School by the beginning of the semester prior to that in which the student will graduate.  All transfer credit hours must be graduate credit hours and completed within six years of the start of course work.  If a student completes a graduate course at another institution and wants to transfer the credits into the UCCS Sociology program, the course term for the transfer credtis at the other institution is considered the start date of course work.  Work done earlier will not be accepted for the degree unless validated by a special examination covering the content areas of the course.


According to the UCCS LAS Plagiarism Policy, plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or words belonging to another person, without adequately acknowledging that person's contribution.  If a graduate student is caught plagiarizing, on the first offense, the professor has the discretion to either ask the student to rewrite the paper or automatically assign zero points for the assignment.  On the second offense, the professor will automatically assign zero points for the assignment and report the student to the LAS Dean.  A third offense of plagiarism will result in the student being expelled from the graduate sociology program.


There are two options for completing the requirements for the degree:

Plan I- Thesis

Plan I students must complete a total of 24 hours of approved course work, including the required courses, plus an acceptable thesis for 6 hours of credit.

Plan II - Non-Thesis

Plan II students must complete a total of 30 hours of approved course work, including the required core sociology courses and are encouraged to develop individualized areas of concentration with the elective credits. Elective coursework may include approved courses from other UCCS Graduate programs, for example: the Graduate School of Public Affairs, Applied Geography, Communications, Business and the College of Education.

Advisory Committee, Thesis Advisor, and Examination Committee

Each student must select a graduate faculty member within the Department as his or her Advisor. This should be done as early as possible during the first semester of graduate work.  

Independent Coursework Options

Students may earn a maximum of nine graduate credits toward the Masters degree in independent coursework.  "Independent Coursework" includes Independent Study (SOC 9500) Teaching Practicum (SOC 5100), Research Practicum (SOC 5090) and Internship in applied Sociology (SOC 5560).  It does not include Masters Thesis credits (SOC 7000).


In graduate sociology courses, no grade lower than B in a course that meets a requirement for the master's degree will count toward that degree.  Candidates must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in their graduate courses or face departmental probation.  Required courses may only be taken twice.

According to the Policy and Procedures of the Graduate School, coursework receiving a grade of less than B- may not be counted toward any graduate degree.  A student who receives a grade below B- in a course may repeat that course once, upon approval of the program director, provided the course has not been previously applied toward a degree.  The grade received in a repeated course will substitute for the original grade and only the latter grade will be used in calculating the Graduate Program grade point average required for graduation.  However, all grades received will appear on the student's transcript.

If a graduate student earns a grade of C+ or lower, they are required to meet with the Graduate Director to write out an action plan.  If a second grade of C+ or lower is earned, it will be considered grounds for dismissal from the program.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades of "I" will convert to "F" if the work is not completed within the one-year maximum period (no extensions are approved beyond the one-year time limit) according to University Policy.

Time Limit

All requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Sociology must be completed within five years or six successive summers.  This is effective from the fall semester 2005 forward.


All MA students must pass the Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations and either a Thesis Defense or a Comprehensive Examination, as defined below.

The Preliminary Examination

Students' progress will be reviewed after completion of the first 6 hours of graduate level courses to ensure adequate qualifications to proceed in the program. Students will be notified of the results of this review process and appropriate recommendations for further progress will be included.

The Qualifying Examination

After completing 18 graduate hours, including the required core sociology courses, students must prepare an Admission to Candidacy form (available from Rosemary Kelbel, Graduate Program Coordinator). This form is also available online at

The student's academic record will be reviewed and a plan for either a thesis (Plan I) or course work (Plan II) must be approved to continue in the program.  If problems are identified, appropriate steps will be specified in order to become a candidate for degree.

Plan I:  Thesis Defense

As the first step in pursuing the Master's Thesis track, the student will select a Thesis Committee, which consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members (an additional member may be included from outside the Department). Under the direct supervision of the Thesis Chair, the student will develop a Master's Thesis Proposal. After the Proposal is approved by all members of the committee, the student will complete the research and writing of the thesis. This committee, with the approval of the UCCS Dean of the Graduate School shall serve as the student's examination committee for the Master's Thesis Defense. Upon completion of the Master's Thesis and approval of each member of the committee a defense is scheduled. The goal of the defense is to provide for a thorough discussion of the thesis project, and exploration of issues and implications for continued research in the thesis topic.


Plan II: Comprehensive Oral Examination

Students pursuing this applied track will select an Oral Exam Committee, which consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members. The comprehensive examination is based on a discussion of the materials provided by the student in her/his graduate student portfolio. During the examination the student is asked to summarize her/his educational development in the program and relate this to further academic work and/or career plans. The graduate student portfolio should include: 1) a self statement detailing the student's goals and what he/she has learned; an academic resume and  copies of papers from each of the required sociology courses. Portfolios should be turned in to the Graduate Program Coordinator two weeks before the comprehensive examination. Portfolios are not returned to the student, but become part of the graduate archive in the sociology department.


The Graduate program currently offers the option of three graduate certificates; one in Diversity, one in Teaching Sociology, and one in Advanced Research Methods.  Coursework that meets the requirements for a certificate also counts toward the total credits required for the Masters.

Graduate Certificate in the Sociology of Diversity

The Graduate Faculty of the Sociology Department has a strong emphasis in diversity and inequality issues; highlighting race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. For sociology graduate students wishing to concentrate in these areas, we offer a graduate certificate of specialization in diversity. Completion of the certificate provides evidence of specialized study, which can be beneficial for enhancing future career options and interests.

Graduate Certificate in Teaching Sociology

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Sociology will be offered to graduate students enrolled in the Masters Program in Sociology interested in practical training in the process of teaching sociology at the university level. Completion of the certificate provides evidence of significant classroom face-time, along with training in syllabus development, pedagogical styles, and assessment.

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods
This certificate trains Masters-level sociologists in a range of sociological research methods.  Completion of the certificate provides evidence of competence in tolls of quantitative and qualitative research methodology, which can be beneficial for enjancing future career options. 

Please apply online at: