M.A. Program

Our program emphasizes methodological skills and academic scholarship creating a strong basis for a professional career as a sociologist in university and applied settings. We provide students with advanced education in Sociology and in the subfields of crime and deviance, domestic violence, social inequalities (i.e. race, class, gender, age), and urban and environmental sociology.


Degree-seeking students in the Applied Sociology program complete a nonthesis course of study. The program requires 24 hours of course work, at least half of which must be at the 6000 level or above, and 6 hours of applied project work.

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Ph.D. Program

The UCF Sociology 5-Year Bachelor’s to Ph.D. program provides training in the skills necessary to secure research careers in both academic and non-academic professions and emphasizes applied research in community-based settings. The program is organized around a curriculum combining grounding in the acquisition of theoretical and methodological skills with advanced study in one of the department’s five primary areas of specialization.

Students will develop a Primary Area of Specialization from the five primary areas in the department: Crime and Deviance; Domestic Violence; Medical Sociology; Social Inequalities; Spatial Sociology and Geographic Information Systems. Additional Primary Areas of Specialization can be assembled by students based on course offerings pending approval by the graduate committee.

Students will also create a Secondary Area of Specialization. A Secondary Area of Specialization may be a substantive topic area (e.g., Medical Sociology), a research approach (e.g., Quantitative Methods), sociological theory, or an approach to knowledge dissemination (e.g., Public Sociology, Applied Sociology). Secondary Areas can be created from the list of primary areas (e.g., Crime and Deviance, Social Inequalities, etc.) or they can be assembled by the student to reflect their interests. The Secondary Area may include 1 or more courses from outside the department, but in most cases a student must include at least 2 courses from inside the department. Some examples of possible Secondary Areas of Specialization include racial/ethnic inequalities, gender and sexuality, intersectionality, global sociology, criminology, and health.

The program is one of only a few Sociology programs in the United States focusing on applied research. Students are trained in specific applied research skills such as data analysis, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, mixed methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and/or program evaluation. Combined with course work in one of the five primary areas of specialization and a secondary area of specialization, graduates will be trained for employment in the following settings: the academy, industry, business, government, and/or nonprofit agencies. The program provides training in the skills necessary to secure advanced careers in academic and non-academic professions and emphasizes applied research in community-based settings.

The Sociology PhD requires a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, which include the courses below. Those students with an M.A. or M.S. degree in Sociology or a closely related field can transfer up to 30 graduate credit hours into their PhD program with consent of the Sociology graduate committee and UCF College of Graduate Studies.

After entering the PhD program and successfully completing 30 credit hours, including 12 hours in a primary area of specialization and SYA 6909 Research Report (3 credit hours) where students will execute a research deliverable (i.e., paper, applied project, thesis, etc.) to demonstrate their knowledge gained in a research topic agreed upon and approved by their advisory committee, the student will be awarded an MA degree and may discontinue their work toward the remaining PhD requirements and leave the program.

Research Smarts Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Research Smarts provides students with the essential skills and critical thinking needed by today’s consumers of news and information.

Increasing one’s Research Smarts will provide students with the practical skills and critical thinking necessary to produce and to consume findings, facts, and information with the assurance that it was arrived at systematically. These skills are not only useful in daily life, as we wade through the mass of news and information that comes our way, but also in private business, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and other employment opportunities. Students seeking employment, those with jobs currently, or those working toward advancement can benefit from a critical examination of how knowledge is gained and which sources of information can be trusted. This is because nearly all employers value employees who are confident in their understanding and use of scientific research skills.

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