Sociology M.A. Assessment plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sociology Master's program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to master the discipline of sociology and its various subfields. The program is intended to develop students' critical thinking on matters that are key to the study of society and societal institutions through rigorous theoretical and methodological training. This includes exposure to classical and contemporary sociological theory, quantitative and qualitative methods of social research, and various substantive areas of social inquiry within sociology. Students who successfully complete this training are prepared to pursue further graduate-level training leading to a Ph.D. in the social sciences, or to enter professional careers that require knowledge of human relations and societal institutions.

Program Outcomes

1. Provide an intellectually stimulating learning environment that is characterized by effective instruction and a focus on student learning.

Student Performance Indicators

  • Student evaluations

Assessment Method

  • Survey of majors

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of society and social relations through various competing sociological perspectives.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Some students write an M.A. thesis (under Plan A) and do so under the supervision of a thesis chair and other committee members.
  • Student performance in team-taught core theory courses, as well as substantive courses in various sub-fields of sociology.
  • Some students take a series of comprehensive examinations (under Plan B), including theory , research methods, and a substantive area in sociology that the student has been studying with a faculty member in the department.
Assessment Method
  • Writing of a thesis proposal and an M.A. thesis. Evaluation by a thesis committee led by its chair. Faculty feedback on the proposal and the thesis.
  • Examinations, research papers, and in class presentations provide feedback on the students' understanding of social phenomena.
  • Comprehensive examinations are read by department faculty members supplying the questions and are graded on the basis of the level of knowledge obtained on each question.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate skills in the critical interpretation of research findings and their theoretical and practical applications.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Conduct research in conjunction with faculty, or for thesis
  • Students succeeding in finding professional employment in their chosen field of study in the public or private sector.
Assessment Method
  • Survey of majors
  • Tracking students through alumni surveys regarding the relevance of sociology to the practical realities of professional employment.