College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Department of Sociology

Applied Sociology, Master of Arts

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The M.A. Program in Applied Sociology prepares students for applying sociological theories, methods and skills in researching and analyzing social lives, behaviors and aggregations, for instance, groups, societies, organizations and institutions, for the purpose of understanding social structures, power, and transformations, and building strategies to solve social problems. The Program expands its scope to both the national and global levels, and puts emphasis on NAU three themes of global learning: diversity, environmental sustainability, and global engagement.

The Program includes three optional concentration areas. First, the Sociology of Health concentration area focuses on the impact of social life, including all its dimensions: political, economic, cultural or otherwise, on rates of morbidity and mortality. This concentration area includes medical sociology as well, where students study patients-practitioners relationships within the context of medical organizations. Second, the Women, Gender and Race concentration area focuses on the social construction of gender and racial identities, as well as their relationships with other social identities, and their shifting positions in social structures of power. Third, the Environment, Sustainability and Globalization concentration area keeps pace with the shifting boundaries of sociology to study the interdependencies of the social, economic and ecological dimensions of life, the emergence, structures and dynamics of the global society, and the massive social consequences that result from environmental changes.

Through these concentration areas, students study a variety of social issues, such as, health inequality, sexuality, racial and ethnic conflicts, environmental justice, global social movements, the network society, sustainable communities, etc.

The Program will enable students, not only to recall and comprehend a number of theories and methods, but also to select among a variety of classic and contemporary social theories, and a variety of qualitative or quantitative methods the ones that properly fit a certain social phenomenon or problem, be it local or global. Students will be able to apply these theories and methods to analyze, interpret or evaluate specific local or global social phenomena or structures, and sociologically describe them, design sociological solutions to their identified and analyzed problems, and clearly present their findings to either an academic community or the public in general.

Aware of a number of local and global social issues and problems, and armed with the knowledge of sociological theories and methods, and the skills of analyzing data, evaluating programs and designing social policies and solutions, the graduates of this Program can join doctorate programs in sociology or related fields, teach sociology, or work in local or global, research centers, governmental or non governmental organizations, industry, business, marketing departments, etc.

The M.A. Program in Sociology is designed for students, who are interested in building a career in social research, working in human services agencies, teaching sociology in community colleges, engaging in grassroots activism and social change, or pursuing a doctorate degree in sociology.

 Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Explain key social concepts relating to the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that societies develop
  • Design research projects that test theories about social issues
  • Collect data through surveys, observations, interviews, and other sources
  • Locate published research and data on various social topics such as social inequality, education, population demographics and crime
  • Perform and interpret complex quantitative and qualitative analysis that uses social data
  • Prepare reports, articles, or presentations detailing their research findings in clear and articulate ways
  • Consult with and advise clients, policymakers, or other groups on research findings and sociological issues

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