Overview of the Graduate Program
Over 25 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in the Sociology graduate program at Florida Atlantic University. The Master of Arts in Sociology is designed to prepare to students for a range of professions as well as for doctoral study in sociology and related programs. Full-time students can compete the degree in four semesters; seminars are offered during Fall and Spring terms. Many of our MA students hold graduate teaching assistantships that come with tuition waivers, work space and computer access in the department areas, and the opportunity to assist faculty in their teaching and related work. All of our MA students join an engaging and exciting intellectual community.
There are two options in the program: generalist and specialist. Both can serve as the basis for a wide array of professional careers in the public and private sectors as well as for doctoral study in sociology and related disciplines. Most students opt for the generalist option, built around seminars and classes that provide a broad base of knowledge about sociological methodology and the central research questions in sociology's subfields. Some students choose the specialist option, which requires that the student develop and complete a research project (thesis) in a particular area of sociological research under the direct mentorship of a faculty member.
" The graduate program in sociology at Florida Atlantic University unequivocally transformed my life. A first generation college student, it never occurred to me that I might have the opportunity to earn a graduate degree. There were times, in fact, that I was not sure I would finish my bachelor’s degree. It was the encouragement of just one professor that made the life I lead today possible. As a student, I learned how to think more critically and to see that social change is possible. Additionally, my peers and I formed close bonds which helped us stay focused on our educations, despite the many hardships that life presented to us while in the program. My current position as a professor at a community college was made possible as a result of the opportunity to teach independently while still a graduate student. The faculty and staff are inspiring, unabashedly helpful and committed to the success of the students. The feedback and persistence of just a few professors made the education that I received possible. Their wisdom and patience give me hope that other people will be as affected as I have been and continue, well after their formal educations are complete, to affect others. In short, I can sum up my educational experience as a series of enlightenments. I am accomplishing personal and career goals that I would have never thought possible even just a few years ago."
-- Suzanne L. Geoffroy
"Each and every faculty member that I had the privilege of studying under pushed me in a variety of ways to simultaneously expand my perspective and sharpen my focus. Each and every research project I undertook proved to be stimulating and meaningful. The teaching opportunity I received during my second year in the program was nothing less than a true gift for me, as I entered the graduate program knowing I wanted to prepare for a second career – in teaching. Besides the practical classroom experience, the graduate teaching practicum and various professional development training opportunities that were provided by the Sociology Department proved to be an asset during my post-graduate school job search, as I was able to land a teaching position within months of completing the program."
-- Sonya Cooper Friedman
"The graduate program in the sociology program provided me with a solid foundation not only for my academic life, but also for my personal life. I had the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of graduate students, professors and undergraduate students. Looking back, I can say that I have never been in an environment which encouraged creative and critical thinking the way the Sociology Program at FAU did. There was never a situation where someone told me what to know and how to think. On the contrary, I was always encouraged to question all points of views and formulate my own theses. Anyone interested in sociology should seriously consider the sociology program at Florida Atlantic University."
-- Lizeth Granados
"I came into the Sociology Graduate Program Spring 2006, a semester after I had completed my undergraduate degree double majoring in Political Science and Public Communications. Upon my graduation I knew that I wanted to continue my studies in the area of Social Sciences. I choose to pursue a graduate degree in Sociology because I was not only interested in our society’s current social problems, but I also wanted to know how I can make a difference. The M.A. program in Sociology has allowed me to attain a broad knowledge of contemporary social issues as well as the tools for change by educating our society one classroom at a time."
-- Sara Guerrier
"Teaching in the Department of Sociology at FAU has been integral to my development as both a professional educator and an intellectual. The department’s emphasis on critical thinking and developing public sociology has been a good fit with my own interest in teaching students to analyze and work to change the world around them. The most profound aspect of my teaching experience has been the mentorship and trust I have gained from faculty members. Teaching in this department has given me the opportunity to develop my own teaching methods in my own classes. This was especially the case when I was given the opportunity to develop my own upper-level class, Media and Society. In addition to being advised by warm and friendly faculty members, I have enjoyed a sincere camaraderie with my fellow graduate students. The graduate students in this department freely share their teaching resources with one another. I consider myself lucky to teach in such a supportive, caring, and energetic department."
-- Rebecca Kuhn
"The sociology department at Florida Atlantic University has enabled me to grow intellectually. The program has helped me develop greater critical thinking skills and intellectual abilities which I have used in my own classes as an instructor and in my personal life. My experience as a graduate student has also increased my understanding of subjects and disciplines outside of the program. This has created a greater understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary learning and how the fascinating subject of sociology is truly connected with other social sciences."
-- Karen Rose
"As an undergraduate I was quite certain that I wanted to be a lawyer, that is, until I took a sociology course as an undergraduate at Florida Atlantic University. Sociology was eye-opening, as it spoke to my own personal desire to understand social problems. The legal field is still important for me, but penetrating the core of social issues became a prerequisite. I was particularly pleased that the training I received emphasized the interconnections between the personal, social, political, and economic realms of social life. I am leaving the program with greater awareness, deeper insights, more intellectual confidence, and a new sense of hope and possibility."
-- Connie Tatalovitch
The graduate curriculum includes foundational courses in social theory and sociological methodology as well as a broad range of courses in substantive sociological subfields ranging from microsociology to environmental sociology. The faculty in our department are scholar-educators who are highly committed to teaching and research excellence. We encourage you to visit us and discover first hand the variety our unique program offers. Please contact us at 561-297-3270 or e-mail