Graduate study in sociology focuses on the Doctor of Philosophy. Students are awarded the M.A. as they fulfill requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate program in the Department of Sociology and Criminology develops professionals who are qualified to conduct original research in the field of sociology and serve the discipline and larger community through teaching and/or other applications of sociological and criminological knowledge.

Goals and Outcomes

To develop the expertise to conduct original research in sociology and criminology that is publishable in scholarly outlets.

  • Develop a professional skillset in research methodology commonly used in the social sciences, particularly sociology and criminology.
  • Develop a professional skillset in social science theories pertaining to sociology and criminology.
  • Develop professional expertise in substantive sociological and criminological research areas, which at minimum includes graduate-level competence in both a major and minor area of research.
  • Develop scholarly writing and communication skills.

To serve the discipline and broader community as sociologists and criminologists.

  • To be prepared to teach the field of sociology and/or criminology.
  • To understand the goals, practices, and standards of research and applied professionals associated with the discipline of sociology and/or criminology. This includes developing a firm grasp of the principles of ethical research,

The Master of Arts program in sociology requires 30 s.h. of graduate credit with thesis or research paper and 38 s.h. of graduate credit without. Students must maintain a program g.p.a. of at least 3.25. The program without thesis is intended for students seeking a terminal degree and for whom a wider range of course content in sociology is appropriate.

All M.A. students must complete the following courses with grades of B-minus or higher.

SOC:5110History of Sociological Theory3
SOC:5160Research Design and Methods3
SOC:6170Introduction to Sociological Data Analysis3
SOC:6180Linear Models in Sociological Research3

Teaching Assistantship Training

All new graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are expected to attend a three-day orientation before classes begin. In addition, SOC:7010 Teaching Sociology is required for students who wish to teach their own courses.

Admission to graduate study in sociology usually requires an undergraduate g.p.a. of at least 3.25.

All applicants must complete the Graduate College application form, the supplemental sociology and criminology department application, and use the department's personal reference forms to obtain three letters of recommendation.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test (DET).

All application materials for fall admission must be received by January 1. Evaluation of applications begins in early January.

Admission decisions are based on consideration of prior academic performance, personal reference letters, and the applicant's statement of reasons for pursuing advanced work in sociology at the University of Iowa. The department has no specific undergraduate course requirements for admission, but a background in the social sciences with some mathematical training is useful. A foreign language is not required for admission, and there is no foreign language requirement for a graduate degree in sociology. To inquire about admission, consult the director of graduate studies, Department of Sociology and Criminology.

The Department of Sociology and Criminology offers teaching assistantships and research assistantships for graduate students. Students who receive one-half-time teaching or research assistantships work 20 hours each week for faculty members on either teaching or research assignments. Out-of-state students who hold assistantships are assessed tuition at the resident rate. Graduate students also may be eligible for fellowships offered by the Graduate College.

The deadline for applying for departmental financial support is January 1.

In addition to preparing students for careers in social service, criminal justice, and other areas, the sociology major offers an integrated package of courses, research training, writing enhancement, international perspective, and internships to provide graduates with impressive credentials. The degree also prepares students for further graduate or professional study in areas such as social work, urban and regional planning, law, criminal justice, and social policy. Teaching positions in colleges or universities and research positions in academic, private, and governmental organizations often require advanced degrees in sociology.

The Pomerantz Career Center and the Graduate College's Career Exploration and Planning website offer multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.