Co-Major

Ph.D. and M.S. Co-Major Requirements in Sociology or Rural Sociology

Department of Sociology, Iowa State University – Revised 12/14/2017

NOTE: All students must meet the requirements of the Graduate College in addition to the requirements of the Sociology Program. Please familiarize yourself with the following:

Description of the M.S./Ph.D. Program

A sociology graduate degree provides advanced training for work in specialized public and private human service programs, undergraduate teaching, applied research, work in the private sector, or preparation for continued education (for master’s students). Students seeking the sociology graduate degree receive a broad background in sociology, encompassing the major research and theoretical concerns of the discipline. Departmental requirements for the degrees emphasize general competence in sociology as well as special expertise within an area of concentration. In addition to formal class work and conducting research, students work toward intellectual independence while developing an integrated grasp of the field through a thesis or dissertation. Both M.S. and Ph.D. students develop the capacity for original and creative research. Admission requirements to the co-major program are the same as for the major.

M.S. Co-Major Requirements

Although responsibility for determining the student’s coursework resides with the POS committee, the Sociology Department has core courses that must be taken by all students.

Required Courses for the M.S. Co-Major

Theory (3 cr)

  • 1 course in sociological theory: Soc 506 (3 cr) Classical Sociological TheoryORSoc 607 (3 cr) Contemporary Sociological Theory

Methods (10 cr)

  • Stat 401 (4 cr) Statistical Methods for Research Workers
  • Soc 511 (3 cr) Research Methodology for the Social Sciences
  • 1 course in advanced methods: Stat 404 (3 cr) Regression for Social and Behavioral Research OR Soc 513 (3 cr) Qualitative Research Methods

Thesis and Other Required (1 cr)

  • Soc 591 (R 1 cr) Orientation to Sociology (required first semester)
  • Sociology graduate faculty member as Major Professor
  • Final oral exam must test for sociology major
  • A thesis that reflects the student’s sociological competence

Electives (6 cr)

  • 2 additional 3-credit graduate-level courses in Sociology

TOTAL (20 cr)

  • A minimum of 20 semester credits is required for the M.S. co-major

Ph.D. Co-Major Requirements

Theory (6 cr)

  • Soc 506 (3 cr) Classical Sociological Theory
  • Soc 607 (3 cr) Contemporary Sociological Theory

Methods (9 cr)

  • Stat 404 (3 cr) Regression for Social and Behavioral Research
  • Soc 511 (3 cr) Research Methodology for the Social Sciences
  • 1 course in advanced methods: Soc 512 (3 cr) Applied Multivariate Statistics OR Soc 513 (3 cr) Qualitative Research Methods

Dissertation and Other Required (4 cr)

  • Soc 534 (3 cr) Race, Class, and Gender Inequality
  • Soc 591 (R 1 cr) Orientation to Sociology
  • Sociology graduate faculty member on POS Committee
  • Preliminary and final oral exams must test for sociology major
  • A dissertation that reflects the student’s sociological competence

Electives (9 cr)

  • 3 additional 3-credit graduate-level courses in Sociology

TOTAL (28 cr)

  • A minimum of 28 semester credits is required for the Ph.D. co-major

Sociology Graduate Program Policies for Co-Majors

Students receive a single degree but must satisfy the curricular requirements established for both academic majors, but may apply some common course work to both majors.

  • Take one preliminary oral exam (Ph.D .) and one final exam (M.S . and Ph.D.) that incorporates disciplinary questions from both majors.
  • Must select a POS Committee that includes either co-chairs (i.e. two major professors, each of whom represents one of the academic majors), or a single chair who is a member of the graduate faculty of both majors.
  • A required course may be waived for students who have taken a similar course at the graduate level at ISU or elsewhere (B or better). Decisions about waiving a required course will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students must submit the syllabus for the course for review by the DOGE and faculty in that research area.
  • Graduate-level courses from other institutions (B or better) may be applied toward electives with permission of the POS committee and DOGE. Graduate College Policy on Courses on Program of Study (POS)
  • With POS-committee approval, graduate students will be permitted to use undergraduate classes from both within and outside of their majors toward the POS (B or better).
  • Up to 9 credits from 300- and 400-level courses at ISU (not undergraduate classes from other institutions) may applied toward their POS, with a maximum of 6 credits at the 300 level (must receive B or better).
  • If a 300-level class is used, it must be from outside of the student’s major (psych, econ, etc.).
  • Expired courses (over 7 years old) must be approved by the Graduate College (see expired courses petition form).

Graduate Student Evaluation

All graduate students in sociology will be reviewed yearly by the faculty. After the review, the student will receive a letter as to whether his or her progress and performance in the program is satisfactory or not. If not, the student will receive specific information from the faculty as to how to remediate the issue(s). If a problem is not rectified in accordance with the faculty’s recommendation, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Time Limitations for Completion of Degrees

A student beginning a M.S. degree program at ISU is expected to complete the program within three years and the Ph.D. in five years. A student beginning a Ph.D. degree program without the master’s degree is expected to complete the program within seven years. If warranted, the POS Committee may request by letter that the Dean of the Graduate College extend these time limits.

Program of Study Committees and Examinations for Co-Majors

Master’s Program of Study Committee and Examinations

The POS committee for a master’s program consists of three members of the graduate faculty. Students must select a POS Committee that includes either co-chairs (i.e. two major professors, each of whom represents one of the academic majors), or a single chair who is a member of the graduate faculty of both majors. Only Graduate Faculty currently employed by Iowa State University can serve as major professor. The Graduate College recommends that the committee be formed as early as the second semester of graduate study. In no case can the committee be formed later than the term before the final oral examination.

M.S. Thesis and Thesis Examination

M.S. students are required to complete a thesis. A written proposal for thesis research must be accepted by the POS committee before the candidate begins his or her research work. Students must take an oral examination after the thesis is completed that focus on, but is not limited to, a defense of the thesis. The POS committee’s decisions are considered final.

Ph.D. Program of Study Committee and Examinations

Program of Study CommitteeThe POS committee for a doctoral program consists of five members of the graduate faculty. Students musts elect a POS Committee that includes either co-chairs (i.e. two major professors, each of whom represents one of the academic majors), or a single chair who is a member of the graduate faculty of both majors. At least one member of the Ph.D. POS committee must be outside the student’s major. Only Graduate Faculty currently employed by Iowa State University can serve as major professor. The major professor must be a member of the graduate faculty in the student’s declared major. The Graduate College recommends that the committee be formed as early as the second semester of graduate study. In no case can the committee be formed later than the term before the preliminary oral examination.

Ph.D. Preliminary Examinations

Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete the written and oral preliminary examinations. Students must take an oral examination after the dissertation is completed that focus on, but is not limited to, a defense of the thesis. The POS committee’s decisions are considered final. These examinations are described in the “Guidelines for the Written and Oral Ph.D. Examinations” document.

The Dissertation

A written proposal for the dissertation must be accepted by the POS committee before the candidate begins his or her research work. The dissertation proposal may take place at the time of the Oral Examination.Petitioning ProceduresStudents may request a waiver of any of the procedures, rules, and regulations described in this document and appeal decisions based on these procedures, rules, and regulations. Such requests are to be submitted to the DOGE and Department Chair and should take the form of a written document that presents the student’s rationale for requesting the waiver or appealing a decision, accompanied by an evaluation of the request by the student’s advisor or major professor. The DOGE and Chair will examine the issue, seek advice from departmental committees as necessary, and make the final decision. These petitions will be approved only under highly extenuating circumstances.