Sociology Corrections (MS)

The Master of Science in Sociology: Corrections is designed for a person seeking a leadership role in the active critique and transformation of corrections practice. The graduate of this program will have a dedication to the application of the sociological perspective to correctional practice, a thorough understanding of the correctional system, a commitment to improving the system of justice, and the ability to facilitate and maintain the necessary processes for change. The graduate of this program is further expected to promote, within Corrections and to the community at large, a commitment to the principles of social justice, respect, tolerance, dignity and worth of all persons.

Admission Requirements
Students seeking admission to the Master of Science in Sociology: Corrections program must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 semester credits of social and behavioral sciences including courses in sociology, criminology, penology, and research methods or statistics (or their equivalent).
  • A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Forms available from the Department of Sociology and Corrections.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • Writing Sample.

Students not meeting specific requirements may be admitted provisionally and be asked to fulfill deficiencies in addition to the regular schedule of courses.

Program Requirements
The Master of Science in Sociology: Corrections degree requires a minimum of:
Thesis Option: 33 credits including 3 thesis credits or
Alternate Plan Paper Option: 34 credits including 1–2 APP credits
Required Core(22-24 credits)

  • Soc 602 (3) Seminar in Social Organization
  • Soc 603 (3) Seminar in Social Psychology
  • Soc 605 (3) Seminar in Sociological Research
  • Soc 606 (3) Seminar in Sociological Theory
  • Soc 607 (3) Program Evaluation
  • Cor 608 (3) Leadership and Transformation in Corrections
  • Cor 647 (3) Correctional Theory and Practice
  • Cor 694 (1-2) Alternate Plan Paper OR
  • Cor 699 (3) Thesis

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average for the entire degree program. Half of all graduate credit applied toward the degree must be earned in courses at the 600 level. Up to six credits may be taken outside of the department with the approval of a student's advisor. The student must complete all graduate degree requirements within six years.

The alternate plan paper or master’s thesis is written under the supervision of the student’s advisor and examining committee. Requirements for the paper or thesis include an oral defense of a proposal at the beginning of the project and a successful oral defense of the product upon completion of the work.

An alternate plan paper may take one of two forms. An academic APP is a critical, comprehensive review of empirical research that applies relevant theory, identifies gaps in our knowledge, and offers original insight. An applied APP uses existing theory to identify practical or community problems and empirical research to identify possible solutions and is accountable to both the academy and the community.

A master’s thesis is written under the supervison of the student's thesis advisor and examining committee. The thesis may be original research, an historical review, replication of an existing study, secondary analysis of available data, or applied research. Thesis requirements include an oral defense of the thesis proposal at the beginning of the project and a successful oral defense upon completion of the work.

Program Requirements

Common Core

An examination of leadership skills fostering efficient processes and satisfying human relationships in transforming correctional practice. Recent innovations in the correctional field will provide case studies of effective leadership, the process of transformation and emerging best practice in corrections.

Prerequisites: none

Critical analysis of the relationship between causal theory and correctional practice.

Prerequisites: none

Macro-analysis of society as a system. Examines cultural, structural, behavioral, and ecological patterns of organization. Includes a focus on complex organizations.

Prerequisites: none

A survey and analysis of major scientific approaches to human social behavior.

Prerequisites: none

An overview of sociological theory that spans the classical and contemporary traditions within the discipline and focuses on current theoretical issues and controversies within the field.

Prerequisites: none

Quantitative and naturalistic paradigms as a knowledge base for program evaluation. Examines the social context and implication of evaluation to discuss mode and ethical considerations. Includes applied contribution of empirical research and current issues and trends.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

Advanced-level introduction or review of social science research methods, including entire research process: problem definition, literature review, hypothesis development, method development, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication; focuses on quantitative methods.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Choose 9 - 12 Credit(s). Any 500/600 level Elective courses selected in consultation with an advisor. A list of approved electives is available in the department.

Capstone Course

Choose 1 - 3 Credit(s).

Preparation of an alternate plan paper under supervision of the student's graduate advisor. Prereq: must be enrolled in the MS Program in Sociology: Corrections.

Prerequisites: none


Prerequisites: none