Graduate Program

Graduate Advisor
Christopher Lyons

Review of Applications
Contact department for information on deadline.

Degrees Offered

The Department of Sociology offers both an M.A. degree and a Ph.D. degree in Sociology. The M.A. degree represents advanced knowledge in sociology appropriate for a variety of intellectual and occupational endeavors. It typically meets minimal requirements for teaching college-level sociology courses. The Ph.D. degree represents additional specialized sociological knowledge and the development of research skills appropriate for work in a variety of public and private research settings. 

A student can enter directly into the M.A. program. If a student wishes to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of the M.A., the student can petition to move into the Ph.D. program. 

A student can also enter directly into the Ph.D. program, with or without an existing M.A. degree. Typically, entrance requirements for students entering the Ph.D. program are more competitive than for those for entering the M.A. program. A student pursuing a Ph.D. without an M.A. degree, or with a M.A. degree that did not require a thesis, completes an M.A. thesis and is awarded an M.A. along the way.

Master of Arts in Sociology

Admission to the sociology M.A. program depends on a strong record of academic performance at the undergraduate level. While the entire application is considered, and no precise GPA cutoff is used, competitive applicants generally have at least a B average (3.0 in a 4.0 system) in previous academic work. GRE scores (general test) are also evaluated as part of the application procedure. Applicants are also asked to submit a letter of intent, three letters of recommendation and two writing samples.

Entering graduate students are recommended to have had 12 credit hours of advanced undergraduate sociology courses, especially including satisfactory performance in sociological research methods and theory. College level algebra or its equivalent is also recommended. A graduate student admitted with deficiencies in any of these may be required to satisfactorily complete (with a grade of at least B, 3.0) the appropriate undergraduate course work. Credit hours earned in courses taken to remove such deficiencies do not apply to the minimum hours required for a master's degree.

The M.A. degree requires 24 credit hours of course work, 6 credit hours of thesis, a written thesis and passing the Final examination for the Thesis. Students need to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and all required courses must be completed with a grade of at least B-. After completing 12 credit hours of course work, and in consultation with the major advisor, students must file a Program of Studies with the Office of Graduate Studies. Before writing a thesis, students must appoint a thesis committee consisting of a chairperson and at least two additional faculty members. At least two of the committee members must hold regular full-time faculty appointments at The University of New Mexico.

Core course requirements for all students seeking a master's degree in sociology consist of (i)

  • 3 credit hours of graduate sociological theory (either SOC 500, 513, or 514);
  • 1 credit hour or graduate proseminar (SOC 523) to be taken as soon as possible;
  • Methods of Social Research I (SOC 580);
  • Advanced Social Statistics I (SOC 581);
  • Minimum of 12 credit hours of substantive courses in the social sciences, as approved by the Department's Graduate Committee.

In addition to these 22 core credit hours, M.A. students must complete at least 8 more credit hours of course work, which includes 6 credit hours of thesis (SOC 599). Once a student enrolls in SOC 599 she or he must stay continuously enrolled in at least one credit hour of for each semester until all degree requirements are completed.

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

The department admits a small number of well-qualified candidates to its Ph.D. program each year. Successful applicants must in addition to University Requirements, submit current (within the last 3 years) GRE General Test scores, three letters of recommendation, two writing samples, and a letter of intent. The Sociology Department recommends applicants have 12 credit hours of advanced undergraduate sociology courses, including statistics and methods courses (or the equivalents). We also recommend college level algebra or its equivalent. In addition, such factors such as the University's commitment to affirmative action, the applicant's non-academic experience, and the ability of the department to provide faculty guidance and courses in the applicant's areas of interest are considered. Students in the M.A. Program may petition the Graduate Committee for entrance into the Ph.D. Program upon successful completion of their M.A. degree. The petition should include the thesis and three letters of recommendation from faculty members. Students who have positive reviews then move into the Ph.D. program.

General requirements for the Ph.D. are set forth in earlier sections of this catalog. The Ph.D. degree requires 48 credit hours of course work and 18 credit hours of dissertation. Students must also pass comprehensive examinations and write and successfully defend a dissertation.

Specific requirements for all students seeking a Ph.D. in Sociology include (all required courses must be passed with at least a grade of B-):

  • SOC 500 Classical Social Theory;
  • One of the following courses in Contemporary Theory: SOC 513 Constructing and Analyzing Contemporary Sociological Theory; OR SOC 514 20th Century European Theory;
  • SOC 523 Proseminar (students should take this course as early in their careers as possible);
  • SOC 580 Methods of Social Research I;
  • SOC 581 Advanced Social Statistics I;
  • SOC 582 Advanced Social Statistics II; and another quantitative or qualitative methods course approved by the Graduate Advisor;
  • SOC 699 Dissertation (18 credit hours);
  • Comprehensive Examinations (written and oral);
  • Ph.D. dissertation and passing the Final Examination for Doctorate.

Prior to taking the comprehensive examinations, a Committee of Studies must be appointed which consists of at least three University of New Mexico faculty members approved for graduate instruction. The chairperson must be a regular faculty member approved by the student's graduate unit. A doctoral student must apply for and be admitted to doctoral candidacy after completing all course work and passing the comprehensive examination. The Dissertation Committee consists of at least four members approved for graduate instruction: two members must hold regular, full-time faculty appointments at the University of New Mexico; one member must be from the student's graduate unit; the dissertation chairperson must be a regular (tenured or tenure-track), full-time member of the University of New Mexico faculty; a required external member must hold a regular full-time appointment outside the student's unit/department at the University of New Mexico. This member may be from the University of New Mexico or from another accredited institution; one member may be a non-faculty expert in the student's major research area. Doctoral candidates must be enrolled during the semester in which they complete degree requirements, including the summer session.


SOC 101. Introduction to Sociology. (3)

SOC 200. Foundations of Social Welfare. (3)

SOC 205. Crime, Public Policy and the Criminal Justice System. (3)

SOC 211. Social Problems. (3)

SOC 213. Deviance. (3)

SOC 216. The Dynamics of Prejudice. (3)

SOC 221. Global Issues. (3)

SOC 225. Marriage, Family and Their Alternatives. (3)

SOC 230. Society and Personality. (3)

SOC 300. Social Welfare: Policies and Programs. (3)

SOC 305. Environmental Sociology. (3)

SOC 306. Peace and Conflict. (3)

SOC 307. Nonviolent Alternatives. (3)

SOC 308. Sociology of Gender. (3)

SOC 310. Sociology of Aging and the Aged. (3)

SOC 312. Causes of Crime and Delinquency. (3)

SOC 326. Sociology of New Mexico. (3)

SOC 328. Sociology of Native Americans. (3)

SOC 331. Social Movements. (3)

SOC 340. Sociology of Medical Practice. (3)

SOC 345. Youth and Society. (3)

SOC 346. Health and Social Inequalities I. (3)

SOC 347. Health and Social Inequalities II. (3)

SOC 351. The Urban Community. (3)

SOC 354. Introduction to Latin American Society I: Social Sciences. (3)

SOC 371. Sociological Theory [Classical Sociological Theory]. (3)

SOC 380 [280]. Introduction to Research Methods. (3)

SOC 381L [381]. Sociological Data Analysis. (4 [3])

SOC 398. Special Topics in Sociology. (3, no limit Δ)

SOC 399. Advanced Undergraduate Workshop in Sociology. (3)

SOC 400. The Welfare State. (3)

SOC 412. Sociology of Police and Social Control. (3)

SOC 414. Sociology of Corrections. (3)

SOC 415. Social Stratification. (3)

SOC 416. Sociology of Law. (3)

SOC 418. Selected Topics in Criminology. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

SOC 420. Race and Cultural Relations. (3)

SOC 421. Sociology of Education. (3)

SOC 422. Sociology of Religion. (3)

SOC 423. Gender and Crime. (3)

SOC 424. Race, Class and Crime. (3)

SOC 425. From Youthful Misbehavior to Adult Crime. (3)

SOC 426. Drugs, Crime and Social Control. (3)

SOC *427. Sociology of Madness. (3)

SOC 428. Sociology of Mexican Americans. (3)

SOC 441. Complex Organizations. (3)

SOC 445. Sociology of Work. (3)

SOC 452. Community Organizing and the Struggle for Justice in America. (3)

SOC 461. Social Dynamics of Global Change. (3)

SOC *478. Seminar in International Studies. (3)

SOC 481L. Research Methods in Sociology. (4)

SOC 488. Field Observation and Experience. (3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

SOC 490. Directed Study. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

SOC 491. Directed Study in Criminology. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

SOC 499. Senior Honors Thesis. (3)

SOC 500. Classical Sociological Theory. (3)

SOC 506. Seminar: Comparing Nations. (3)

SOC 507. Topics in Sociological Theory. (3, no limit Δ)

SOC 509. Gender and International Development. (3)

SOC 510. Social and Political Movements. (3)

SOC 513. Constructing and Analyzing Contemporary Sociological Theory. (3)

SOC 514. 20th Century European Theory. (3)

SOC 515. Criminological Theory. (3)

SOC 516. Crime, Law, and Social Control. (3)

SOC 518. Special Topics in Criminology. (3)

SOC 520. Racial and Ethnic Relations. (3)

SOC 521. Sociology of Education. (3)

SOC 523. Proseminar. (1)

SOC 528. Sociology of Mexican Americans. (3)

SOC 531. Sociology Teaching Seminar. (3)

SOC 532. Sociology of Religion. (3)

SOC 540. Medical Sociology and Health Policy. (3)

SOC 551 - 552. Problems. (2-3, no limit Δ; 2-3, no limit Δ)

SOC 570. Sociological Research: Special Topics. (3, no limit Δ)

SOC 580. Methods of Social Research I. (3)

SOC 581. Advanced Social Statistics I. (3)

SOC 582. Advanced Social Statistics II. (3)

SOC 583. Special Topics in Advanced Social Statistics. (3, no limit Δ)

SOC 584. Interdisciplinary Seminar on Problems of Modernization in Latin America. (3)

SOC 585. Sociological Fieldwork Methods: Ethnography, Interviews, Focus Groups. (3)

SOC 595. Special Topics in Sociology. (3, no limit Δ)

SOC 596. Professional Paper. (1-6, no limit Δ)

SOC 599. Master's Thesis. (1-6, no limit Δ)

SOC 699. Dissertation. (3-12, no limit Δ)

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809