The Graduate Program in APPLIED SOCIOLOGY. Master of Arts and optional concentration with Forensic Services Graduate Certificate Program . “It may well be the best program in applied sociology in the United States.”
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Master of Arts
and optional concentration with
Forensic Services Graduate Certificate Program
“It may well be the best program in applied sociology in the United States.”
1999 Academic Quality and Development Review Team report, led by Professor Caroline Persell, New York University, 1995 President, Eastern Sociological Society; 2005 Vice-President, American Sociological Association.
This exciting and dynamic program is perfect for anyone looking for the opportunity to explore and develop their abilities to consider, analyze and contribute to sociological policy, program development, research or the management of social agencies. Our graduates are researchers, managers, instructors, policy analysts, and service providers in health care, social service and criminal justice agencies, and corporate departments throughout the area. Many have continued their advanced studies in PhD programs, as well. Our accelerated, 5-year BA-to-MA program offers qualified undergraduates the chance to complete master’s level study in a more timely way than otherwise possible.
• Candidates for the MA degree in applied sociology earn a minimum of 36 semester credits, at least 27 of which must be in courses offered in the program. To graduate, students must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 (students may be placed on probation if their GPA falls below 3.0).
•Core Courses. Fundamentals of Applied Sociology (Soc 600), research methodology (Soc 650 and 651), and two courses out of the following: Complex Organizations (Soc 601), Social Policy (Soc 640), Social Problems (Soc 620), or Applied Social Theory (Soc 605).
•Specialty Courses. Students specialize in a substantive area by taking at least two courses from one of the following areas: medical sociology, criminology/corrections, social policy/evaluation research, or interdisciplinary programs in forensic services, dispute resolution, gerontology, or counseling.
•Practical Experience. Students are expected to complete an internship in a human services, health, or criminal justice setting or to complete the seminar on teaching. The requirement can be waived for those with prior experience or for those who complete the graduate teaching seminar.
•Teaching Seminar. All students who receive a Teaching Assistantship and others who are interested must enroll in our graduate seminar on the sociology of teaching
•Capstone. Students must complete an MA thesis—a 9 credit independent research project leading to a thesis and supervised by a 3-person committee; an MA research paper—a research experience developed in a 6-credit seminar that results in an article-length and professional quality research paper; or a comprehensive exam—a 6-hour exam covering research methods, social theory and policy, and the student’s area of concentration.
A 16-credit Graduate Certificate Program in Forensic Services. Designed for criminal justice and mental health professionals, the Certificate Program provides a strong grounding in basic science, mental health counseling principles, and social theory, while at the same time offering practical skills and competencies in mental health and criminal justice, which will enable students to serve as effective professionals in a variety of social service environments where the problems of crime and mental illness intersect.
The program's emphasis on analysis and its interdisciplinary approach are strengthened by collaborations with other academic units: UMass Boston's undergraduate Criminal Justice Program, Department of Psychology, Graduate Program in Counseling, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
Five three-credit courses and a one-credit field experience project (students matriculated in Applied Sociology can substitute Soc. 698 for Soc. 598):
COUNSL 604: Foundations in Mental Health PSYCH 614: Forensic PsychologySOCIOL 598: Field Experience Project (1 credit) SOCIOL 618: Psychiatric Epidemiology and Forensic Services
SOCIOL 623: Alcohol and CrimeSOCIOL 667: Sociology of Law
Applied Sociology students may use Forensic Services courses as their area of concentration even if they do not complete the Certificate requirements.
The Program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to support teaching, research, and administrative needs. Most graduate assistants work 5 or 10 hours per week during the semester(s) they are supported, although occasionally a student may receive a 15- or 20-hour assistantship. Assistants receive a stipend in addition to tuition remission and partial fee payment. Teaching assistants are expected to complete the program’s seminar on teaching.
I was hired at MRC as a Management Analyst where I am responsible for completing several regulatory reports to various stakeholders. I also conduct survey research including our consumer satisfaction and needs assessment surveys, and design and complete studies on agency programs, including cost-benefit analyses and qualitative reviews of case records. Recently, development activities such as grant writing and evaluation have become a primary responsibility, along with developing a comprehensive evaluation protocol for the agency in conjunction with senior management.
The Applied Sociology program provided me with a solid foundation in statistical methods, research design and evaluation methods. These are skills that I utilize every day at MRC. I look back fondly on my time in the Applied Sociology program, and continue to stay in touch with faculty and classmates.
I currently hold two positions, both of which draw heavily on the skills and experience I gained through the Applied Sociology program at UMass Boston. My primary job is as a research analyst at the … Muskie School of Public Service. Our team develops tools to measure the effectiveness of 11 grant programs administered by the federal government’s Office on Violence Against Women as part of the Violence Against Women Act. We then utilize these tools to gather and compile statistics for OVW regarding the activities supported by their awards. Additionally, we conduct site visits to a sample of funded organizations in order to document grantee’s perceptions of the impact their work is having for victims of domestic violence and the communities in which they live. Finally, we provide training and technical assistance to facilitate the use of the reporting forms which we have created.
The strong foundation in research methods that I gained in the Applied Sociology program was instrumental in helping me to secure employment at the University and the instruction I received during my UMass internship was central to my ability to work as a psychometrist. Overall, I credit my study at UMB with the success that I have enjoyed in putting my passion for sociology to work, literally and figuratively.
In April of , I transitioned into a position as Study Manager in the Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I immediately loved this job – I had my first experience working with women at high risk of breast cancer and learned all about the fascinating world of genetic testing. All of the research skills I learned at UMB went into high gear. I was designing studies, analyzing data and writing scientific papers. I was promoted relatively quickly to Project manager where I began directing projects and supervising junior staff…[After earning my PhD at Northeastern] I am still working at DFCI, however now as a Senior Research Scientist…. My major role is to oversee all of the cancer genetics research studies in the DFCI Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic. … I still call on the research skills I learned at UMB.
…My 2 years in the UMB Applied Sociology program were the best academic experience I have known to this day, clearly outshining all the others. The research skills I learned at UMB have become a part of me; without my research training, I would not have had such professional success—that is clear. To this day, I often and fondly remember the UMB faculty that had a strong and positive influence on me—I admire and respect them enormously; this is reflected in the fact that we have kept in touch with each other for so long.
2001 2002 2005 2006
Cruising After Commencement
Paul Benson (PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) Sociology of Mental Health, Medical Sociology, Public Policy
Milton L. Butts, Jr. (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) Juvenile Delinquency, Urban Sociology, Race & Ethnic Relations, Criminology
Jorge Capetillo-Ponce ( PhD, New School) Social Theory, Race and Ethnic Relations, Media Studies, Latino Studies
Xiaogang Deng (PhD, SUNY-Buffalo) Research Methods, Deviance, Criminological Theory, Comparative Criminology
Estelle Disch (PhD, Tufts University) Gender, Human Services, Multicultural Studies, Clinical Sociology
Susan L. Gore (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) Medical Sociology, Sociology and Social Psychology of Public Health
Laura Hansen (PhD, UC Riverside) Organizations, Social Network Analysis, White-Collar Crime, Corrections, Youth Gangs
Stephanie W. Hartwell (PhD, Yale University) Drugs and Society, Mental Health, Criminality, Applied Sociology
Glenn Jacobs (PhD, Temple University) Urban Sociology, Social Theory, Race and Ethnic Relations, Social Problems, Sociology of Music & Art, Field Methods
Philip A. Kretsedemas (PhD, University of Minnesota) Immigration, social welfare, critical race theory, political sociology/social movements, democracy and development, media studies, Caribbean Studies
Richard Kronish (PhD, University of Wisconsin) Social Policy, Social Stratification, Labor
Andrea Leverentz (PhD, University of Chicago) Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Qualitative Methods
Siamak Movahedi (PhD, Washington State University) Social Psychology, Social psychiatry, Research Methods & Statistics
Russell K. Schutt (PhD, University of Illinois-Chicago) Research Methods, Sociology of Organizations, Homelessness and Mental Health Services, Sociology of Law
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi (PhD, SUNY-Binghamton) Social Theory, Self & Society, World-Historical Sociology, Soc. of Knowledge, Soc. Movements, Utopias
Reef Youngreen (PhD, University of Iowa) Social Psychology, Status Processes, Deviance