2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 14, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Sociology, Applied MA, Medical Sociology Track

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College: Sciences Degree: MA
Department: Sociology Option: Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites: https://sciences.ucf.edu/sociology/
Graduate Program Handbook

Track Description

The Department of Sociology offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Applied Sociology. Beyond a curriculum appropriate for general applied sociology, the program includes a graduate track in Medical Sociology as well as instruction and opportunities pertaining to the study of deviant behavior and crime; social inequalities; and health, families and communities.

Medical Sociology is an important subfield of Sociology that was developed and recognized in 1959 by the American Sociological Association (ASA). Medical sociology identifies the processes of health, illness, and medical care as social phenomena. The American Sociological Association identifies the following research topics under the field of medical sociology: the subjective experience of health and illness, the political, economic and environmental circumstances surrounding health and illness, the societal structures and forces that constrain the medical care system, individual responses to illness, and social movements related to health and healthcare. Having a deep understanding of how social processes work to affect an individual’s health allows for many different careers. Medical sociologists use their knowledge to work for governmental and non-governmental organizations centered on health. They work for federal, state, and private health insurance plans. Medical sociologists conduct research and make policy that addresses public health problems. Many students who study medical sociology enter medical school to become clinicians and teachers of medical education. Still others enter dental school, physical therapy school, or other professional programs in the allied fields of health and apply knowledge gained from Medical Sociology to improve their patients’ lives.


Degree-seeking students in the Applied Sociology program may choose either the thesis or a nonthesis course of study. Both options require 30 hours of course work, at least half of which must be at the 6000 level or above.

Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

The thesis option is designed primarily for students who plan to enter doctoral programs and is highly recommended for students interested in community college teaching. The nonthesis option is more appropriate for students entering or continuing professional careers following the MA degree. The Master of Arts degree is conferred when students have fulfilled the requirements of either the thesis or nonthesis option. Students must earn a grade of “B” (3.0) or better in the program’s core courses. Courses may be retaken to achieve a better grade; however, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their program of study.

By the end of their first nine hours of course work in the program, students should select a permanent faculty adviser and determine their preliminary program of study, either in the thesis or nonthesis track. Students should maintain close contact with their faculty adviser in order to develop a viable program of study and avoid graduation delays.

Required Courses: 18 Credit Hours

Core: 12 Credit Hours

Please note that students in the nonthesis option are required to complete a research study in each of the 12 hours of required courses to provide an independent learning experience.

Specialization: 6 Credit Hours

Elective Courses: 6 Credit Hours

Choose two of the following restricted electives.

Thesis Option: 6 Credit Hours

The thesis option requires a minimum of 6 hours of thesis credit and a successful defense of a thesis. Students may enroll in thesis hours after they have successfully completed the four required courses and their thesis committee has been approved by the department and college.
The student’s permanent faculty adviser will chair their committee, which also will include two additional graduate sociology faculty members in the department. The additional members of the thesis committee are selected in consultation with the student’s permanent faculty adviser.
When a topic has been selected, students, in conjunction with their permanent adviser, will develop a thesis proposal. Copies of the proposal will be routed to members of their thesis committee and a proposal hearing scheduled. All students must pass a proposal hearing as well
as a final oral defense of their thesis. Students who elect to write a thesis should become familiar with the university’s requirements and deadlines for organizing and submitting the thesis. 

Thesis: 6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis Option: 6 Credit Hours

The nonthesis option requires that students complete SYA 6657 - Program Design and Evaluation and 3 additional hours of elective course work in their area of specialization. The Program Design and Evaluation course (SYA 6657) requires community-oriented research projects to develop research skills in sociology.

Directed Study for Applied Project (3 Credit Hours)

Applied Project

Nonthesis students must complete an applied project. The nature and implementation of each project will be determined by the student and her/his adviser.

Before students may begin the applied project, they must earn a grade of “B” (3.0) or better in each of the five core courses.

The grading system for the project is Pass/No Pass. Students who receive a grade of Pass will be allowed to graduate assuming all other requirements are met.

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Applied Sociology MA program pay a $39 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $19.50 per semester.

Independent Learning

As with all graduate programs, independent learning is an important component in the Applied Sociology master’s program. Students will demonstrate independent learning through research seminars and the thesis (thesis students only). The nonthesis option requires a research study in the SYA 6657 course on Program Design and Evaluation. In addition, research studies are required in each of the 15 hours of required courses to provide independent learning.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE scores taken within the last five years.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least two from academic sources familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.
  • A personal statement of 250-500 words identifying areas of research interest, faculty with whom they would like to work, and describing the applicant’s academic and professional experiences and goals.
  •  The applicant’s records will be reviewed on an individual basis for academic deficiencies and evaluated to assess their potential for success in the program. Supplemental course work may be recommended.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree. Note also that there is no automatic connection between acceptance as a non-degree-seeking student and acceptance into this degree-granting
program. Consult the graduate program director whenever questions arise.

Application Deadlines



Medical Sociology *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1 Nov 1 Apr 1
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1 Nov 1
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Telephone: 407-823-3744
HPH, RM 403

Graduate Admissions

Anthony Tufano
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address
UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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