Sociology & Anthropology

Mission Statement - Graduate Program in Sociology

The mission of the graduate program in Sociology is to provide students with:
1) the skills that make them highly desirable employees for human services organizations
2) the knowledge, training, and pedagogical tools to pursue careers at community colleges (teaching and administration)
3) a rigorous foundation to pursue further advanced study in Ph.D. and professional programs.

To achieve these goals, the graduate program is structured to provide students with a critical foundation in social science research techniques, an in-depth understanding of sociological theories, and exposure to and familiarity with various teaching philosophies and strategies. Students also have the opportunity to gain broader substantive knowledge in areas supported by faculty research and specialization, including deviance and criminology, health and illness, organizations and institutions, social inequalities, and social psychology.

Graduate Degree in Sociology

Western Illinois University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in sociology. The M.A. in sociology qualifies individuals for jobs in government, human service agencies, and businesses which specifically call for a social science or behavioral science master’s degree. Community colleges employ M.A. graduates as teachers, and some universities employ them as entry level, temporary teachers. The M.A. also serves as a preliminary to further study for a Ph.D. degree in sociology.

The ongoing programs of applied and basic research, combined with a commitment to teaching excellence, provide the opportunity for sociology graduate students to work side-by-side with award winning faculty in an environment which reinforces the philosophy of “learning by doing.”

Consider these specific advantages:

  • Excellent chance for assistantship funding
  • Small classes
  • Work closely with professors
  • Teaching opportunities for advanced students
  • Thesis or nonthesis option
  • Increased job options and preparation for doctoral studies

About Our Graduates

Students with a master’s degree in sociology have an abundant choice of job possibilities. Some of our graduates teach in universities and community colleges across the country. Others hold governmental administrative positions such as those in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Some of our graduates work with teens and adults in group homes. Some graduates use their degrees to advance in rank and pay in jobs they held while taking classes.