*P. G. Steinhoff, PhD (Chair)—collective behavior/social movements,
comparative sociology (Japan), political sociology
Affiliate Graduate Faculty
C. T. Hayashida, PhD—gerontology, medical sociology, health services
P. Adler, PhD—conflict management, community studies
Degrees Offered: Certificates in Human Resources/Organizational Management, Political Economy, and Social Science and Health; BA (inlcuding minor) in sociology; MA in sociology; PhD in sociology
The Academic Program
Sociology (SOC) is the study of how society organizes itself and how various groups interact with each other and the consequences of these processes. Sociology’s subject matter includes marriage and family patterns, race and ethnic relations, demography, social change, class structure, formal organizations including bureaucracies, value systems, conflict, deviant behavior, and the people and institutions of other societies.
Sociology uses a range of research techniques for studying social phenomena that can be applied to many areas, whether one is interested in the incidence of crime, client satisfaction, policy evaluations, or demographic trends. In addition to preparing people as professional sociologists in academic settings, sociology is an excellent background for careers in law, social work, public health, urban planning, public administration, and other fields. The graduate program provides students with a foundation in basic theory and methods of research. In addition, faculty and advanced graduate students are involved in several broad areas of sociological interest: the comparative sociology of Asia; population studies; the study of crime, law, deviance, and human services in the U.S.; aging and medical sociology; and race and ethnic relations.
Students must complete a prerequisite introductory sociology course and 30 credit hours of upper division courses, including:
Consult the department for graduate and career opportunities.
Students must complete a prerequisite introductory-level sociology course and 15 credit hours, including:
For information about applying for one of the following certificate programs and a list of the available courses, please see the undergraduate advisor in Sociology or in the designated department.
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Resources/Organizational Management
The purpose of this certificate is to provide a set of courses from departments
in the College of Social Sciences for students who intend to enter careers
in human relations and management in business, non-profit agencies and
public agencies. Such careers require a broad range of knowledge and skills.
Understanding finances is fundamental to the life of an organization.
In addition, management requires an understanding of cultural styles of
communication, modes of resolving conflict, principles of psychological
motivation and interpersonal influence. Public relations is also important
in reaching the public and communicating with constituencies. Organizations
also must operate in an environment of complex legal regulations. Courses
have been approved for the certificate which provide background in these
The requirements are designed to conform to criteria specified for undergraduate certificates for UH Manoa and also to meet the diversification graduate requirement in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences. The requirements are:
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Political Economy
The Certificate in Political Economy is designed to give students a grasp of the ways in which political, economic and sociological forces interact in the shaping of public policy. The certificate may be helpful to students interested in careers in public policy as well as to students who wish to pursue graduate degrees in economics, political science or sociology by enabling them to see the connections between these disciplines. A more complete description and the requirements are described under the Department of Political Science.
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Social Science and Health
The purpose of this certificate is to supplement the disciplinary major of students who wish to pursue careers in the field of health and health care by enhancing the breadth, quality and coherence of their education through taking health-related courses in a variety of different academic disciplines.
The requirements are designed to conform to criteria specified for undergraduate certificates for UH Manoa and also to meet the diversification graduate requirement in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences (Option 2, Depth).
The requirements are:
Two programs of graduate study in sociology are offered: a PhD program, intended to provide a professional basis for research and university teaching, and an MA program, designed to offer a general sociology curriculum and specialized areas of study relevant to career lines other than university scholarship. The following are brief descriptions; the department provides a more complete statement of its graduate degree programs and requirements on its website at www.sociology.hawaii.edu. All requirements specified by the Graduate Division also apply.
Applicants for graduate study in the department must specify which program they wish to enter. Letters of recommendation and GRE General Test scores are required of all applicants. Scores for the GRE subject test in sociology are not required but are recommended. A sample of written work is also required of applicants to the PhD program. An undergraduate major in sociology is not required for admission, but some sociology background is recommended. Makeup course work may be required in some cases. Applications will be accepted for either fall term or spring term admission. The application deadline for admission is February 1 for the fall semester and September 1 for the spring semester.
The department offers the MA Plan A (thesis) and MA Plan B (non-thesis).
Plan A (Thesis) Requirements
The general MA curriculum in sociology (Plan A) should prepare the student for possible positions in government and private industry, especially in research activities. In addition, preparatory training is provided to those who aspire to a doctoral degree, but the general MA candidate cannot assume that satisfactory completion of this curriculum will automatically lead to placement in the department’s PhD program.
The Plan A program aims to provide the student with a firm foundation in sociological theory, methods of social research (including statistics), and the application of theory and methods to various areas of study.
A minimum of 30 credit hours of sociology-related course work is required for this program, as well as the successful completion of an MA thesis. All candidates are required to take at least one course each in the core areas of sociological theory, research methodology, and social statistics, as well as five substantive courses, of which four must be at the 600 level or higher. In addition, students should take 6 credits of thesis writing (SOC 700) or directed reading (SOC 699), depending on when their thesis proposals are approved. All courses credited toward the 30-credit hour minimum required for the MA degree must be passed with a grade of B or better, and a 3.0 GPA must be maintained.
The first semester’s work is planned in consultation with the graduate chair or an interim advisor appointed by the graduate chair. During the first semester, under the guidance of the graduate chair or the interim advisor, the student prepares a statement outlining a study plan that reflects his or her special interests and meets the credit requirements of the program. Also, the graduate chair or the interim advisor assists in forming the student’s three-member thesis committee. One member of the thesis committee may, but need not, be from outside the department. The thesis committee approves the thesis topic, supervises thesis work, conducts the final oral examination in defense of the thesis, and certifies the completion of the thesis, after which the student is certified as having completed the MA degree program in sociology.
Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements
A Plan B (non-thesis) MA is offered. It is generally for those students who have no intention of later moving into a PhD program, but would like to acquire a specialized set of sociological skills for use in applied settings. Details regarding this area may be obtained from the department website.
This is an academic-oriented program. It is designed to provide the student with a firm foundation in sociological theory, methods, and research so the student is prepared to engage in professional research and university teaching.
The first phase of the PhD program provides basic training in theory, methods, and research. The requirement in this phase is to complete the five core courses in theory and methods and 15 additional course credits consisting of substantive courses and up to three credits of SOC 699. For most students, it is recommended that SOC 699 be taken for three of those credits, and that the rest comprise substantive courses at the 600 level or above. By the end of this phase of work, the student submits two papers for their courses for a qualifying review. After passing this qualifying review, the student is allowed to proceed to the second phase of the PhD program.
This second phase provides advanced training in areas of concentration and dissertation research. The course requirement in this phase is—if the student has not completed it in Phase I—to take 15 credits (five courses) of substantive courses at the 600 level or above. In addition, the student is required to, in sequence, write a research paper suitable for publication in a professional journal, take a written and oral comprehensive examination on two selected areas of concentration, write a dissertation proposal, finish writing a PhD dissertation, and orally defend the PhD dissertation.
All courses that count towards PhD requirements must be passed with a grade of B (not B-) or above, and the student must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Substantive courses are defined as UH Manoa classes at the 400 level or above that focus on specific areas of empirical study in sociology. The minimum total number of course credits necessary for graduation is 30, but most PhD students are recommended to take more than the minimum in order to gain adequate knowledge. Completing non-course requirements (QR, research paper, comprehensive, dissertation) generally takes more time than course requirements. Please consult the department website for more specifics regarding each of the stages in the PhD degree.
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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