College of Humanities and Social Sciences
John C. Allen, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Location: Main 338
Phone: (435) 797-1195
Degree offered: Master of Social Sciences (MSS)
Primary Disciplines: History, Political Science, and Sociology
Secondary Disciplines: Anthropology; Business Administration; Instructional Technology; Environment and Society; Family, Consumer, and Human Development; History; Political Science; Psychology; Social Work; and Sociology
The program is administered by a committee of the department heads (Management Committee) from the three primary disciplines or their designees. The committee is chaired by annual rotation by one of the members of the committee, and reports to the Degree Coordinator. The Management Committee reviews policy and develops recommendations which are submitted to the Degree Coordinator for approval.
The social sciences are disciplines that have as a common objective the understanding of human behavior and social relationships. The MSS offers multidisciplinary graduate training for candidates desiring in-depth applied understanding of human performance, human environments, and/or the structuring of social, political, and economic systems. Students in History and Sociology typically follow the Plan B option, which requires a minimum of 30 credits. A minimum of 15 credits are required in a primary discipline, plus a minimum of 15 credits from one of the following two tracks: Track A: a minimum of 15 credits from two approved primary disciplines, with at least two courses in each secondary discipline. Track B: a minimum of 15 credits from an approved secondary discipline and a cluster, with at least two courses in the secondary discipline and two courses in the cluster. Courses counted in a cluster must be outside the selected primary discipline and secondary discipline. Three of the 30 credits required for the Plan B option must be thesis credits, but no more than 3 credits of thesis can be counted toward a degree. Departments may impose more rigorous requirements. A maximum of 3 credits may be earned either from readings/conferences or from independent research.
The MSS degree is primarily intended to prepare degree recipients for employment or advancement in social science-related occupations. Students interested in pursuing doctoral work should consider a Plan A Master of Science program.
See general admission requirements . In addition, the faculty of each discipline determines whether to recommend to the graduate dean the acceptance of applicants. For further information, contact the Graduate Coordinator in the department of the proposed primary discipline.
For each student admitted, a supervisory committee is ordinarily appointed consisting of at least one faculty representative from the student’s primary discipline and (a) one from each of the secondary disciplines, or (b) one from a secondary discipline and one from a discipline associated with the cluster. Policies governing student supervision may vary from specialization to specialization.
Plan B Research Paper
Each Plan B student must submit a research paper for thesis credit in accordance with School of Graduate Studies and departmental requirements. Ordinarily, the Plan B paper is written in the primary discipline, but in some cases, with the approval of the student’s supervisory committee, it may be written in one of the secondary disciplines. Information specific to each primary discipline may be obtained by contacting the sponsoring department.
Candidates interested in pursuing this degree program may obtain specific information by contacting the head of one of the participating departments, the School of Graduate Studies, or the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Sociology program supports the interdisciplinary MSS degree. The focus of the MSS degree through Sociology has traditionally emphasized aspects of International Rural and Community Development. The MSS degree offers multidisciplinary graduate training for candidates desiring in-depth applied understanding of human performance, human environments, and/or the structuring of social, political, and economic systems. The MSS specialization in sociology requires a minimum of 35 credits, including 17 credits of graduate sociology courses and either (1) a minimum of 9 credits in each of two secondary disciplines, or (2) a minimum of 9 credits in one secondary discipline and 9 credits in an approved cluster. Students must complete an approved Plan B paper (for 2 credits) as part of their sociology coursework. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required. This is an applied degree. Individual options and plans of study can be arranged in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee. Contact the Sociology Graduate Program Director for more information.
Like the MA and MS in history, the MSS degree with a history specialization requires a minimum of 30 credits, including 15 credits in the major discipline of history, plus a minimum of 15 credits from two approved minor areas, with at least two courses in each minor area. Accepted minor disciplines include instructional technology, environment and society, political science, psychology, and sociology/anthropology. This degree is designed for secondary school teachers who need more training to obtain licensure in additional teaching fields or who simply wish to deepen their understanding of a related field.