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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Aimee Dechter
SOC 590
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Sociology

Examination of current substantive topics in sociology. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and the interests of the instructor. Topics covered in courses with this number lie outside those covered by other special topics courses numbered SOC 581 through SOC 589.

Class description

The masterís thesis research seminar (MTRS), a sequence of seminars for graduate students in sociology who are in their second year or who have begun work on their masterís thesis, is designed to facilitate the development and execution of the thesis. Students who are not in their second year may sign up with permission of the instructor. Students will hone the skills and judgments necessary to identify sociologically important and empirically feasible research questions, develop appropriate research designs to address those questions, complete independent research to bring evidence to bear on those questions, and write-up the research. Under the supervision of their advisers and with support from the instructor and participants in the masterís thesis research seminar, students are expected to complete a masterís thesis proposal, a (final or preliminary) thesis draft and present their work (completed or in progress). The seminar will be a forum for refining research questions, presenting work in progress and receiving feedback from the instructor and other students on the research ideas, and written work. The format of the class will consist of a combination of class discussions, faculty and student presentations, and individual meetings with the instructor.

Student learning goals

Hone the skills and judgments necessary to identify sociologically important and empirically feasible research questions

Develop appropriate research designs to address research questions

Complete independent research to bring evidence to bear on those questions

Complete a master's thesis, under the supervision of an advisor and master's thesis committee.

General method of instruction

The seminar will be a forum for refining research questions, presenting work in progress and receiving feedback from the instructor and other students on the research ideas, and written work. The format of the class will consist of a combination of class discussions, faculty and student presentations, and individual meetings with the instructor.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Aimee Dechter
Date: 12/17/2011