Black Churches and AIDS as a Social Issue

Michelle Beadle-Holder (MA, Soc '06) recently published an article from her master's thesis in the Journal of African American Studies. The article explores the progressive and conservative practices through which Black churches address or ignore AIDS as a social issue.


MA in Sociology

The Master of Arts in Sociology program provides a solid grounding in the following three areas of specialization:

  • Criminology
  • Social Inequality
  • Urban Sociology

For more information, click on the MA Program Handbook (downloadable pdf file) or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Antwan Jones at [email protected].

Sample Courses

SOC 6248 Race and Urban Redevelopment
SOC 6268 Race, Gender, and Class
SOC 6265 Women, Welfare, and Policy
SOC 6286 The Law of Race and Slavery

General Requirements

All students must satisfactorily complete at least 30 credit hours of graduate course work plus a thesis (SOC 6998 and SOC 6999). The following courses are required for the degree:


Three courses:

SOC 6230 Research Methods
SOC 6231 Data Analysis
SOC 6232 Qualitative Methodology OR
SOC 6240 Field Research in Organization Settings


Two courses:

SOC 6238 Development of Sociological Theory
SOC 6239 Contemporary Sociological Theory

Substantive Courses

Two courses in a major field and one course in a minor field must be completed. Currently available fields of specialization are criminology, social inequality, and urban sociology.

Criminology: SOC 6258, 6259, 6260, 6261, 6262, 6263, 6264, 6266, 6273
Social Inequality: SOC 6245, 6246, 6265, 6271, 6272, 6273, 6286
Urban Sociology: SOC 6248, 6250

With the consent of an advisor, one graduate course in a related department or program can be used for either one of the major courses or for the minor course requirement.

The Master's Thesis

The thesis is expected to be a research paper of publishable quality.  The thesis committee will consist of two members, at least one selected from the sociology faculty.

Time to Complete Degree

Normally it takes two years for full-time students to complete their degrees. A part-time option (with a minimum of six credits per semester) is also available.

Program of Studies Form & Thesis Topic Approval Form

All MA candidates must complete a Program of Studies Form no later than the end of the first semester of residence. Forms are available in the department's MA Information Packet.

Completed by the student and submitted to the Thesis Director, the Thesis Topic Approval Form is submitted prior to registration for thesis research (SOC 6998/6999). 


GW Graduate Admissions

Funding Awarded for Study on Violence Against Women

MA student Priya Dhanani has been awarded two scholarships this year which will support her research and completion of her master's thesis, "Immigrants' Understanding of Violence Against Women." Through her focus groups with Indian men and women who have migrated to the US, Priya is investigating how their attitudes might have changed on violence against women, and what factors play a role in shaping these perceptions. Priya reports that throughout her work she is "trying to understand how community attitudes, religion, power hierarchies, politics, sexuality, and cultural values influence the challenges women face, in the hopes to create better prevention education programs." Priya is also the Director of Prevention Education and Outreach Services at FAIR Girls - a DC-based global organization dedicated to preventing the human trafficking of girls. Visit their facebook page for more about their fundraising efforts and upcoming events.