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Sociology | Graduate Certificate in Public Sociology

As of fall 2009, the sociology faculty at American University in Washington, D.C., announced the new Graduate Certificate in Public Sociology. Initially a concentration within the Masters of Arts in Sociology, which began fall 2006, the graduate certificate is designed to provide students with training to use theories and methods of sociology in a wide range of work settings, including policy and social activism and advocacy. Any student with a Bachelor's degree can apply for and enroll in this certificate; current MA students are eligible to enroll as well. The Graduate Certificate in Public Sociology will appear on a student's transcript, along with any terminal degree.

The program of study leads to career paths ranging from grassroots organizing and work in community-based non-profit agencies and non-governmental organizations to employment in government agencies, legislative offices, "think tanks," advocacy organizations, or private consulting.

Students in the Graduate Certificate will pursue required coursework which includes:

  • SOCY 684 - Seminar in Public Sociology
  • SOCY 695 - Internship Seminar in Public Sociology
  • SOCY 525 - Social Advocacy and Social Change -or- SOCY 580 - Social Policy Analysis (all courses are 3 credits)
  • and two relevant graduate level courses related to Public Sociology in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.
  • The Department seeks to support internships or practicums that involve teamwork, engage decision-makers and community groups, and develop a range of capabilities that can include: needs assessment and strategic planning, managing data collection using a range of methods of observation, interpretation of findings informed by social theory, evaluation of social programs and policies, and grant writing.

The Graduate Certificate will appeal to students who want to enhance their marketable skills and pursue a social justice agenda while learning from sociologists who work in government, community-based non-profits, research, or commercial/consulting organizations.

Please visit the Graduate Admissions Web site for application information.


Alumni Success Story

Since fall 2007, Doug Klayman has taught the public sociology seminar and is also the coordinator of the department's MA concentration in public sociology.

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