May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Don Kurtz, Department Head
​Travis Linnemann, Director of Graduate Studies

204 Waters Hall


The primary objective of the graduate program in sociology at Kansas State University is to provide the highest quality graduate training possible for students seeking to become teachers and scholars in the field of sociology or those seeking to enter careers in applied research in government or private industry. The program offers a small student/faculty ratio. Graduate students have a high level of contact with faculty and are provided with the opportunity to participate in supervised research.

The master’s program provides in-depth exposure to sociological theory and methods of research, while providing flexibility in allowing students to design a program to meet  their specific needs. It is intended for both students who are seeking to continue on for the Ph.D., and those seeking careers in government, business, or non-profit organizations.

The Ph.D. program offers specialized training in four areas: Community, Agriculture, Food, and Environment; Politics and Development; Criminology; and Social Inequalities. All students take core courses in sociological theory and research methods. Graduates will be prepared for academic careers in teaching and research and careers in applied social research.


In addition to the university’s computing center, the department has two graduate student computer lab’s with direct access to the university mainframe. The computers contain data analysis software, word processing, spreadsheet, and data base management systems.

The department is active in interdisciplinary programs such as Women’s Studies, Gerontology, American Ethnic Studies and International Studies.

Degree programs

The Master’s of Arts degree requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours and normally takes two years to complete. It is offered under three degree options. The thesis  option is designed primarily for students continuing on for a Ph.D. in sociology, or seeking a career in sociology. The non-thesis option is designed to provide general sociological knowledge for students seeking careers in government, business, or non-profit organizations. The Master’s in Social Analysis option is designed to provide advanced research and analytical skills for students already employed, or those seeking careers in government, business, or non-profit organizations.

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the Master’s: 30 hours of course work and 30 dissertation hours. The course work includes 15 hours of core requirements and 18 hours in two major areas of concentration. Some core requirements can be met at the  Master’s level. All students must take two preliminary examinations. Preliminary examinations in their theory and methods core are waived if performance in the required courses is sufficient.


Official transcripts from each college or university attended are required, as are a statement of purpose, curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a sample of previously written scholarly work. For international applications, TOEFL/IELTS scores and a financial affidavit are also required.

The general application deadline for the Fall semester is January 15 for domestic applicants and January 8 for international applicants. Applicants will receive notification about admittance in March. Notification about financial assistance (if requested) is usually sent out in early April.

Applications without financial support are considered if received before May 1 (for Fall admissions) and October 1 (for Spring admissions) for domestic applicants. August 1st is the deadline for Spring admissions for international students.


Teaching and research assistantships are available each year. They require approximately 16 hours of work per week. All assistants must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours of course work per semester, which can include hours for thesis or dissertation research.

Students awarded assistantships who make normal degree progress can expect to receive support for two years at the M.A. level and three years at the Ph.D. level, which is contingent upon university funding.


All entering graduate students are required to enroll in the departmental proseminar during their first fall semester on campus. The proseminar is conducted by the graduate director and consists of discussions designed to orient the graduate student to the discipline of sociology as a profession and to the department.

Graduate Handbook

Details of the procedures, deadlines, and policies of the department and the graduate school on all matters pertaining to graduate study in Sociology are available on the department’s website.



Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Arts


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Social Work

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