Sociology Human Service Planning & Administration (MS)


Thesis Plan - 33 credits
Alternate Plan Paper – 34 credits

The Master of Science in Sociology: Human Services Planning and Administration is designed for a person seeking a leadership role as an administrator in the field of human services. The graduate of this program will have a solid grounding in the knowledge, values, and skills appropriate for a broad range of human services programs. The program especially encourages creative and critical thinking skills which enable the graduate to produce positive changes in organizations.

Catalog Year



Master of Science

Major Credits


Total Credits




Career Cluster

Human Services

Program Requirements

Common Core

Implications of sociological knowledge for the administration of Human Services programs. Theoretical and practical aspects of administration with the social service systems.

Prerequisites: none

This course will address theoretical and practical aspects of the planning and evaluation process within social service systems. Evidence-based methods of developing programs and measuring their effectiveness in the human services will be addressed.

Prerequisites: none

Proseminar is an introduction to the sociology graduate programs at MSU Mankato and broader issues related to graduate education. Students will learn about program requirements; differences between capstone options (thesis or alternate plan paper) how they are structured and time-lines for completion; department plagiarism policy and how to avoid plagiarism; become familiar with library resources; become familiar with the policies and procedures of the IRB; meet department graduate faculty and become familiar with their areas of expertise, scholarship, and graduate courses they teach. Proseminar is an important course that prepares students for a timely completion of their graduate degree.

Prerequisites: none

A survey and analysis of major scientific approaches to human social behavior.

Prerequisites: none

Appreciation of basic multivariable methods in the analysis of sociological data. Includes computer applications using SPSS and application to various social issues.

Prerequisites: none

An overview of sociological theory that spans the classical and contemporary traditions within the discipline and focuses on current theoretical issues and controversies within the field.

Prerequisites: none

This course is an analysis of the meaning, social construction and significance of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and other boundaries within the pluralistic culture of the United States and in a global world. The course unpacks the mechanisms by which inequalities are maintained in organizations of education, politics, labor market, criminal justice system, sports, neighborhood boundaries, marriage and family, migration, nation, and citizenship. The course explores the matrix of domination and structural dimensions of life by considering sociological critiques of social institutional analyses.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

Advanced-level introduction or review of social science research methods, including entire research process: problem definition, literature review, hypothesis development, method development, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication; focuses on quantitative methods.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Choose 6 - 9 Credit(s). Any 500/600 level Elective courses selected in consultation with an advisor.

Capstone Course

Select either Thesis or Alternate Plan Paper (APP)

Preparation of an alternate plan paper under supervision of the student's graduate advisor. Prereq: must be enrolled in the MS program in Sociology.

Prerequisites: none


Prerequisites: none


Admission Standards

  • In addition to all materials required by the University, applicants to Sociology graduate programs must submit: a) three (3) letters of reference; b) resume or curriculum vitae; c) cover letter or statement of purpose; and d) a sample of written work
  • Admission to the graduate programs in the Department generally requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the undergraduate degree, although applicants with a lower GPA may still be admitted depending on the strength of their other application materials.
  • Admission to the Human Services Planning and Administration, MS program generally requires 24 quarter credits or 18 semester credits of social and/or behavioral sciences at the undergraduate level. Applicants who did not complete these courses may still be admitted if they can demonstrate adequate preparation through other means (e.g., professional experience, additional training or professional development).
  • Applicants who meet Department admission standards are routinely admitted on a year-round basis and may begin coursework as soon as they are admitted. While it is ideal to start the graduate program in the fall, a spring admission is possible as well.

Completion/Graduation Standards

  • All graduate students must complete either a thesis or an alternate plan paper (APP) capstone project. A thesis (SOC 699) is a for Approval  significant project that entails original empirical data collection and analysis, while an APP (SOC 694) is an equally significant project that entails a thorough review of existing literatures. Students opting for a thesis capstone can apply up to 3 credits of SOC 699 toward their MS degree. Students opting for an APP can apply up to 2 credits of SOC 694 to their MS degree.
  • Graduate students must also assemble a group of 3 faculty members to serve as the examining committee for their thesis or APP capstone project. The committee is chaired by the graduate student’s advisor and includes two other faculty members, ideally including one from outside the Department of Sociology.