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ERIC Number: ED135708
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Aug
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
The Questionable Value of the Master's Degree in Sociology for the Ph.D.-Pursuing Student.
Thorsell, Bernard Alan
Ambiguity concerning the professional value of the master's degree for graduate students in sociology is discussed. Four factors are identified as contributing to this ambiguity: (1) the lack of uniform standards and requirements for the degree in American higher education; (2) the decline in the prestige of the degree in academic circles; (3) the degree is more often linked to professional practice than to academic scholarship; and (4) the degree has become the weakest in the most highly rated and prestigious institutions. Results of a survey of 98 departments of sociology indicate departmental agreement that the master's degree program serves as a method of evaluating student capacity for successfully completing the doctoral program and as an opportunity for the student to acquire research experience prior to undertaking the dissertation. All departments indicated willingness to accept transfer candidates for their doctoral programs, although varying amounts of course credit are given for previous work. Two changes in the present system are proposed. First, the substitution of a piece of publishable sociological research in lieu of formal requirements for the master's degree. Second, development of terminal professional master's programs in areas of applied sociology. References are included. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (New York, New York, August 30-September 3, 1976)