A few universities have taken their sociology graduate certificate programs online, making it easy for more students to gain the knowledge they need to pursue careers in the field. Below are descriptions of some typical sociology certificate courses, as well as information on program admittance.
General Information for Online Sociology Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate certificates in sociology often require about 18 credits and typically teach students about both the theory and practice of human behavior and social change. Some programs are geared towards students who already have a master's degree and wish to teach sociology, so some courses may include teacher training. Some common courses are discussed below.
Courses in sociological theory often cover the origins of widely accepted schools of thought, such as critical theory, functionalism, postmodernism, and neo-Marxism. Students learn about impactful developments from the 1800s to today and study the main thinkers of each time period. How foundational sociology affects modern day sociology is also a common topic of discussion.
General sociology courses may cover the history of the field, introduce students to prominent sociologists, and go over the main principles of the field. Some courses cover more advanced topics for students who already have experience in the field, such as how sociology relates to medicine, communities, or gender.
Methodology courses can teach students the broad range of social research methods and how these methods may be applied to their own research. Students might learn how to collect and analyze data. Many courses teach survey design, interviewing, sampling, and observation.
Contemporary Social Issues
A wide variety of courses on different contemporary social issues are available. Students may learn about sociology and religion, sociology and aging, or sociology and the environment. Each course covers the application of sociological theory to the focus group and teaches students how to perform critical analyses relevant to each subject group.
Sociology of the Family
Sociology and family courses often discuss families as social institutions and look at family structures across cultures. Many courses of this nature also examine how family structures relate to a culture's specific religious, governmental, and economic systems. Students might also learn about different sociological approaches to the idea of family.
Social inequality courses examine how wealth and power are unequally distributed across societies, usually with a comparative focus so that students are exposed to systems in various cultures. Courses that cover inequality also typically cover class and status in conjunction with race/ethnicity and sex. Classical and modern theories of human inequality are often studied.
Program Admittance Requirements for Online Graduate Sociology Certificates
Most graduate certificates in sociology will require students to hold at least a bachelor's degree before applying. Some programs require that applicants hold a 3.0 GPA. GRE test scores are not typically required. To gain acceptance into a sociology graduate certificate program, students will need to complete online applications and supply transcripts of any college courses previously taken. Personal or professional statements of intent are often required, and many programs charge an application fee.
Online graduate certificates in sociology are available at a handful of reputable universities, granting students more access and flexibility when it comes to furthering their studies. Completing an 18-credit sociology certificate can grant students a wider breadth of research and analytical skills and may lead to new professional opportunities.