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The Master of Arts in Social Science

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.  This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through Regional and Continuing Education.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

The Master of Arts in Social Science is designed for professionals having unique curricular needs within the behavioral and social sciences. It offers optimal flexibility in designing an individualized program specializing in an area related to behavioral and social sciences. The student can pursue a specific interdisciplinary theme, topic, or problem. The student is responsible for designing the course of study in conjunction with the graduate advisory committee and subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. If the applicant's previous work is deficient in the social sciences, the applicant may be required to take some prerequisite courses as appropriate to the program of study.

4. Two letters of recommendation

5. Submission of a statement of purpose for the program describing their background and career or academic goals, and preparation for Social Science graduate studies.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Completion of at least one of the following:

(a) A grade point average of 3.25 or better in the last 60 units of course work taken.

(b) A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0.

(c) A minimum score of 150 on the verbal and 150 on the quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination.

(d) Completion of 12 units in the program with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average including the research methods course that requires a grade of B or higher.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. The student must have classified graduate standing and must have completed at least 18 units of the proposed program at the University.

2. Recent completion of a research methods course appropriate to the program of study (consult Graduate Coordinator) with a grade of B or better.

3. Recent completion of a Graduate Literacy Course as assigned/approved by the Graduate Coordinator. A Graduate Literacy Course may be any of one of various 400/500/600 level courses that require significant scientific writing in the field(s) of study and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

4. Formation of the graduate advisory committee, composed of at least two faculty from at least two appropriate departments, in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

5. Development of an approved program in consultation with the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinator, including a statement describing the student's interest in the special program being proposed, previous academic training, other relevant experience, and a description of the particular theme, topic, or problem the student proposes to study.

Requirements for the MA in Social Science:

Completion of all requirements as established by the Social Science graduate committee, the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

2. Completion, with a grade of B or higher of an approved (by the Graduate Coordinator) research methods course.

3. The student is responsible for designing the rest of the course of study in conjunction with the graduate advisory committee and subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. A minimum of 18 units must be taken in the social sciences, including course work from at least two disciplines. The program of study must reflect a specific interdisciplinary theme, topic, or problem.

(a) At least 18 units taken in the social sciences.

(b) At least 18 units required for the degree at the 600 level.

(c) At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework. This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through Regional and Continuing Education. (Correspondence courses and UC Extension coursework are not acceptable for transfer).

(d) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.

(e) At least 9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.

(f) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (697) and Master's Thesis (699) or Master's Project (699); not more than 6 units of either Master's Thesis (699) or Master's Project (699), nor more than 6 units of Independent Study (697).

4. Completion and final approval of a culminating activity and successful completion of an oral defense. Students may choose a thesis or terminal project as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinator. A Comprehensive Exam and formal presentation may be chosen in lieu of thesis and oral defense with approval of the Graduate Coordinator.

5. Approval by the Social Science Graduate Coordinator and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

This requirement must be met by successful completion, with a B or higher, of a Graduate Coordinator approved Graduate Literacy course.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 697, 696, 699P, 699T and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

For this program, grades lower than B- are unacceptable. For this program, Internship courses (689) will be graded Credit/No Credit only.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory each semester for all Social Science majors. Failure to seek advising is considered a violation of normal progress towards the degree and can be grounds for removal from the program.

Catalog Cycle:18