Degrees Offered

Graduate program in Public Affairs – Applied Sociology

The graduate program in sociology is part of an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree program in public affairs. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural environment in the public and private sphere through a common core of courses taken by all students in political theory, social theory and historical thought, human culture, and economic theory.

Students, prior to admission to the program, select one of the following concentrations: political and governmental processes (see History/Political Science), or applied sociology. Students interested in sociology will follow the curriculum described below.

All courses under the Public Affairs – Applied Sociology MA offer a distance option in addition to face-to-face instruction at the Las Vegas campus.

This program prepares students for doctoral studies and may provide enrichment for professionals in public careers such as law, politics, or government service. The program also provides advanced preparation for teachers. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is well suited to such purposes, by combining theoretical knowledge and practical methodology in historical and cross-cultural analysis; archival research; personal and participant observation, interview, and survey techniques; and statistical analysis, model-building, and simulation–applied to analysis of social and cultural trends; political and economic policy at local, regional, national, and international levels; and organizational and institutional processes.

The program’s geographic location in a multi-ethnic region of the Southwest brings unique perspectives. Field and practicum experiences are available to capitalize on the region’s rich social, cultural, and institutional resources.

Master of Arts in Public Affairs (MA)

REQUIRED CORE: (Choose 12 to 15 credits from the following):

ANTH 6510 Seminar: Concepts of Human Culture (3)

HIST 6150 Contemporary Historical Thought (3)

POLS 5630 Political Economy (3)

POLS 6540 Seminar: The State (3)

SOCI 5390 Classical Sociological Theories (3)

Core Total: 12 – 15 credit hours

Applied Sociology Concentration

 Required Credit Hours: 13 credit hours

SOCI 6380 Classical Sociological Theory (3)

SOCI 6390 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3)

SOCI 5300 Data Analysis (4)

SOCI 6300 Research Methods in Sociology (3)

Thesis Option:

SOCI 6990 Thesis (6) + 8 elective credit hours

Non-Thesis Option
(approval required by adviser and department chair):

  • 14 elective credit hours
  • Completion of 2 professional/publishable papers

Electives: (8 for thesis option, 14 for non-thesis option)

SOCI 5120 Social Stratification (3)

SOCI 5150 Development & Sociocultural Change (3)

SOCI 5270 Criminology (3)

SOCI 5280 Comparative Systems of Social Control (3)

SOCI 5290 Gender & Society (3)

SOCI 5340 Political Sociology (3)

SOCI 5930 Race & Ethnic Relations (3)

POLS 5580 Political Theory & Philosophy (3)

POLS 5190 Public Administration (3)

POLS 6140 Seminar: Public Policies (3)

Other electives may be selected in consultation with your graduate adviser.

Required Program Total: 36 credit hours minimum 

For additional information, please contact Rebecca Álvarez, PhD, Graduate Coordinator

( 443-8857)


Graduates of the NMHU department of Public Affairs can be found in the following occupations:

  • Law
  • Government Service
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Faculty & Staff

Public Affairs and Southwest Studies

Faculty & Staff