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American Sociological Association: Optional and Required Activities of Master's Candidates
Optional and Required Activities of Master's Degree Candidates
About half of the respondents who expected to graduate by 2009 reported that completing a master’s thesis was a requirement in their program. Aside from taking courses, writing a thesis is the most characteristic activity of master’s programs, regardless of type of program or future plans of students. Although 54 departments are labeled as applied, clinical, or professional, a master’s thesis is as likely to be a requirement in these programs as it is in a traditional master’s program that leads to the PhD. The next most common requirement is taking comprehensive exams, with more than one-quarter reporting this as a requirement, while a relatively small percentage participate in this activity voluntarily. For the remainder of the activities shown in this graph, fewer than 20% of respondents are required to participate in them, although many more participate than are required.
Source: ASA Research Development Department, What Can I Do With a Master's Degree in Sociology? 2009