The Master of Arts in Sociology-Development Studies is a comprehensive graduate program focused on the development and progress of Iran. The program consists of twelve modules and covers areas such as social and development theories, research techniques-methodology, and contemporary social discourse on an inclusive Iran.
The different modules of the program allow students from different academic backgrounds to acquire social sensibility and to identify the root causes of societal inequalities, injustices, and widening gaps which are crucial for discussion of underlying assumptions of implemented development approaches and projects. At the same time, it endows students with the skills, techniques, and methods needed to conduct coherent research.
In addition to the theoretical dimension, the program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable development, centered on human rights and gender equality, and with a holistic and organic view of reality. The program also encourages students to deepen their understanding-reflection-insight, in the light of the Baha’i Writings, about the interconnection and interdependence of physical, biological, social, and environmental dimensions of existence.
The Department of Sociology is committed to providing a teaching and learning environment in which students are encouraged to think and analyze critically. A sociological vision illustrates how personal preferences and individual fates are formed by social forces.
The program challenges students to conduct independent research and to take advantage of opportunities in such areas as economy and organizations, diversity and inequality, and social problems and public policy. In addition to developing students’ ability to critically analyze and understand social patterns, the degree is relevant to professional careers in education, social work, journalism, non-governmental organization, and social research. It also provides training for advanced graduate work in sociology and related fields.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the program are for students to:
- acquire knowledge and insight in the fields of sociology and its theoretical foundations
- gain the knowledge of sociology and its relationship with other sciences
- gain insight and deep knowledge of sociological issues (social sensibility)
- become familiar with research skills and methods in social sciences
- understand Iranian society and become familiar with Iranian social issues and the possibility of participating in their resolution
- develop analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to develop questioning and problem-solving skills
- create a platform for the emergence and development of academic skills (such as presenting a scientific article, participating in scientific seminars, etc.) as well as writing articles for journals in the field of social sciences
- acquire skills in statistical analysis in the field of social research and demography
- Increase the ability to cooperate with non-governmental organizations
- develop the capability to continue education in postgraduate courses in a wide range of social sciences and humanities
The program is open to is open to those with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. An official transcript from the attended university is required.
Applicants apply online using an application form that collects personal data as well as a 500-word essay in English that outlines why the candidate would like to pursue this program and summarizes personal background that is relevant to their application. All applicants should provide two letters of recommendation from referees who are not family members or friends and who have worked closely with the applicant in the academic or work environments, ideally with some research component. The referees should be familiar with the applicant’s work habits, motivation, and ability to work creatively and independently. Applicants must also submit their resume (educational background and related scientific, social, and occupational activities).
The applicants are required to present proof of English proficiency at the level of the "International English Language Testing System" (IELTS) 6.0 in each of writing, reading, comprehension & expression. This can be assessed by an IELTS, the "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) or equivalent.
All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview.
At present, the program can admit a maximum number of 15 students.
Students are required to take all below courses within 4 semesters, a total of 35 credit hours:
- SOC5114: Quantitative Sociological Research Methods (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5105: Contemporary Social Theories (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5123: Social Economics (3Credit Hours)
- SOC5110: Qualitative Sociological Research Methods (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5115: Evolution of Development Theories (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5119: Women Empowerment & Development (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5129: Science, Religion, & Development (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5127: Iran: Building an Inclusive Society (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5133: Knowledge, Development, and Perception of Reality (3 Credit Hours)
- SOC5134: Proposal (2 Credit Hours)
- THS5115: Thesis (3 Credit Hours)