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Graduate Program

The M.S. degree in applied sociology at Clemson University emphasizes practical and theoretical knowledge in the areas of policy analysis, evaluation research and human systems. The program’s emphases include the acquisition of social science research skills, theory application and practical field experience. The program prepares students to conduct theoretically sound, empirically sophisticated research projects and evaluation studies of organizational programs and policies.

The degree consists of 45 hours of graduate credit and typically takes two years to complete. The core curriculum includes theory, research methods, survey design, evaluation research, statistics, humans systems, six thesis credit hours, a concentration area and an internship in an applied context. Students are required to take the departmental Professional Seminar, enrolling in one credit hour in each of their four semesters in the program. Students select their concentration area and the courses for it in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and his/her Thesis Committee Chair. Possible concentration areas include workplace culture, international development, environmental and developmental policy, business administration and management, health-care delivery and education. These specializations can contribute to the selection of emphasis areas for those who subsequently pursue doctoral degrees.

This program offers a strong grounding in policy analysis, organizations and theory. Students are trained in every aspect of the process of conducting research and writing reports of the findings. Emphasis is on constructing, managing and analyzing data sets that provide information crucial to policy analysis, program evaluation and organizational success. During the summer after their first year, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by completing an internship in a private business, public service agency, research organization, non-governmental organization or other approved entity.

The program is designed to foster collegial associations with the faculty members. Students have the opportunity to become involved in a variety of applied research endeavors. These research endeavors often lead to internship or employment opportunities, and can serve as the springboard for selecting a doctoral program upon completion of this program.

Clemson University’s graduate program in applied sociology has been recognized by the American Sociological Association as a program with “exemplary practices” in the training of applied sociologists.

Clemson University Anthropology student working in the lab.Research Opportunities

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is located in Brackett Hall, a building that includes an atrium and two public-access computer laboratories. The department has one research laboratory for sociological work and another for anthropological work.

Faculty members and graduate students often collaborate on research projects with colleagues from other departments. Faculty and graduate students have conducted research for several campus entities including the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff, the Faculty Senate, Public Service and Agriculture, the College of Education, the School of Nursing, and the Department of English. As they arise, students will have the opportunity to learn how to develop web-based mail and telephone surveys and how to conduct focus groups and face-to-face interviews.

Cost of Study

Please see the tuition schedules as posted on the web pages of the Graduate School to receive the most current information about tuition and fees.

Student Group

The program currently has approximately 19 students. Seventy-four percent are women, 21 percent are international students and 68 percent of the students are enrolled full-time. Fifty-three percent are funded. Students come from a variety of academic backgrounds including sociology, psychology, business, communications and journalism.

Financial Aid

As funds are available, the department offers graduate assistantships. Graduate assistants work 10 to 20 hours per week in the department.

Students are sometimes funded through faculty research or service projects. Students in Clemson’s applied sociology M.S. program also have earned assistantships with other departments and centers on campus. Highly qualified graduate students can compete for university fellowships.

Assistantships and fellowships are highly prized and very competitive.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of our program are highly marketable and have an excellent employment record. They have been hired by governmental, public and private organizations including the National Opinion Research Center, Nielsen Media, Arbitron, Research Triangle Institute, United Way, Society for Human Resource Management, American Institutes for Research, District of Columbia Public Schools and U.S. Bureau of the Census. Graduates are data analysts, evaluation researchers, policy analysts, statisticians and management consultants. Graduates also have successfully pursued doctoral and professional studies at public and private universities.


Clemson University — South Carolina’s land-grant and highest-ranked institution — is committed to academic excellence, public service, economic development and innovative research with students at the heart of it all. Clemson University is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus boasts its own 17,500-acre experimental forest, is home to the 295-acre South Carolina Botanical Garden and sits on the shores of Lake Hartwell — one of the Southeast’s most popular recreation sites.


The department seeks applicants who have a desire to use their social science research skills in an applied setting. Prior coursework in research methods and statistics is encouraged, although not required. Applicants should ideally apply for fall admission. Applications are accepted year-round. Ideally, all material for admission should be received by the University by March 15. The application deadline for departmental assistantships also is March 15. These positions are competitive. It is advisable to apply as early as possible. Apply online at:

Faculty Listing

Find out more about our faculty and view their profiles here.

For More Information

William J. Haller
Graduate Coordinator, Applied Sociology Program
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Associate Professor, School of Health Research
Phone: 864-656-3814
Fax: 864-656-1252