Candidates for a graduate degree in sociology must have the capability for original and creative research. Students are expected to engage in independent and/or group research under the direction of faculty members. Preparation for the graduate degree is not confined to formal class work and activity on research projects. Students should work toward intellectual independence while developing an integrated grasp of the field. The integration of materials from courses and research activities is a primary goal of the M.S. thesis and the Ph.D. dissertation. The Department and the advisory committee share responsibility in guiding the student toward the graduate degree.