Degrees & Majors
The Cognitive Sciences concentration encompasses interdisciplinary interests in experimental psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science and translational science. With cognition as its unifying thread, the program provides opportunities to specialize in research and training in basic or applied cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, language and cognitive development, psycholinguistics and comparative cognition.
Research methods include noninvasive behavioral and cognitive testing with children, adults and non-human primates, as well as electroencephalography, magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, diffusion tensor imaging, eye-tracking, virtual reality/virtual environment testing, neurogenomics and cognitive neuroinformatics.
We accept students with wide-ranging interests across the cognitive sciences for this terminal Ph.D. program. Students shape their own programs of research in consultation with their advisers. Prospective applicants should contact faculty for more information about individual research programs.
Specific faculty interests include learning and memory; language acquisition and use, including the roles of experience, gesture and specific brain structures and processes; economic decision-making; attention and executive functioning (such as metacognition, planning, cognitive control); false memories and eyewitness accuracy; decision-making, including speeded judgments, economic decision-making and reasoning; inequity perception and response; comparative cognition; individual and group differences (such as species, race, gender, diagnostic category, age); cooperation and prosocial behavior; and brain-behavior relations that underlie various cognitive competencies.
Ph.D. students in the Community Psychology concentration receive training that will enable them to conduct research and collaborate with communities to improve the well-being of individuals and social settings.
- Seek to expand "helping" beyond traditional psychotherapy to promote wellness.
- Engage in action-oriented research to develop, implement and evaluate programs.
- Base their work on a scientific foundation to better understand the multiple influences of the social environment on health and wellness.
- Build collaborative relationships with community members, groups and organizations to solve social problems.
- Consult with and provide tools to organizations to build capacity to address social problems such as exploitation and victimization.
- Analyze government, civic life and workplace settings to understand and improve fair and diverse participation.
- Fight oppression, seek to reduce social inequalities and work with marginalized people toward their empowerment.
The department also offers a joint concentration in community-clinical psychology and a dual program in public health and community psychology.
Students in the Clinical-Community (CLC) concentration seek training in clinical and community psychology and aim to be eligible for clinical licensure following graduation. Dual enrollment provides a strengths-based, culturally competent approach to mental health and healthy development that emphasizes theory, research and practice at multiple levels of analysis — psychological, sociopolitical and ecological.
The dual M.P.H.-Ph.D. program in Public Health and Community Psychology provides professional and graduate students with a solid and well-rounded background across two disciplines. Successful candidates will earn a master of public health degree upon completion of the graduate health behavior and promotion concentration or the epidemiology concentration offered by the School of Public Health and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) upon completion of the community psychology concentration.
Our faculty share a common perspective as researchers rooted in psychology and informed by related disciplines, such as education, public health, sociology and women’s studies. We share an emphasis on changing resources, social norms and public policies that affect individuals and the contexts surrounding people’s lives (for example, social institutions, neighborhoods, families). We are involved at the local, state, national and international levels and work with community and governmental organizations to design, implement and investigate the efficacy of social interventions using a variety of research methods ranging from rigorous experimental designs to qualitative case studies. We collaborate with community partners to evaluate and improve existing programs.
Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary area of study that prepares students to navigate multicultural environments successfully, to lead teams effectively in collaborative settings and to interpret and marshal various types of information and data while advancing a large project.
Graduates with religious studies degrees advance in a wide range of careers and hold positions at nonprofit, in healthcare, academia and other public and private settings. Studying religion puts you on the cutting edge of global politics, business, health care, education and the media.
Course offerings in religious studies, all of which are taught from a non-sectarian perspective, include comparative courses on such topics as world religions, religious thought, religious ethics, mysticism, and women and religion, as well as a host of courses on specific religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto and Taoism.
Students can save time and tuition money by earning bachelor's and master's degrees in religious studies in as little as five years.
Graduates of our interdisciplinary program develop the skills needed to work in today's diverse, multicultural workplaces. Our recent graduates have moved ahead by pursuing careers in education, non-profit management, law and business, as well as by returning to established careers with a better understanding of religion and culture.
The program also prepares students who aim to pursue a Ph.D. or who want to go on to a professionally oriented graduate program in areas such as public health or law.
Studying world religions prepares you for economic success in professions where culturally diverse points of view are valued, and to succeed personally in an international city such as Atlanta or anywhere else in the world. The program introduces you to ideas, practices and values you’ve never encountered.
Choose from two tracks and two career-oriented concentrations:
- Thesis Track: Students work with a thesis director and committee to research and write a thesis of publishable length.
- Final project: Thesis
- Coursework Intensive Track: Students take more classes to gain more depth in their field or breadth across Religious Studies.
- Final project: Research paper or project
- Concentration in Nonprofit Management: Students in this concentration earn the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Certificate in Nonprofit Management while they complete their M.A. in Religious Studies Management while they complete their M.A. in Religious Studies.
- Final project: Research paper or project that integrates work in Nonprofit Management, an internship and Religious Studies
- Concentration in Religion and Aging: Students in this concentration earn the Gerontology Institute's Graduate Certificate while they complete their M.A. in Religious Studies.
- Final project: Research paper or project that integrates work in Gerontology, an internship and Religious Studies
Increasing inequality, political polarization and the value of diversity in growing numbers of organizations have increased demand for Social Justice professionals in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profit institutions, grassroots activist collectives and corporate departments whose work involves subjects like multiculturalism, community outreach and equity.
To provide the skills necessary for such work, the Department of Sociology offers a multi-disciplinary Certificate in Social Justice. This certificate provides specialized curricula to strengthen the candidacy of graduates for post-graduate professional activities concerned with social justice, provides opportunities to apply course material via experience-based learning activities and forms a comprehensive and interdisciplinary field of social justice from relevant courses in various university departments.
The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that introduces students to key processes and methods, in addition to preparing students for graduate work in sociology and related fields. Students majoring in sociology explore the ways in which individual experiences and specific events are linked to larger social processes and social structures. Students can complete a General Program in Sociology or specialize in one of four concentrations: Family, Race and Urban Studies, Gender and Sexuality, and Gerontology. Within the specializations, however, there is a fair amount of flexibility for students to pursue topics of interest. Students wishing to be Sociology majors must first be advised by the Sociology Undergraduate advisor. For more information, visit the advisement website.
For the latest information about required courses, view the Undergraduate Catalog.
The B.A. /M.A. Program is appropriate for qualified Georgia State University undergraduate students who have completed two years as a Sociology major with a GPA of 3.5. Students may pursue a dual Bachelor of Arts in sociology and either a Master of Arts in Sociology or Master of Arts in Gerontology.
Dual undergraduate/graduate programs enable admitted undergraduate students to begin taking specified graduate courses during their senior year (or earlier in some cases) and count the coursework toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students in dual programs are enrolled in each degree program either concurrently or in close succession. Dual degrees may, therefore, be awarded at the same time, or one degree may be awarded prior to the second.
Our standalone M.A. program trains social researchers who do not necessarily plan to pursue a career in academia. Students in this program can receive training in social research skills that can allow them to work in industry or the non-profit sector as qualitative and quantitative researchers.
The Department and individual faculty members have consulted and engaged in research projects with many different agencies, including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, American Educational Research Association, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Georgia Narcotics Treatment Center, Georgia Mental Health Institute, Atlanta Regional Commission, the City of Atlanta Bureau of Planning, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust and numerous other government agencies, as well as private concerns.
he Joint Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program, provides students with both a broad exposure to the discipline of sociology as well as in-depth study in special areas of expertise. Qualified students are accepted into the Joint M.A./Ph.D. Program after their completion of a baccalaureate degree. The broad knowledge of sociology comes through coursework in a variety of substantive areas, as well as through training in research methodology, statistics, and theory.
For information on degree requirements, visit the program page.