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Our Lady of the Lake University's Master of Arts in Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine is a unique program that prepares graduates for careers in multiple areas of health and medicine, including public health, clinical practice, community and metro health, health care policy, administration and management, as well as making them competitive applicants for continuing medical education and career promotion. The program emphasizes population-based approaches to health and health care, helping students see health in broader contexts, allowing for an "upstream" approach to health and medicine.

The program is interdisciplinary and will therefore encourage students to talk about health and illness from a broad perspective. By studying health, illness and medicine from multiple lenses (including sociological, anthropological, philosophical, economic, etc.), students will be better equipped to address complex health problems in a complex world. 

Sociology degree plan and course descriptions

Program Delivery

The sociology program is offered completely online, allowing for greater flexibility for students to complete their degree while balancing work and family.

Thesis or Capstone Option

Students have the option of completing a thesis or practicum. Both require that students submit a proposal to the program director for approval before they can enroll in the course and complete the coursework. The course is designed to help students write a major research thesis that integrates the electives of choice with sociological methods and knowledge. Through the guidance of a faculty member, students will devise a research question, complete a literature review and conduct qualitative or quantitative research project. 

Conduct Research with Nationally-Recognized Faculty

The sociology faculty at OLLU is comprised of a diverse group who are nationally recognized and committed to educational excellence. Students learn from professors who are practicing sociologists and continue to conduct research regularly.

Faculty expertise ranges from migration and immigration policy to public health and the sociology of health. They are well connected in the community, further enhancing the opportunities for students to work with professors on research projects. 

Community Engagement

OLLU's sociology program is unique because of its curriculum, which emphasizes practice and experiential learning. Community engagement is woven through the program and culminates in the capstone or thesis course. This course allows students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom.