Master of Applied Social Sciences

Master of Applied Social Science (MASS) Program

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Darius Young
Office: Tucker Hall, Room 405
Phone: (850) 412-5561


Program Description:

The following Departments in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities participate in the interdisciplinary degree, Master of Applied Social Science (M.A.S.S.).

  • History
  • Public Administration (Summer & Fall acceptance only)
  • Global Security and International Affairs
  • Criminal Justice

Courses are available in the M.A.S.S. Program from the disciplines of Political Science, Public Administration, Global Security and International Affairs, History and Criminal Justice.

The unique feature of this applied, interdisciplinary program is its flexibility. Building upon a required core of three courses (9 semester hours), the student, in consultation with an advisor, may design the remainder of the program to address his/her own unique interests. The degree is designed for those who wish to pursue further graduate work in the social sciences and for those who wish to work immediately following completion of the M.A.S.S. Degree.

For the full-time student, the course of study will likely span two semesters plus one summer, totaling 33 hours. Some students may be required to take several prerequisites before commencing with their academic program. The following is an outline of the degree programs:

Courses Required of All Students (9 Semester Hours)

  • ISS 5939 - Interdisciplinary Social Science Seminar
  • ISS 6305 - Social Science Research
  • PAD 5701 - Statistics for Public Managers (for students in the Pol. Sci., Pub. Admin. or Global Security concentrations)
  • ISS 5316 - Statistics for the Social Sciences (for students in the History or Crim. Justice concentrations)
All core courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or higher.

Discipline Courses (18 Semester Hours)

Students are required to take six courses (18 hours) in their subject area concentration. Courses may be selected from one the following disciplines: (1) History; (2) Political Science; (3) Public Administration; (4) Global Security or (5) Criminal Justice.

Internship or Thesis (6 Semester Hours)

Students are required to enroll in six (6) hours of either ISS 6942 - Internship or ISS 6971 - Thesis. The majority of students should choose the Internship option. The Thesis option is reserved for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. program.

Those students whose undergraduate degrees are in areas outside their chosen area of concentration may be required to take designated undergraduate courses to prepare them for entrance into the M.A.S.S. program. The Chair of the department of the major area and the Graduate Coordinator of the program shall make such a determination. Prerequisites for History, Political Science, Public Administration and Criminal Justice are as follows:

Prerequisite Classes

Those students whose undergraduate degrees are in areas outside their chosen area of concentration may be required to take designated undergraduate courses to prepare them for entrance into the MASS program. The chair of the department of the major area and the coordinator of the program shall make such determinations. Prerequisites for Political Science/Public Administration, Criminal Justice, and History are as follows:

Public Administration
  • PAD 3003 – Public Administration
Criminal Justice
  • Criminological Theory
  • CCJ 4700 – Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • HIS 3104 – Historiography
  • AFA 4936 – Senior Seminar in African-American Studies

Entrance Requirements:

Entrance requirements for the M.A.S.S. Program include: 

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and,
  • a “B” average (3.0 GPA) in the last 60 semester hours of course work.
In addition to submitting an application for admission, each student must also submit:
  • Three (3) signed letters of recommendation;
  • Biographical Sketch (Personal Statement) - 1,000 word minimum;
  • Resume;
  • GRE scores (required for admission)
Admitted students may receive credit for up to six (6) graduate semester hours of transferred courses from another institution. The Coordinator of the M.A.S.S. Program will determine all approved transferred credit hours. 

 Note: A cumulative GPA of 3.0 must be maintained regardless of course/ credit hour load. A student may not earn more than two (2) C’s, otherwise the student will be dropped from the program. All students must take the GRE before they will be able to enroll in classes.

Internship vs. Thesis

All students must complete an approved internship or a thesis to qualify for graduation.

Internships will be with a government agency – local, state, or federal – or with a private concern. Internships should be related as nearly as possible to the student’s major area and must have the prior approval of the Coordinator and the professor supervising the internships.

The internship should be a new, professional experience for the student. If a proposed internship does not violate internship criteria, a student may intern in another department of the agency where he/she is employed.

The internship must not be simply a continuation of regular duties.

The appropriateness of all internships will be determined on an individual basis by the Chair of the University department of the student’s major and the Coordinator of the MASS Program.

A student wishing to write a thesis must select a committee of at least three faculty members. The committee chair must be from the student’s major emphasis; the second member must be from the area of the concentration; and the third member may be from the outside the student’s area of concentration.

Be aware that a thesis may take more than a semester to complete. If you are interested in this option you should contact the MASS coordinator as early as possible in your program. Generally, the thesis option is reserved for students wishing to continue in a Ph.D. program.

Note: For additional information and requirements pertaining to internship please refer to the internship packet available online at:

Contact Info