William Paterson University’s Graduate Program in Applied Sociology Becomes First in Northeast to Receive Prestigious Accreditation


The master’s program in applied sociology at William Paterson University is the first in the northeastern United States to receive full accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology (CAPACS). The accreditation from CAPACS, affiliated with the American Sociological Association, is continuous for five years starting September 1, 2018.

Such recognition “verifies that a program is well-grounded, providing students with a strong background in theory, methodology, and practical, hands-on experience,” per CAPACS. “Students graduate from these programs able to articulate the skills they bring to employers.”

Now in its sixth year, William Paterson’s graduate program in applied sociology provides students with professional skills that are in high demand in both the public and private sectors. Recent graduates have secured positions as market research data analysts, consumer researchers, corporate researchers, and nonprofit advocates, among others. Many have also gone on to enroll in PhD programs and/or become college-level instructors.

“The program is exceptionally well-conceived and implemented,” CAPACS writes in its Recommendation on Accreditation, summarizing a comprehensive program review and committee site visits to the campus. “The faculty is dedicated, well-qualified, and demonstrate excellent pedagogy. The curriculum and ‘practice experience’ are superbly organized and carefully monitored.” 

“We are delighted at this official recognition of our program,” says program director Vincent N. Parrillo, professor of sociology at William Paterson. “We have an excellent program with highly qualified professors who genuinely care about our students and want them to succeed.” 

Program graduate Jeff Latawiec, MA ’16, lauds the professional skills and hands-on experience he gained at William Paterson, which led him to a career as a market research data analyst in the healthcare industry. “The expert and real-world knowledge of the professors sets the foundation for a successful career,” he adds.

In addition to its full 33-credit graduate degree in applied sociology, William Paterson University offers a 12-credit program that culminates in a Certificate in Assessment and Evaluation Research Skills. Students may choose to include certificate studies within their full degree program, or they may pursue only the certificate – providing such skills as advanced interview and focus group techniques, creating thematic maps and statistical analyses, and formulating consultant-like recommendations to improve an organization’s operations.

To learn more about William Paterson University’s degree in applied sociology, as well as its Certificate in Assessment and Evaluation Research Skills, visit https://www.wpunj.edu/cohss/departments/sociology/ma-applied-sociology/.

09/10/18