NEW DEGREE WITHOUT A MASTER’S PLAN

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By Amanda-Marie Quintino

Ryerson’s new sociology undergraduate program will be “fiercely competitive,” even though there aren’t talks of including a master’s yet, says the chair of sociology.

Students must acquire a graduate degree for employment in the field to become sociologists, but Murray Pomerance said Ryerson’s program will be of the same calibre–if not higher–as programs at other universities.

“Once this program is on its feet and we get things going, then we can start looking at where else we want to go with it,” Pomerance said of the prospect of adding a master’s.

But Ryerson has a lot of work ahead of them, believes Simon Enoch, a communication and culture student working on his PhD at Ryerson. “Ryerson is moving towards trying to be more academic, (so) they’ll have to prove why students should come here as opposed to another university where the program is already established,” he said.

“That is going to be a challenge.”

For aspiring sociologists, it’s “frowned upon” to limit education to one school, said Enoch, who earned his undergrad from the University of Regina and his master’s degree at McMaster University before attending Ryerson.

“People usually do their degrees in different places,” he said. “But if Ryerson doesn’t have that option, then that could definitely be a problem.” Josh Rosenblum, a third-year sociology student at the University of Toronto, said he likes having the choice to go elsewhere or stay put to pursue his education.

“It would only add to my educational experience at another school, should I decide to go somewhere else,” he said. Nonetheless, Pomerance is adamant that despite Ryerson’s lack of a graduate education option in sociology, the program rivals those of the University of Toronto or York University because it covers more material.

Currently, sociology is only available to students taking electives or are working towards a minor.

The new program, which begins in September, will allow students to earn a bachelor of arts degree and minor in professionally-related areas.

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