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Scholarships & Awards

Departmental Scholarships and Awards

Mary Cay Sengstock Diversity Scholarship

In view of the fact that sociologists must be keenly sensitive to the diversity of groups and cultures in modern society, this scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to full-time or part-time graduate students who are contributing to the knowledge and promotion of social and cultural diversity. The contribution of specific social and cultural perspectives should be demonstrated through educational vehicles. Members of racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups are particularly urged to apply as is anyone interested in studying the importance of diversity.

The scholarship was endowed by Dr. Mary Cay Sengstock, a former faculty member in the Department of Sociology, and provides $1,000 to 1-2 graduate students each year, to be used towards tuition and/or other academic fees. Dr. Sengstock funded this scholarship anonymously for four years before her death in May 2014, and it has now been renamed in her legacy.


Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

The Department of Sociology is pleased to announce a new Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award (given for the first time in 2012), to be granted up to two times per academic year. Given an increasingly competitive academic and non-academic job market, the Department of Sociology has created this scholarship to encourage the production of Master’s theses at or near the level of a publishable academic paper.  Full-time or part-time graduate students who complete a Master’s thesis in the previous term are eligible to apply.  Consistent with the purpose of this scholarship, the graduate committee will score each submitted thesis on the following criteria:  contribution to knowledge, methodological rigor, and professional preparation.  The award recipient will be granted up to $1,000 to be used towards tuition and/or other academic fees. 



Frank Hartung Award

Frank E. Hartung was a professor in the Department of Sociology from 1942-1978.  He promoted the sociological approach to crime and deviance. He was a great proponent of the notion that crime was a freely chosen behavioral pattern and was not the result of psychological abnormalities. In 1965, he published Crime, Law, and Society with Wayne State University Press.  His published articles covered a variety of topics including: “White-Collar Offenses in the Wholesale Meat Industry in Detroit” in American Journal of Sociology; “Problems in the Sociology of Knowledge,” Cultural Relativity and Moral Judgments” and “Social Function of Positivism” in Philosophy of Science; and “Trends in the Use of Capital Punishment” in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  After Dr. Hartung died in 1985, Professor Mary Cay Sengstock wrote, “Frank’s writings were not only scholarly explications, they were also delivered in a witty and incisive style which delighted those who agreed with him and infuriated his opponents” (ASA Footnotes, May 1986, page 11).  While Vice President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Professor Hartung testified before the House Special Committee on Education, urging “more highly qualified personnel (e.g., teachers) to staff prisons” (Sengstock, 1986).  After Professor Hartung’s death, his family, colleagues, and students established the Frank Hartung Memorial Award to recognize students who wrote outstanding papers, theses, or dissertations in sociology.  An award in his memory is given once a year to either undergraduate or graduate students. Students applying for the award must write a paper in the area of sociology. This paper could be a course paper, a Master’s essay, Master’s thesis, or dissertation. The recipient of a Hartung award receives a monetary award and plaque. The Hartung Award is given out every year at our annual Student Research and Award Day, and a member of the Hartung family always comes to this event to help us present students with this award.

Shirley Falconer Slayman Memorial Scholarship

Shirley Falconer Slayman enjoyed her life to the fullest.  She was an individual, wife, mother, grandmother, social worker and student enriched by Wayne State University.  The purpose of this scholarship is to fulfill her wish to enable others to be equally enriched.   Her husband, William Slayman, established the Shirley Falconer Slayman Memorial Scholarship for Sociology students in her memory in 1993 to recognize scholastic achievement, encourage continued progress and provide economic assistance to female students majoring or co-majoring in Sociology at Wayne State University.  Applications are accepted from female students at Wayne State University who are specializing in sociology at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, scholastic achievement, qualities of leadership, and commitment to contribute to community improvement, with financial need being the primary consideration. Selected recipients receive the award for one academic year.

Aaron Irving Geselis Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Mr. Geselis was an undergraduate sociology major at Wayne State University who graduated in 1952. His family has endowed a scholarship to honor his memory. The $1,000 scholarship is established to recognize scholastic achievement, to encourage continued progress, and to provide assistance to undergraduate and graduate students in financing their education in the Department of Sociology at Wayne State University. Candidates for this award are undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Sociology with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA in Sociology of 3.3.  Recipients may use the award for tuition and other educational expenses.

Undergraduate Sociology Award for Academic Excellence

This award recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence in Sociology.  Candidates for this award are sociology majors at Wayne State University whose undergraduate records exemplify academic achievement.  Candidates should demonstrate some level of involvement in WSU on or beyond campus in research-based activities, community engagement and/or non-profit work related to our discipline.  The award recipient will be granted up to  $500 to be used toward tuition and/or other academic fees. 

Lucille Makarov Memorial Scholarship 

This $4,500 scholarship is provided by Lucille Makarov who expressed at age 84 that she remained deeply grateful to the Wayne State University Department of Sociology for her B.A. degree in 1953, which had enabled her to have a 30-year career at General Motors as a research librarian.  This scholarship fund is established to recognize scholastic achievement, to encourage continued progress, and to provide assistance to students in financing their education in the Department of Sociology.  Candidates for this award are Sophomore or Junior  undergraduate students majoring in Sociology with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA in Sociology of 3.3 and demonstrate financial need.   Recipients may use the award for tuition and other educational expenses. 


Graduate Student Assistantships within the Department

Teaching Assistantships

The department is allotted eight Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) by the university each year. Normally, GTAs are selected from students who are making satisfactory academic progress in the doctoral program in sociology. In rare cases an advanced Masters student is given a GTA position. Assistantships include a monthly stipend, tuition scholarship for up to 10 hours of graduate credits per term, and health insurance. Stipend amounts depend upon prior experience and whether assistants hold a Masters degree. A GTA is expected to assist a faculty member or teach her/his own course (depending on amount of prior teaching experience), and these GTA assignments will include activities such as developing syllabi and assignments, grading, proctoring exams, lecturing, leading student discussions, and performing other pedagogical activities, while enrolling in a minimum of six credits of graduate work each term.

Graduate Research Assistantships

Individual faculty members may receive awards enabling them to employ Graduate Research Assistants (GRA) for a single 9- or 12-month appointment; these are sometimes renewed for additional years depending on funding. A GRA will receive monthly stipends (amounts vary), tuition scholarships, and health insurance. A GRA will assist one or more faculty members with research, while enrolling in a minimum of six credits of graduate work each term. Some GRA positions that do not include tuition assistant may also be available from time to time.


Applying for Assistantships

After the initial year of appointment, a GTA is usually renewed annually for up to two additional years as long as the student teaching evaluations are positive and the GTA is making satisfactory academic progress in their graduate program. However all GTAs must reapply for funding every academic year and there is no guarantee of multiple years of funding. Students will be notified early in the Winter semester about the application process for the next academic year’s assistantships. Please contact the Graduate Director in Sociology for more information.


Other Graduate Student Scholarships and Fellowships

Graduate-Professional Scholarships

Wayne State University's Graduate School annually offers Graduate-Professional Scholarships to qualified applicants pursuing graduate or advanced professional degrees in any university program. Graduate teaching and research assistants, students holding other fellowships, internships or scholarships, and salaried or full-time employees or trainees of WSU may not hold this award concurrently. Graduate-Professional Scholarships are offered to both full-time and part-time graduate students. The award for full-time students provides a tuition scholarship of eight to 12 credits of graduate work per semester. The award for a part-time student provides a tuition scholarship of three to six credits of graduate work per semester.

King-Chavez-Parks Fellowships

The primary purpose of this fellowship program is to assist students who intend to pursue a full-time teaching position in a post secondary institution  in the State of Michigan within one year of receiving their doctoral degree at Wayne State University. To be considered for this program a student must be pursuing a master’s or doctorate in a Michigan post-secondary educational institution. This fellowship provides qualified students with a stipend, tuition scholarship, and health insurance.

Thomas C. Rumble Fellowships

Wayne State University's Graduate School provides funding for The Thomas C. Rumble Fellowship which aims to optimize PhD. students' performance by providing support for and establishing expected outcomes at particular stages of their training process. Fellowship allocations to departments are determined based primarily on Ph.D. productivity. Currently the Department of Sociology is allowed to award three Rumble Fellowships to students each year. A Rumble fellowship includes a stipend, housing allowance, tuition scholarship and health benefits. Eligibility is limited to full-time doctoral students.

To find out more about the fellowships and scholarships that the Graduate School offers, please visit their website


More Fellowships & Postdoctoral Positions

For  More Fellowships & Postdoctoral Positions click here.


Office of Student Financial Aid

The purpose of this office is to assist students who do not have sufficient personal or family financial resources to attend the university. Financial aid programs are designed to assist graduate as well as undergraduate students who are enrolled in degree programs and attending WSU full- time. To apply for federal need-based financial aid programs, students should contact the Wayne State University Office of Student Financial Aid well in advance of their anticipated enrollment.


University Scholarships

2228 F/AB, 656 W. Kirby St.
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-2930
Fax: (313) 577-2735
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/Sociology
Email: ad4388@wayne.edu