Graduate Programs

10/17/12 -- Boston, MA Campus stock October 17, 2012.  Photo by Cydney Scott for Boston University

Graduate study in Sociology at Boston University include both a Master’s and a PhD program.  Building on core knowledge in Social Theory and in Research Methods, students specialize in various fields within Sociology, pursuing original research that contributes to the field and laying a foundation for careers in research, teaching, and applied sociology.

The interests of our students reach from Boston around the world.  Recent dissertations and current work have explored such topics as the cultural significance of Fenway Park; the post-war coping practices of Cambodian widows; the effects of race and class on women’s experience of domestic violence; networks and attainment among Latinas in Boston’s public housing units; the social determinants of technological innovations at research and development laboratories; well-being among American and Soviet-born Jewish elders; the role of evangelicalism in the changing economic and political situations of El Salvador and South Africa; altruism in Argentina; and AIDS among youth in Malawi.

The program emphasizes core knowledge and theory as well as rigor and innovation in research. The research and teaching interests of the faculty facilitate diverse research agendas for students.

Master of Arts

The master’s program requires eight semester courses including ones in theory and in research methods.  Students also research and write a master’s thesis. The M.A. degree normally requires one-and-a-half to two years of full-time study.

For more information on M.A. requirements, please see this page.

Doctor of Philosophy

At Boston University, the Ph.D. program requires study in two substantive areas, in addition to general competence in theory and methods.

For more information on Ph.D. requirements, please see this page.

Learning Outcomes

The purpose of the Sociology Graduate Program (MA, PhD) is to train future scholars in the fundamental skills of the discipline of sociology. Students will acquire advanced knowledge of sociological theory and research in their chosen areas of specialization within the discipline in order to make a significant and original contribution to the field and disseminate sociological knowledge through publication in scholarly venues and teaching in institutions of higher education. The learning goals of the Sociology Graduate Program are as follows:

  1. Produce and defend an original significant contribution to sociological knowledge
  2. Demonstrate mastery of subject material (including general sociological and subfield knowledge)
  3. Be able to conduct scholarly activities in a professional and ethical manner
  4. Be able to teach the discipline at the undergraduate level (PhD only)


Financial Aid

Information on Financial Aid