MA in Sociology

The Master of Arts in Sociology program prepares students broadly in the basic skills used by a sociologist. Our goal is to provide advanced training beyond the undergraduate level for work as an applied social scientist outside of academic life, as in government administrative jobs or research departments or community programs. The program requirements include coursework and an MA thesis that makes an original contribution to sociological knowledge. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline; a bachelor’s degree in sociology is preferable but not required.

Course Requirements

A minimum of eight graduate-level semester courses (32 credits) is required for the MA. Course requirements are as follows:

  • GRS SO 701 Advanced Sociological Theory (Classical)
  • GRS SO 702 Proseminar: Sociological Methods
  • GRS SO 708 Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • GRS SO 712 Qualitative Methods (or an approved course in qualitative methods in social science)
  • GRS SO 724 Quantitative Methods in Sociological Analysis (or an equivalent Graduate Programs Committee-approved advanced quantitative methods course)

The student’s remaining coursework should be chosen from a list of elective courses in conjunction with his or her advisor. Please consult the Department of Sociology Graduate Student Handbook for further details.

Additionally, candidates who do not meet the prerequisite of an undergraduate major in sociology or its equivalent may be asked to correct deficiencies without graduate credit.

Prior to academic year 2018/2019, GRS PO 841 or equivalent was the required quantitative methods course.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.


In addition to coursework, candidates must write a thesis on a project of original research, resulting in a paper that demonstrates the student’s skills in sociological research and analysis. The thesis shall be written with the consent of an advisor and under the supervision of a master’s thesis committee consisting of two members, one of whom must be the advisor. Please consult the Graduate Student Handbook for further details.