Sociology, MA

The flexible, stand-alone MA degree is designed to meet the needs of applicants who seek professional training in a focused area of social research that can be chosen from urban sociology, the sociology of the environment, medical sociology, and several other fields. The program encourages students to develop expertise in research design, methodological techniques (whether quantitative or qualitative), evaluation research, and other research skills that are essential to data analysis and decision making in varied organizational settings. The MA program also seeks to equip students with substantive knowledge in fields that are relevant to consulting organizations, social policy and planning contexts, and nonprofit organizations. Some proportion of MA students may elect to go on to academic PhD training, though this is not the core mission of the MA program. Thirty semester hours of academic work, completed with a B (3.000) average or better, are required for the degree. The program consists of four required and six elective courses.

Students are encouraged to fashion a program of study best suited to their interests. Those who wish to pursue careers in applied social research or policy and administrative contexts are encouraged to emphasize methodological training. Students who may wish to pursue academic careers may instead favor courses in substantive and theoretical fields. All entering students should consult with the graduate program director, who helps the student to articulate interests and plan courses but also suggests other faculty members whose areas of interest and competence intersect with those of the student and with whom the student might consult on a regular basis. A student will be assigned an advisor; students may terminate or initiate an advisor/advisee relationship at any time simply by consulting with and informing the parties concerned. The graduate program administrator should also be informed of any changes.

The MA program is designed to afford students the opportunity to forge close working relationships with the faculty. Top applicants to the MA program are eligible for funding in the form of College of Social Sciences and Humanities Dean's Scholarships; the program is shorter and culminates in a master’s paper that must be approved by two faculty members. The MA program confers a professional degree that is of immediate use in furthering the student’s career.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


MA paper

Annual review


SOCL 7200Foundations of Social Theory 13
SOCL 7201Foundations of Social Theory 23
Research Methods
SOCL 7211Research Methods3
Statistical Methods
SOCL 7210Statistical Methods of Sociology3


Complete 18 semester hours from the following subject area:18

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required