The Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) is a one-year program of graduate studies leading to the Master’s degree. MAPSS offers a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary opportunities for advancing academic or career goals, while allowing flexibility unusual among graduate programs. MAPSS makes the resources of the University of Chicago available for student-centered and highly individualized programs of graduate study; MAPSS students are welcome and encouraged to choose classes from around the University that suit their research interests. Each student works closely with the director and an assigned preceptor on all aspects of the program, from designing a customized curriculum, to defining the area of scholarly research, to writing the thesis. MAPSS provides every student with a vibrant and collaborative intellectual community and core-course training in social science theory. Students meet a social sciences methods requirement and choose seven additional courses from the full range of regular doctoral and graduate professional offerings of the departments and committees of the Division of Social Sciences and of the other divisions and professional schools of the University of Chicago.
The program is well suited for those who wish either to take advantage of the resources of several disciplines to study a problem or area of interest or to strengthen their training and achievement in a single social science discipline. Some MAPSS students acquire skills and knowledge for careers that make use of the social sciences; others prepare for further graduate work or professional training. The program provides students with an opportunity to explore fields in the social sciences in which they may have limited background before making a major professional or educational commitment. MAPSS offers sophisticated counseling and application support to students who have vocations for doctoral or professional school study. MAPSS graduates have received and presently pursue doctorates in all of the University of Chicago’s social science departments and committees, as well as Ph.D., J.D., and M.D. degrees in the various professional schools. They are likewise welcomed into advanced study at other major research institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
Graduates of the program also enter or return to a wide range of careers for which the MA is increasingly the entry-level degree. Such careers include community organizing, contract research, business consulting, teaching, counseling, publishing, health care, government service, public affairs, non-profit administration, arts and museum curation. A national network of MAPSS alumni, in concert with the University’s office of Career Advancement and Alumni Relations and Development, enthusiastically assists current students in identifying career possibilities and securing challenging positions.
Since 1913, the University of Chicago has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.