United States Masters in Sociology Programs
Masters in sociology programs prepare students for a variety of potential careers across diverse fields including business, education, law, public policy and social work. Students enrolled in Sociology Masters programs learn to analyze how social influences affect different individuals and groups, and the ways organizations and institutions affect the daily lives of those same people.
Why Earn a Masters in Sociology?
Students in a master's in sociology program will study the behavior of, and interaction among, groups, organizations, institutions and nations, and how they react to phenomena such as the spread of technology, crime, social movements and epidemics of illness.
Earning a master's or doctorate degree in sociology may be fundamental for higher education teaching and advanced research or applied careers. While a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree awarded in sociology, a master's in sociology degree, which takes from one to three years, may either be a step toward the PhD or an end degree in itself. Generally, it takes about 2 years to complete a masters program in sociology.
FUN FACT: Most sociology jobs require a master’s degree or PhD
Masters in Sociology Degree Programs Overview
Students have the option of pursuing an MA (Master of Arts) or an MS (Master of Science) in Sociology. Typical entry prerequisites include a Bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, and minimum GPA requirements.
Master's degree programs in sociology exist with both thesis and non-thesis tracks, as there are two types of sociology master’s degree programs: traditional programs and applied, clinical, and professional programs.
Traditional masters programs in sociology prepare students to enter a Ph.D. program. Applied, clinical, and professional masters programs prepare students to enter
the workplace, teaching them the necessary analytical skills to perform sociological research in a professional setting. Research sociologists are employed in nonprofits, government and businesses.
Choosing a Masters Program in Sociology: Online or On Campus?
Students can choose the learning format that works best for them, whether a campus-based program or a distance-learning option. You can filter your search based on your preference using the GradSchools.com settings. Most students who are interested in looking for a graduate school have a specific location in mind; use the city, state or country tabs to browse Sociology masters degree programs by area.
While it is possible to earn a sociology master's degree online, some online programs require an internship or other practical work experience; keep that in mind when you review the online programs and make sure to request more information from the school you are considering.
Some of the listings you might find may include MA Sociology, MA Social Sciences, Child and Family Law MSW/MJ Dual Degree, MA in Human Development, MA in Counseling and Human Development, and Child Protection MHS.
Masters in Sociology Potential Curriculum
All master's degree programs in sociology feature core training in classical and contemporary social theory, statistics and sociological research methods. This foundation prepares students to examine sociological questions in education, medicine and law.
Due to the broad scope of sociology, many master's degree programs feature concentrations in subareas such as social inequality, businesses and organizations, social psychology, social movements, globalization, urban sociology and politics. Other topics include social stratification, family structure, race and gender.
Sociology curricula vary between programs although commonly integrate training in quantitative analysis and research with topics such as traits of specific societies. Common topics may include:
- Class structures and strata
- Classical and contemporary social theory
- Community and economic sociology
- Education in urban contexts
- Inequality and the underclass
- Social movements
Specializations in a Sociology Degree
Some programs offer concentrations that allow students to narrow their focus towards eventual career goals. Due to the broad scope of sociology, many master's degree programs feature concentrations in subareas such as:
- Social inequality
- Businesses and organizations
- Social movements
- Urban sociology and politics
- Social stratification, family structure, race and gender
- Human Development
- Urban studies
- Social psychology
- Global studies
Potential Careers in Sociology
It is normal to ask yourself: “what can I do with a masters in sociology”,
as the field is broad in scope, and might have applications in a number of areas from business or nonprofit management, to education, law enforcement and social work. Possible job titles include:
- Behavioral Scientist
- Foundation Program Director
- International Health Director (Health Science Administration)
- Policy Analyst
- Research and Evaluation Manager
- Research Scientist
- Social Scientist
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of sociologists is not projected to grow that much over the next few years, and there will be strong competition for jobs. Furthermore, they report “master’s degree holders will likely find positions in related fields, such as social services, education, healthcare, public policy, or other areas. Although these fields require the skills and concepts that sociologists learn as part of their education, workers should face less competition for positions not specifically labeled as ‘sociologists.’ ”[i]
Ready To Pursue a Masters in Sociology?
If you are interested in studying society and societal behavior, start reviewing Masters degree programs in Sociology to find the one that resonates with your goals and interests
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3041.00
Get the skills and knowledge you need to lead positive change in your community by improving the quality of life for individuals and families. The M.S.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University's Master of Science in Sociology with an Emphasis in Education prepares students for teaching undergraduate courses at the 2-year or 4-year institution in both ground and online modalities.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
As disparities along ethic/racial, economic, gender and religious lines gain prominence in the national conversation, there is a growing need for trained "change agents" to carry out the work of community development, social justice and human right...
- Chicago, IL
Nova Southeastern University
Developmental Disabilities, M.S.
A Master of Science in Developmental Disabilities is designed to prepare researchers, advocates, administrators and policy makers to be leaders in community-based or governmental agencies that address the confluence of issues associated with developmenta...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
The Department of Sociology offers a distinctive approach to the investigation of social life. This approach builds on The New School's historical connections to European social science to develop our tradition of critical inquiry and engage wit...
Sam Houston State University
Develop advanced professional skills necessary to analyze social issues in applied settings...
- Durham, NHDurham, NH
University of New Hampshire
The Department of Family Studies offers two programs of study leading to a master of science degree in family studies - the Core Areas of Study Program and the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. The Core Areas of Study Program, which offers both thesi...
- Durham, NH
- Durham, NCDurham, NC
The graduate program in Sociology at Duke is designed primarily to train students for basic social science research using advanced methods of analysis, at a variety of levels, ranging from the social psychological to the societal, with the goal of prepa...
- Dayton, TNDayton, TN
Oxford Graduate School
OGS offers a doctoral program in Religion/Society studies designed to teach social scientific research focused on the family, community, and the religious community or a combination of these areas. The institution is non-sectarian and seeks to teach the...
- Mississippi State, MSMississippi State, MS
Mississippi State University
The graduate program in Sociology at MSU is one of the largest Sociology graduate programs in the Southeast. In its 50 year history it has awarded over 100 Ph.Ds. Our Ph.D. students have been placed in many fine colleges and institutions. Our graduate s...
- Jefferson City, MOJefferson City, MO
Lincoln University (MO)
- Rochester, MNRochester, MN
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
This interdisciplinary graduate program allows students to combine academic interests with career goals.
- Minneapolis, MN
- Russellville, ARRussellville, AR
Arkansas Tech University
M.L.A. - Social Sciences includes: American studies, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, & sociology...
- Frederick, MDFrederick, MD
The Master of Arts in Human Sciences program offers an interdisciplinary approach to education in the human sciences, particularly as they relate to the problems of contemporary society and its people. The goal of the program is to enrich the understand...
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The MA program prepares students for advanced training, university teaching, or careers applying advanced sociological training.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Master of Science in Disability and Human Development is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in human service organizations, as...
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh