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
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The School of Law at Loyola offers the Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) degree to professionals working in the field of child welfare who do not want to practice law but who seek a deeper understanding of the laws affecting children and families.
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.
University of the Rockies
Focusing your Master of Arts in Public Sociology degree with a Medical Sociology specialization will enhance your understanding of social factors that influence health and wellness. You will evaluate health patterns and the structure of health care o...
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.
Sam Houston State University
Develop advanced professional skills necessary to analyze social issues in applied settings...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The general M.A. program in Sociology is designed to equip students with a broad foundation in general sociology and a particular focus in a more specialized field of relevance to the student's career interests in teaching, research, governmental work,...
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
More than ever, the world needs sociology. We face mounting challenges of heightened global conflict, economic inequality, a fracturing political discourse and environmental degradation. We believe that as sociologists, we are ideally placed to understa...
- San Antonio, TXSan Antonio, TX
University of Texas At San Antonio
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
The graduate program in sociology enables students to study sociological principles, ways of knowing, and sociological findings in areas of current in...
- Cullowhee, NCCullowhee, NC
Western Carolina University
The Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Sciences is designed to qualify students for the "G" license from the North Carolina State Department of Publ...
- Richmond, VARichmond, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University
The Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Sociology.
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
- Bozeman, MTBozeman, MT
Montana State University - Bozeman
Food, Family and Community Health Sciences offers two programs of study: 1) family and community health and 2) sustainable food...
- Bozeman, MT
- Portland, ORPortland, OR
Portland State University
Critical thinking, problem-solving, written communication, oral communication and interpersonal skills are all cultivated by studying sociology. We are a department that is excited about the opportunities that sociology has for students and welcome you...
- Portland, OR
Western International University
Are you interested in understanding the underlying human behaviors that create and determine an organization's success?...
- Fort Myers, FLFort Myers, FL
Florida Gulf Coast University
Our greatest strength is U.S. history, but we also offer courses in Latin American, Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and public history.
- Abilene, TXAbilene, TX
Hardin Simmons University
The Master of Education degree in Counseling and Human Development prepares individuals for counselor positions in a variety of professional settings...
- Stevens Point, WIStevens Point, WI
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
The MST program is intended for state-certified history and social science teachers who want to update their credentials.
- Carrollton, GACarrollton, GA
University of West Georgia
The M.A. program in Sociology offers areas of concentration in General Sociology, Criminology, Resources and Methods, and Women's Studies.