California 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
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of Southern California
The department provides students with thorough grounding in sociological theory and methods of research and helps students become proficient in the processes of scientific inquiry. Students participate in faculty research as a means of learning to formu...
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
Research facilities provided by the Department of Sociology include a well-equipped Social Science Research Laboratory for use by the faculty and grad...
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
Lincoln University (CA)
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
Pacific Oaks College
Graduates of our human development master's program are prepared for leadership roles in a vast range of education settings. Ma...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
The primary aim of the Applied Sociology MA program is to prepare graduates for positions in a variety of community organization...
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- La Jolla, CALa Jolla, CA
University of California - San Diego
The Ethnic Studies Department is an inter-disciplinary social science department specializing in analytic, comparative, and theoretical approaches to the study of ethnicity and race. We offer a course of study designed to train advanced researchers to d...
- Bakersfield, CABakersfield, CA
California State University, Bakersfield
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a program leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- San Bernardino, CASan Bernardino, CA
California State University, San Bernardino
This program provides interdisciplinary training in the breadth of the social sciences, with emphasis on economics, geography, history, and political...
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
The Option in General Social Science is designed for professionals having unique curricular needs within the behavioral and social sciences.
- Sacramento, CASacramento, CA
California State University, Sacramento
- San Marcos, CASan Marcos, CA
California State University, San Marcos
The mission of the Master of Arts in Sociological Practice at California State University San Marcos is to provide a superior...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - San Francisco
SBS offers courses of study leading to a Ph.D. in sociology, with major emphasis on the sociology of health, medicine, and health care systems. The theoretical bases of the program focus on classical, interactionist, and contemporary perspectives, and t...
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
The Program in Human Development and Education at theUniversity of California, Berkeley, a master's and doctoralprogram, prepares students to analyze...
- Hayward, CAHayward, CA
California State University, East Bay
- Arcata, CAArcata, CA
Humboldt State University
A two-year full-time interdisciplinary graduate program focused on the diverse relationships between environment and community.
- Arcata, CA
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
University of California, Irvine