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
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.
University of the Rockies
Take your Master of Arts in Sociology further and enhance your credentials with a specialization in Applied Sociology. You will be prepared to put theory into practice to address a variety of social problems and policy concerns. The Applied Sociology...
- 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.
Nova Southeastern University
Child Protection, M.H.S.
The program prepares students through the core curriculum and allows for specialty training through various tracks...
- Edinburgh, United KingdomEdinburgh, United Kingdom
University of Edinburgh
New for 2017 our MSc Digital Society is an intensive one-year programme that develops specialist expertise in digital culture, the digital economy and the sociology of finance, and emerging digital research methods.
Sam Houston State University
Develop advanced professional skills necessary to analyze social issues in applied settings...
- Dublin, IrelandDublin, Ireland
University College Dublin
The MSc in Equality Studies is the only masters of its kind in Europe and offers a unique opportunity to examine global equality issues from a range of perspectives.
- 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...
- Fukushima, JapanFukushima, Japan
Iwaki Meisei University
- Busan, KoreaBusan, Korea
Pusan National University
- Christchurch, New ZealandChristchurch, New Zealand
Social science at Lincoln has a distinctive flavour.
Amridge University (formerly Southern Christian University)
The Master of Arts degree with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy or Professional Counseling is more oriented toward human services.
- Columbia, KYColumbia, KY
Lindsey Wilson College
The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomNewcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
This programme is designed for graduates and professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of the range of sociological work, while also developing a high level of research skills. It provides students with the knowledge and understanding, skills an...
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
- New Delhi, IndiaNew Delhi, India
Jamia Millia Islamia - A Central University
- 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...
- Kelvin Grove, AustraliaKelvin Grove, Australia
Queensland University of Technology
- 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...