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
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
The Applied Psychology - Human Development Division provides students with a foundation in the core concepts of psychology, assessment evaluation, human development and field research. We encourage students to engage the challenge of framing major psych...
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
- Pullman, WAPullman, WA
Washington State University
The Department of Sociology at Washington State University has served, in recent years, as the editorial home for several major sociological journals including American Sociological Review, Criminology, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religi...
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Norfolk State University
The graduate program in Applied Sociology is sponsored jointly by Norfolk State University and Old DominionUniversity.
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.
- Clinton, CTClinton, CT
The field of social sciences is a broad one, commonly used to refer to the studies of anthropology, economics, political science...
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
MA/MS degree Sociology is designed to provide options for persons seeking competencies in Sociology.
- Jackson, MSJackson, MS
Jackson State University
- North Canton, OHNorth Canton, OH
The Master's program in Counseling and Human Development (CHD) is committed to developing conscientious, skilled counselors.
- Bronxville, NYBronxville, NY
Sarah Lawrence College
An integrative concept of child development that emphasizes the interaction of intellectual, emotional, social and imaginative...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- Bakersfield, CABakersfield, CA
California State University, Bakersfield
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a program leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology.
- Colorado Springs, COColorado Springs, CO
University of Colorado At Colorado Springs
The College of Letters, Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Arts degree in Sociology.
- Grambling, LAGrambling, LA
Grambling State University
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The Sociology and Education Program has applied research findings to education and has examined basic issues in education from a sociological perspective. Although the program’s theory and research have emphasized schools and colleges, attention also ha...
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute, The
Applied Behavior Analysis is the preferred method for assessment and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)...
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
M.A., Ph.D. specializations: Criminology, Medical Sociology, Social Inequality: Race/Ethnicity, Class, and Gender/Sexuality, Urban Sociology...
- Stillwater, OKStillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University
The Department of Sociology at Oklahoma State University offers a broad spectrum of sociological specialties, theoretical approaches and methodological styles blended into a balanced graduate curriculum with three graduate programs: the Master's of...
- Stillwater, OK