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
- 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...
- Brookings, SDBrookings, SD
South Dakota State University
This program is designed to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, research and creative activity in academic, government and related areas. Areas of emphasis for a major in the Ph.D. program include demography, family studies, human eco...
- Saint Cloud, MNSaint Cloud, MN
St. Cloud State University
The program provides a solid academic foundation to students interested in addressing the varying needs of their community.
- San Marcos, TXSan Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos
The Master of Arts has three basic goals.
- Stony Brook, NYStony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (S.U.N.Y.)
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
The graduate program of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut is built around its curriculum in human development and family relations. The distinctive and overarching concern of the program is with beha...
- Storrs Mansfield, CT
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
The MA Program in Sociology at CU Denver provides a coherent, progressive, educational experience that prepares students for either immediate entry to a master’s level career or continued study in PhD programs.
- Denver, CO
- New Paltz, NYNew Paltz, NY
State University Of New York At New Paltz (S.U.N.Y.)
New Paltz is a public university and can not provide Scholarships and/or Financial aid to non New York residents.
- Tuscaloosa, ALTuscaloosa, AL
University of Alabama
- Weatherford, OKWeatherford, OK
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Grambling, LAGrambling, LA
Grambling State University
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
University of Miami
- Denton, TXDenton, TX
University of North Texas
The aim of the graduate Sociology programs at the University of North Texas is to develop independent thinkers who are capable of conducting quality, innovative research in a particular area of interest. While pursuing a Master of Arts or Master of Scien...
- Omaha, NEOmaha, NE
University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- 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...
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
University of Colorado - Boulder
- 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.
- Bowling Green, KYBowling Green, KY
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University offers a broad spectrum of graduate education, scholarly activity andprofessional service within many academic departments...