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
- London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
University of London
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
The Master of Science degree in Human Sciences is offered with specialization in Human Development and Family Studies. Emphasis is placed on providing a general substantive knowledge based in the specified areas as well as on developing skills which wil...
- New Haven, CTNew Haven, CT
Southern Connecticut State University
- Dublin, IrelandDublin, Ireland
Trinity College Dublin
- Edwardsville, ILEdwardsville, IL
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
MA degree program in Sociology with a strong, structured series of core courses and optional emphasis on either applied or academic approaches.
- 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...
- Wales, United KingdomWales, United Kingdom
This course, which has been granted RT (Research Training) status by the Economic and Social Research Council.
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
University of California, Irvine
- 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...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- Indianapolis, INIndianapolis, IN
University of Indianapolis
The MA in Applied Sociology provides students with the critical thinking & research skills needed in our ever changing world.
- San Marcos, TXSan Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos
The Master of Arts has three basic goals.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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...
- Bronxville, NYBronxville, NY
Sarah Lawrence College
An integrative concept of child development that emphasizes the interaction of intellectual, emotional, social and imaginative...
- Thunder Bay, ONThunder Bay, ON
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
- 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...
- Durham, NCDurham, NC
The graduate program in Sociology at Duke is designed primarily to train students for basic social science research using advanced methods of analysis, at a variety of levels, ranging from the social psychological to the societal, with the goal of prepa...