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
- Troy, NYTroy, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
One of the first universities to offer both graduate and undergraduate degrees in STS, Rensselaer now has 16 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Most faculty and student research aims to clarify humanity's technosocial problems and prospects. We...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
City College of New York, The
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.
- Twin Cities, MNTwin Cities, MN
University of Minnesota
The Psychological Foundations of Education track offers opportunities to focus in several different areas of specialized study, including human development in education. Study plans usually are individualized according to the studentÆs interests and goa...
- Twin Cities, MN
- Saint Paul, MN
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
Clark Atlanta University
- Abilene, TXAbilene, TX
Hardin Simmons University
The Master of Education degree in Counseling and Human Development prepares individuals for counselor positions in a variety of professional settings...
- South Portland, MESouth Portland, ME
The Master of Science in Human Relations Program consists of a minimum of 37 hours of non-clinical counseling courses and electives. This Master of Science in Human Relations Program is appropriate for individuals such as teachers, ministers, human reso...
- Presque Isle, ME
- Bangor, ME
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
University of Houston - Clear Lake
- Athens, GAAthens, GA
University of Georgia
The Graduate Program in Sociology at the University of Georgia is directed primarily toward students seeking the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Although we offer a Master of Arts Degree, we do not have separate M. A. and Ph.D. curricula. All student...
- Memphis, TNMemphis, TN
University of Memphis
- Flint, MIFlint, MI
University of Michigan - Flint
The Master of Arts (MA) in Social Sciences degree is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Albuquerque, NMAlbuquerque, NM
University of New Mexico
The graduate curriculum provides rigorous training in theory, methods, statistics, and substantive sociological areas. The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is directly affiliated with the department, and provid...
- Portland, ORPortland, OR
Portland State University
Critical thinking, problem-solving, written communication, oral communication and interpersonal skills are all cultivated by studying sociology. We are a department that is excited about the opportunities that sociology has for students and welcome you...
- Nashville, GANashville, GA
The program offers substantial opportunity for independent and collaborative research experience with an active research faculty; student: faculty ratio of approximately 1:1. The department is home to the journal Work and Occupations, and to the directo...
- Sacramento, CASacramento, CA
California State University, Sacramento
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St Louis
The curriculum is designed to serve the needs of full-time students as well as working students who are able to engage only in part-time studies.
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The Child Development and Early Childhood Education program is designed for those who have gained knowledge about young children through work experien...
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
University of New Orleans
Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Gender...
- Carson, NMCarson, NM
California State University, Dominguez Hills
The Master of Arts in Sociology is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in sociological theory and research methodology.
- Lexington, KYLexington, KY
University of Kentucky
The graduate program in Rural Sociology at the University of Kentucky is internationally recognized for excellence in research, extension, and teaching. The program has three areas of core specialization: Comparative Sociology of Agriculture; Family and...
- Lexington, KY