California Sociology Graduate Schools & Programs
Sociology graduate schools offer students the chance to pursue advanced study of communities of all shapes and sizes. They use scientific research and quantitative analysis to try and understand more about human relationships, cultures, and societies all around the world. Sociology graduate school programs might touch on a wide range of related subject areas, including business, psychology, anthropology, and political science. And by studying in a graduate school program, you’d not only have the chance to learn in a convenient location, but also one tied to your community, with the unique local perspective to potentially better understand your own home.
Why Consider Sociology Graduate Schools?
As a student in a sociology graduate school program, you might not just have access to campus resources—though that’s certainly a valuable perk. You might also get to study in a program with a local perspective. That’s because a local campus is anchored in its community, with faculty who live and work there every day. Campus programs may also have connections with local organizations, creating potential opportunities for fieldwork or networking.
Studying on campus also means that you could do so with the personal support of your teachers, advisors, and peers. You could meet face to face and discuss your challenges, lean on their expertise, and take advantage of the facilities and resources at the department’s disposal.
All that, and you might find sociology graduate programs in a convenient location from home or work. Some campus programs even offer some online learning options and flexible scheduling, making it easier to fit your courses into your life.
Types of Sociology Graduate Schools
Sociology graduate schools offer programs at different levels, ranging from masters to doctorate. Within each level, individual programs typically fall into one of
- Research Scholarship: These types of programs emphasize research methodologies and practice. They aim not only to foster a solid background in sociology theory and research, but also the skills to perform original research. They may look toward positions in academia, including teaching sociology at the university level.
- Practitioner-Oriented: Rather than focusing primarily on academia, these types of programs aim to help students apply sociology expertise in the field. While research may still be an important component, programs like this might focus on how to apply research findings constructively, or to use those skills to analyze real-life scenarios.
Bear in mind as you search that some sociology graduate programs may not align to the two descriptions above. Additionally, some schools might use different terminology to describe these ideas. What’s important is to think about your goals as a student and professional, and examine how those goals align with a potential graduate school’s sociology program.
Masters in Sociology Programs
Sociology masters schools tend to focus on understanding and applying sociology research, while establishing a firm grounding in sociology theory and practice. Some programs may ask students have some professional experience, in addition to a related bachelors degree. However, that’s not always the case. Other masters schools may be designed for students who are new to sociology and want help getting started. Masters programs often culminate in a final project requirement, usually along the lines of a thesis or research-focused capstone.
Sociology PhD Programs
Sociology doctorate schools focus on advanced sociology research and topical issues. In addition to coursework, students may be expected to perform original research as part of their dissertation or capstone requirements, contributing to the larger body of knowledge in the sociology field as a whole. Applicants may need a masters in sociology or a related field. Some programs may also ask for demonstration of previous research and/or professional experience.
Sociology Graduate Certificate Schools
Sociology graduate certificate programs may be offered at a variety of graduate schools, at both the masters and post-masters level. These programs tend to require fewer courses overall compared to degree programs. As such, some programs may be focused on a single topic of concern within sociology. For example, one might study family structures, disability policy, human migration, or gender in society. The topics vary by school and program. Reach out to the schools you’re considering for more information on the options available and how that impacts the curriculum.
Human Development Schools
Human development is a concentration within sociology and brings together neuroscience, psychology, and sociology to examine the relationship between people and society as they age. Programs may touch on how people interact with families, peers, and their communities at different ages. They may also examine the perception of age within different communities, and policy issues as they relate to people at different stages of life. Human development programs may be offered by graduate schools at the masters and doctorate level. Graduate certificate programs may also be available.
Find Sociology Graduate Schools
If you’re ready to begin applying to sociology graduate programs, start your search right here! Use the menu to select your preferred degree level or concentration. Then read more about those programs, and review the matching sponsored program listings. Click on the name of a program to find out more about it and to request information. You could even get in touch, schedule a campus visit, or start your application!
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
Research facilities provided by the Department of Sociology include a well-equipped Social Science Research Laboratory for use by the faculty and grad...
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
Lincoln University (CA)
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
Pacific Oaks College
The Human Development program at Pacific Oaks College is designed to provide advanced study in the growth and development of individuals at various stages of the lifespan.
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
The primary aim of the Applied Sociology MA program is to prepare graduates for positions in a variety of community organization...
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- Bakersfield, CABakersfield, CA
California State University, Bakersfield
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a program leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology.
- Merced, CAMerced, CA
University of California - Merced
UC Merced offers world class graduate training in Sociology, with nationally recognized faculty studying topics at the cutting edge of the discipline. ...
- Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz
- Hayward, CAHayward, CA
California State University, East Bay
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - San Francisco
SBS offers courses of study leading to a Ph.D. in sociology, with major emphasis on the sociology of health, medicine, and health care systems.
- San Marcos, CASan Marcos, CA
California State University, San Marcos
The mission of the Master of Arts in Sociological Practice at California State University San Marcos is to provide a superior...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
- Sacramento, CASacramento, CA
California State University, Sacramento
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
California Institute Of Technology
The first-year curriculum consists of courses in modern statistical and econometric methods, game, socialchoice and utility theory, economic analysis,...
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
The Option in General Social Science is designed for professionals having unique curricular needs within the behavioral and social sciences.