Online sociology graduate programs prepare students to use quantitative analysis to study social structures and understand them in a scientific way. Programs may cover research methodologies, and principles of psychology, politics, and anthropology.
In many cases, sociology graduate programs aim to establish a foundation of academic skills to support students as they pursue sociology research and higher education. However, some might also look towards applications in business, human services, government or policy.
Online sociology degree programs offer a unique combination of intellectual rigor, technology, and flexibility. Degree and certificate programs may be available at the masters and doctoral level.
Online sociology graduate programs allow students to explore human society by accessing courses from their own computer, usually in a web browser. There’s often a degree of freedom with respect to the exact scheduling, so long as students meet various course deadlines. Most programs also offer online support. Examples include research materials (e.g. online library access or research databases), academic and career counseling, tutoring, and social networking opportunities. However, the specifics may vary by program.
This enables schools to meet students where they are, on their terms. After all, a diverse student population has diverse needs. Whether you’re looking at studying online because that’s how you prefer to learn, or because you’re trying to balance career or family obligations, online sociology graduate programs could provide an education that fits in with your life.
Sociology is the study of human society. It seeks to understand the different social structures that determine how groups are comprised and behave. This is accomplished using a combination of
quantitative analysis and theories in psychology, social theory, political science, and anthropology. In other words, it’s a diverse field that unites a broad range of knowledge and skills.
At the graduate level, online sociology degree programs may vary considerably, depending on their central topic of study and how they choose to approach it. Topics of interest may include multicultural communities, religious traditions in different societies, race, socioeconomics, class disparity, different types of family units, and policy issues.
Online human development graduate programs focus on how people grow and change over time, and how those changes impact the way they interact with society. That means looking at the ways people at different stages interact with family groups, their roles in society, etc. Courses might also discuss how society views people in different stages of life, the way they are treated, and related legal mechanisms. Human development programs may touch on sociological concepts, as well as psychology, neuroscience, and law and policy.
A few varieties of online sociology graduate programs may be available. The type of program you attend could have an impact on everything from curriculum to graduation requirements to potential offline elements. While the terminology describing these program types may vary, they can generally be broken down into two basic categories.
Scholarly programs tend to have graduation requirements along the lines of a thesis or dissertation. Even if the program is primarily online, students may sometimes be expected to appear on campus to present these types of projects or meet with faculty in the service of completing them.
Similarly, practitioner-based programs may have capstone projects or even field experience components. This could mean students need to visit campus or organize these experiences on their own.
For more information about program types, graduation requirements, and offline elements, reach out to the program in question.
The curriculum at each online sociology graduate program may be unique, impacted by factors like the school's approach, an area of concentration, the goals of that program, and the type of university. However they typically cover a few core areas. What follows are some examples of the types of courses you might expect to find.
This is only a sample of classes your online sociology graduate program might offer. Contact indivdiual programs for a full course list.
Online sociology graduate programs may serve a wide range of students, with different interests and levels of experience. Whether you’re a recent graduate from a bachelor’s program or have some related professional experience—or even a graduate degree—there may be online sociology degree programs created with you in mind.
Masters in sociology online programs are typically designed for students holding a bachelors degree who hope to deepen their understanding of methods of analysis, as well as sociology theory and practice. Most award either a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA) degree. The difference between the degree types is often nominal. However, when there is a significant difference, it may be that the MS program emphasizes quantitative analysis over softer skills like communication. When earning a masters in sociology online, students may also be able to choose an area of concentration, such as applied or medical sociology.
It may be important to review the graduation requirements in advance. That’s because many masters programs require either a thesis or capstone project, which could involve a visit to campus or even field experience. This also could impact graduation times. Most students could earn an online masters in sociology degree in 2 years of full time study but programs vary. Contact schools to learn more about curriculum, requirements and program length.
If you’ve already earned your masters and begun your sociology career, earning a doctorate in sociology online could be your next step. Online sociology doctoral programs are often scholarly in nature. Those programs may center on research practices, and support doctoral candidates as they pursue original research. Other programs are more practitioner-oriented. While practitioner-based online sociology programs might also incorporate research elements, they’re generally designed to support other roles in the field, putting that research data into practice.
Two important questions to ask when deciding on an online sociology doctoral program are what type of graduation requirements there are, and what type of in-person requirements may be asked of you, if any. If you’re attending a more academic online sociology doctoral program, one centered on research or teaching, you’re likely to complete a dissertation. You many need to visit campus periodically for things like proposing a topic, meeting with dissertation advisors, or presenting and defending a dissertation.
Online sociology graduate certificate programs are usually topical, meaning they center on a certain issue, role, or segment of society. For example, one might study child welfare, social justice, or rural development. This means they generally have a fairly short curriculum and require fewer credits than a full degree program. Graduate certificates may be offered at the masters or post-masters level, making them a potential option if you want to get a taste of graduate sociology education or build on the education you already have.
An online sociology degree could support the pursuit of a variety of roles. From engaging in sociology-related research and educating others, to using sociology research to inform business or government activity, graduates may have a number of paths they could take.
Below are a few example careers sociology graduates may be interested in, along with relevant salary data.
Entry level education requirements may vary considerably, depending on the type of career sought. In some cases, only a bachelors degree might be necessary to get started, though graduate education could enhance a career or support advancement. Depending on the career in question, there may be additional prerequisites, like experience or professional certification. This could be a requirement or down to employer preference. For more information on how you might need to prepare, reach out to the career advisement services at your selected university.
If you’re ready to begin searching for online sociology graduate programs, GradSchools.com is here to help! Narrow your choices down by using the menu to select your preferred degree level and specialty (if any). Then read more about what to expect in those programs and review the sponsored program listings that match! Click on the program names to find out more and request information. Then start your application!