Sociology offers a wide range of career possibilities since concerns over issues like the environment, urban development, health, aging, and a competitive global economy have increased the demand for social scientists and trained evaluators. The Department of Sociology provides curriculum and training to prepare students to meet this need.
Students learn to think critically about social groups, society, and institutions, and how to conduct quantitative and qualitative research.
Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:
“I absolutely loved my graduate school journey in the Department of Sociology. I gained lifelong friends and received top-notch mentoring from amazing faculty members. I constantly apply the lessons I learned in survey research, data analysis, diversity and inclusion, and public speaking that I gained in graduate school. I am confident that continuing my education was the best decision for my personal and professional development.”
— Madi Tabersmith, M.A. ’17, Coordinator for Institutional Effectiveness and IRB, Our Lady of the Lake University
Students pursuing the 37-credit-hour M.A. degree will be prepared for careers in government, private enterprise, education (including higher education), and social services. Additionally, the thesis course work in the M.A. program prepares students for further study in doctoral programs.
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Graduates pursue doctoral degrees in nationally recognized programs; others teach in universities or work as advocates, research analysts, research specialists and statisticians at nonprofit and local government agencies.
The mission of sociology programs is to provide students with an advanced understanding of sociological theory, methods, and principles that can be applied in public and private agencies and nonprofit organizations. The Department of Sociology prepares graduates to become informed citizens, scholars, researchers, and leaders in their communities at the local, state, and national levels. The department provides an environment conducive to intellectual exchange characterized by innovative and outstanding:
- teaching and curricula
- service to students and community
- scholarship and research
- sociological practice
- commitment to multiculturalism and diversity
Faculty are well-trained methodologically and theoretically and conduct both applied and basic research. Main areas of specialization include inequality and multicultural relations (race, class, gender, sexuality), health and illness, aging and gerontology, and sustainability/environment. The sociology faculty contribute actively to the field by publishing research relevant to current issues in books and scholarly journals, often receiving national and international recognition from academic circles as well as the popular press.
Sociologists embark on various career paths growing in number and significance within the fields of research, advocacy, and teaching. Graduates will find positions in corporations, human resources, academia, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations such as:
- survey or market researchers
- program evaluators
- evaluation researchers
- policy analysts
- grant writers
- data analysts
- informed activists or advocates
- diversity specialists or administrators
- teachers in community colleges
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.
The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.
Transcripts & GPA
- baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
- a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
- minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
- background course work in sociological theory, statistics, SPSS, and social research. Read additional information below.
Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.
- GRE not required
- statement of purpose (two pages, double-spaced with your full name and contact information) describing your personal and career goals. Include your academic interests and the relationship of this graduate degree to your life/personal goals. Also, discuss why you are interested in this particular graduate program and explain your career goals after earning the degree. The Graduate Admissions Committee will evaluate the following:
- Did you demonstrate a familiarity with the field?
- Did you indicate your strengths (background, experience, training, and education)?
- Did you express why the program will hone your skills?
- Did your statement show excellence or promise in writing skills?
- three letters of recommendation from individuals knowledgeable about your academic ability and promise as a scholar
Effective Spring 2022
- current resume or curriculum vitae
Review important information about documents.
TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores
Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.
- official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
- official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
- official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
- minimum individual module scores of 6.0
Review important information about official test scores.