Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology may pursue studies in a wide range of areas of sociological inquiry. Faculty in the program specialize in culture (including music, art, new media, and consumption); family, youth and aging; gender; globalization; immigration and migration; political economy, development and economic sociology; political sociology and social movements; race/ethnicity; religion; sociological theory; and urban sociology. The program is strongly connected to nonprofit and community groups, providing ample opportunity for research, internships, and employment. 

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the MA in sociology, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Reduction of Credit

Students who enter the program with a previously conferred graduate degree may be allowed a reduction of up to 6 elective credits, subject to the approval of the graduate director and dean.

Satisfactory Progress

According to university policy, students may be terminated if they fail to  achieve satisfactory progress toward their degree. In addition to the graduate policies on academic termination (see AP.6.6.2), students in the program are judged as having failed to achieve satisfactory progress if they have a plagiarism finding by the Office of Academic Integrity.

Banner Code: LA-MA-SOCI

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 33

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies. Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Foundation Courses

Public Sociology
SOCI 601Proseminar in Public and Applied Sociology3
Social Theory
SOCI 711Classical Sociological Theory3
SOCI 712Contemporary Sociological Theory3
Required Methodology and Analysis Course
SOCI 620Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry3
Elective Methodology and Analysis Courses6
Select two from the following:
Survey Research
Evaluation Research for Social Programs
Special Topics in Sociology
Qualitative Research Methods
Statistical Reasoning
Feminist Theory
Ethnography
Historical and Comparative Sociology
Analytic Techniques of Social Research
Methods in Anthropology
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Research Practice
Total Credits18

Elective Courses

Select three to four electives from advanced courses in sociology. 19-12

Thesis or MA Capstone Paper

Thesis

A master's thesis demonstrates the student's capacity to carry out independent research. The thesis consists of a substantial sociological research or theoretical project that will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in sociology.

Students must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in SOCI 799 Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment as specified in AP.6.9.3 Master's Thesis.

SOCI 799Thesis3-6
Total Credits3-6

Master's Capstone Paper

As an alternative to the thesis, students can elect to complete an independent, 25-page research paper. Unlike the thesis, the master's capstone paper must be completed in one semester under the guidance of a faculty member who has been admitted to the graduate faculty.

SOCI 797Master's Capstone Paper3
Total Credits3

Bachelor's Degree (any)/Sociology, Accelerated MA

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master's degree program. If accepted, students will be able to earn both a BA in their chosen major and an MA in Sociology following satisfactory completion of 147 credits, sometimes within five years. See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the accelerated MA in Sociology, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.

Accelerated Option Requirements

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students complete two graduate SOCI courses at the 500 and 600 level (chosen in consultation with the graduate program director and indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application) with a minimum grade of B in each course. Once admitted to the accelerated master's pathway, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in all coursework. On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits of SOCI courses as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students should use the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.

The ability to take courses, including ones not listed above, for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. Permission is normally granted only to qualified Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates.