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.


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
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 (500-800 level) in sociology. 19-12

Thesis or MA Capstone Paper


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


Highly qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a BA/BS in a chosen major and an MA in Sociology in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 141 credits.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program.

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.

BAM Pathway Admission 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 Polices and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies. For information specific to this accelerated program, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental website.

Students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.50 in sociology courses.

Students who are accepted in the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits.

Accelerated Master's Admission Requirements

Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the MA program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form:

  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.25
  • Minimum grade of B in each advanced standing course
  • Successfully meeting Mason's requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation) and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing courses (up to 12 credits with a minimum grade of B in each)

500- or 600-level SOCI courses (up to 12 credits)
SOCI 620 Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry (will count for SOCI 303 Methods and Logic of Inquiry) and SOCI 636 Statistical Reasoning (will count for SOCI 313 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Mason Core)

Reserve Graduate Credit courses (up to 6 credits) taken while an undergraduate and will only count for the graduate degree program

500- or 600-level SOCI courses (up to 6 credits)

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements see AP.6.7 Bachelor's Accelerated Master's Degree policies.