Program: Sociology, M.A.

Program Description

The master’s degree program in sociology provides advanced training in the core areas of sociological theory and research methods, as well as specialized studies in a number of areas, including culture, gender, sexuality, political sociology, race/ethnicity, social movements, sociology of education, evaluation research, immigration, health and social psychology. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers in a number of fields, including program evaluation, policy research, marketing/consumer research, community college teaching, nonprofit sector management, international relations, community organizing and public sector research. Several graduates have furthered their education by gaining entry into Ph.D. programs and pursuing careers in academia.

Program Requirements

A. For Admission to Classified Graduate Status in the Program

  1. University requirements for classified status. Department evaluation and approval are required for admission to either classified or conditionally classified graduate standing.
  2. Bachelor’s degree, including sociology undergraduate core requirements or the equivalent.

B. Sociology Department Requirements for Graduate Admission

  1. A bachelor’s degree in sociology (or another field of study). Applications from both sociology and non-sociology majors are considered. Applicants accepted into the program who have not completed undergraduate coursework in classical sociological theory, contemporary sociological theory, statistics and research methods (or the equivalent) may be required to enroll in an undergraduate prerequisite course during their first semester in the program.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members who know the applicant’s potential for success in graduate studies.
  3. Transcripts of undergraduate work.
  4. A 10-12 page (double spaced) writing sample (term or research paper).
  5. Written statement of purpose (2-4 pages).

The department’s standards for admission are higher than those required by the University. The department will determine whether a student meets the additional requirements needed for admittance into the Sociology graduate program. All material must be submitted to the Sociology department by the department’s deadline to be considered. Please go to Applying for the Master’s Degree Program in Sociology for details on how to apply. See the Graduate Programs section in this Catalog for additional information regarding classification. For further information, contact the Sociology department graduate coordinator.

C. Program Requirements

1. Required Courses (12 units)

SOC 601 Classical Sociological Theory (3)
SOC 670 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3)
SOC 685 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
SOC 690 Quantitative Research Methods (3)

2. Electives (15 units)

Selected from Sociology or related fields with advisor approval.

3. Culminating Experience (4 units)

SOC 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (4)
or SOC 698 Thesis (4)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 31


Department of Sociology
Chair: Karen Morgaine
Santa Susana Hall (SN) 321
(818) 677-3591

Graduate Coordinator: Lauren McDonald
(818) 677-4267

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Arts in Sociology will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology concerning human actors, groups, organizations and milieus.
  2. Frame theoretically informed inquiries of social phenomena, and use sociological theory to understand social issues.
  3. Demonstrate advanced understanding of epistemological and methodological approaches used in the study of social phenomena.
  4. Utilize quantitative research methods to collect, analyze and interpret data.
  5. Utilize qualitative research methods to collect, analyze and interpret data.
  6. Show mastery of a subfield within the discipline of sociology through an advanced knowledge of the historical development, published research and perspectives within the subfield.
  7. Communicate sociological knowledge and ideas through writing and oral presentations in department, college, university and/or professional settings.
  8. Demonstrate attributes appropriate for success in the field of sociology, including critical thinking, problem solving, persistence and ethical judgment.