Master of Arts in Sociology

The Master of Arts degree by thesis or research essay offers students the opportunity to develop an independent stand-alone research project in a wide array of fields of study. Expertise developed in this way may lead to employment or may serve as preparation for study at the doctoral level.  Students can also follow a course work option.

Students in either the research essay or thesis program options may pursue a Concentration in Quantitative Methodology. Please see the Graduate Calendar for details of the program requirements for the M.A. in Sociology with Concentration in Quantitative Methodology.

At the M.A. level, we offer a collaborative specialization in African Studies. Please see the Graduate Calendar for details of the program requirements for the M.A. in Sociology with Specialization in African Studies.

We also offer a collaborative specialization in Digital Humanities. Please see the Graduate Calendar for details of the program requirements for the M.A. in Sociology with Specialization in Digital Humanities.

Admission

The minimum requirement to be considered for admission to the master’s program is an honours (four year) bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) in Sociology or a closely related discipline, with at least high honours standing or a B plus average over your last two years of coursework. The majority of students who are admitted to the MA have an average of A minus or better over the last two years. You are encouraged to contact the department in advance of applying to get feedback on your chances of acceptance.

The deadline for applications to the master’s program is:

  • February 1 for applicants requesting financial assistance for September; applications will continue to be considered beyond this date (space permitting) and funding may be available;
  • November 1 for applicants requesting financial assistance for January; applications will continue to be considered beyond this date (space permitting) and funding may be available. Students normally begin the MA program in September and this is the best time to start, but we occasionally make January admissions

Please consult the Graduate Calendar for Information about Admission and the Accelerated Pathway.

Application Requirements

Applications for the M.A. and Ph.D. require the same components. These are as follows:

  • A statement of academic/research interests and ambitions (1-2 pages in length);
  • English-language test scores (if applicable);
  • Sample of written work;
  • Two referee appraisal forms and letters of reference (to be uploaded by referees); and
  • One transcript (unofficial can be uploaded by student – official transcripts can be mailed to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and only required if offer is made).

Applicants’ statements of interest should provide a clear and focused description of their research interests and why they wish to enroll in the program.  A strong research statement elaborates, as clearly as possible, a particular thesis research project the student wishes to carry out, ideally by proposing particular research questions and citing relevant academic literature. The sample of written work should have been completed in the most recent degree program and can be a term paper, thesis proposal, or published work.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Sociology is a 5 credit program. Students following the thesis option take 3 credits worth of course work (equivalent to 6 half courses), and submit and orally defend a thesis worth 2 credits. Students following the research essay option take 4 credits worth of course work (equivalent to 8 half courses), and submit and orally defend a research essay worth 1 credit. Students following the course work option take 5 credits worth of course work (equivalent to 10 half courses).

For further details of the program requirements for the M.A. in Sociology, please see the Graduate Calendar.

Students accepted into the M.A. in Sociology with Concentration in Quantitative Methodology must do either a thesis or a research essay. A number of required and optional courses also define the concentration. Students in the quantitative methodology may also arrange a work placement at 0.5 credit towards the program requirements. The conditions of the placement are arranged with the student’s supervisor and the placement coordinator. Grades for the work placement are assigned in consultation between the placement supervisor and the placement coordinator. Placements can be held for up to two academic terms and count for 1.0 credit.

The Master’s in Sociology Concentration in Quantitative Methodology also has the option of completing a co-operative education designation by registering as a co-op student.  Adding a co-op designation requires an addition of two work terms that may be taken successively or be separated by one or more study terms.  While on a work term the co-op office will register students in SOCI 5913.  Please visit the Co-operative Education Program website for further details.

Financial Assistance

We provide domestic students with substantial financial assistance in the form of teaching and/or research assistantships and scholarships based on academic excellence. We have limited funding possibilities for international students (those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents). Applications received prior to February 1 will automatically be considered for financial assistance. For applications submitted beyond these dates, financial assistance may possibly be available, but applying in advance of February 1 is strongly recommended. For additional information on scholarships visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs website.

Qualifying MA students typically receive both scholarship money and a paid teaching assistant position. PhD students receive both scholarship money and a paid teaching assistant position for 10 terms.