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Master's in Sociology: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Learn about online and on-campus master's degree programs in sociology and other social sciences. Discover the job outlook for social scientists and postsecondary teachers.

What Master's Degree Programs Are Available to Sociology Students?

Master's programs in sociology are available for students who have received a bachelor's degree in any field, including sociology, psychology, anthropology or communications. Master's degrees in sociology, such as the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology, are designed to prepare students for careers as sociologists or for doctorate programs in the field.

Online or hybrid master's programs in sociology are rare; however, there are available degrees in related areas, such as a Master of Science in Social Science. These programs typically offer online sociology coursework and have comparable admissions requirements.

Degree Level Master's degree
Traditional Classroom Specializations Globalization, health, social development, aging, marriage and family
Online Classroom Communication Conducted primarily through email, discussion boards, or the institution's course management system
Median Salary (2018)$78,470 (for all postsecondary teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Campus-Based Programs Work?

Sociology students in campus-based master's programs may specialize in marriage and family, health and aging, globalization or social development. Some programs require completion of an internship with a community organization. Prior to graduation, you'll write a master's thesis, which is an original work on a topic related to sociology. You might work closely with an academic advisor or other faculty members while writing your thesis and completing required coursework.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Students in online sociology programs take courses similar to those offered in campus-based programs, like social statistics, research in the social sciences and sociological theory. Completion of a thesis paper is usually required. In an online program, you'll interact with teachers and classmates through discussion boards, e-mail or a university's course management system. In order to complete assignments, access syllabi and view course lectures, you'll need access to a computer with a word processor and a reliable Internet connection.

What Can I Do With My Master's Degree in Sociology?

Many graduates with a master's degree in sociology pursue careers in research, teaching or clinical sociology. Other graduates may pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology or a related doctoral degree. While a Ph.D. is usually required in order to teach at the postsecondary level, some 2-year colleges hire teachers who have a master's degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed postsecondary teachers was expected to increase by 15% from 2016 to 2026.