Graduate Degree Programs for Sociology Majors

While some students choose to continue their sociology research at the master's degree level, others find that their bachelor's degree in sociology prepares them to branch out into a more practical field within the social sciences. Schools offering Sociology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Comparing Sociology Master's Degrees

M.A. in Sociology

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sociology research and teaching jobs are on the rise. In spite of the demand, most sociologists have at least a master's degree (if not a PhD). A master's in sociology can help a student move into a career in research or college-level instruction. Sociology master's degree programs generally take 1-2 years to complete; however, many have an optional thesis that could extend the timeline. Students take courses in sociological theory, statistical analysis and research methods. Most programs will require graduate students to teach undergraduate classes or complete sociological research projects.

M.A. in Social Work

After earning a bachelor's degree focused on problems in modern society, some students develop a desire to make a difference. A master's degree in social work is a great stepping stone for sociology students who want to apply their skills practically. Social workers assist clients from the most vulnerable sectors of society (in hospitals, the foster care system or the prison system). A social work master's degree takes 1-2 years to complete, with options for counseling licensure available. Graduate students take academic classes on human behavior and the environment, but complement their courses with fieldwork that puts sociological know-how to good use in their local communities.

M.S. in Journalism

Sociology bachelor's degree programs teach students to analyze and write clearly about complex societal issues. Rather than write research articles only accessible to other academics, journalism students learn to apply their sociological skills to write for the general public. Journalism master's degree programs take 1-2 years to complete and include classes in journalism laws and ethics, journalistic writing and investigative techniques.

M.A. in Education

Sociology majors study complex problems in society, like structural racism built into the fabric of our nation. By working in education, sociologists have the chance to research and transform deep-rooted structural issues for the next generation. Master's students in education can specialize in research, teacher instruction, curriculum development or administration. Master's programs in education take 1-3 years to complete depending on the concentration and whether or not students choose to study full-time. Some programs require students to take state-specific teacher proficiency tests as part of their application.

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Students can apply to attend law school with any bachelor's degree, but sociology is particularly suited because it develops a student's ability to grapple with difficult reading and complex ideas. Students who desire to go from a sociology bachelor's degree to a J.D. must make sure to keep their grades up, acquire excellent letters of recommendation from their professors and study for the LSAT (law school entrance exam). Most J.D. programs last three years and include courses in ethics, legal writing, civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law and more.

M.A. Public Relations/Marketing

A lucrative way to apply a sociology bachelor's degree is to move on to a master's in public relations. Public relations is a fast growing field wherein specialists maintain the relationship between their client (usually a corporation, celebrity or government office) and the general public. In order to be successful, public relations specialists must understand societal trends. A sociology degree offers a great starting point for graduate work in public relations. The benefit of moving from sociology research to public relations practice is that consulting for private firms tends to come with a higher paycheck than research. Public relations master's programs typically take 1-2 years to complete and include courses in global marketing, public opinion and media law.

Degree Program Program length Program Requirements Related Careers
Master's in Sociology 1-2 years Undergraduate degree in sociology Sociologist
Sociology teacher
Master of Social Work 1-2 years Undergraduate degree Social Worker
Case worker
Master's in Journalism 1-2 years Undergraduate degree Journalist
News correspondent
Master's in Education1-2 years Undergraduate degree Curriculum designer/author
School administrator
Juris Doctor 3 years Undergraduate degree Human resource manager
Consulting organizational psychologist
Master's in Public Relations 2 years Undergraduate degree Public relations specialist

Getting into a Sociology Master's Degree Program

To get into any sociology-related master's degree program students will need to keep their grades up. In general, graduate programs look for GPA scores above 3.0. Students need to collect letters of recommendation from their professors and take the GRE (graduate admissions test). After that, they must look at the specific admissions requirements for their program/university. Some programs, like the Juris Doctor and master's in education, require additional test-taking.

Whether you enjoy teaching, research or working with clients, a sociology degree can prepare you for graduate programs that meet your unique interests and kick-start a meaningful career.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

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  • University of Oklahoma Norman Campus

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Norman
  • Southern Illinois University

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Carbondale
  • San Diego State University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: San Diego
  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • University of South Alabama

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Mobile
  • Wichita State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Wichita