Master's in Sociology & Anthropology

A master's degree in sociology and anthropology typically requires 1-3 years of study and can lead to diverse career opportunities within public companies and government organizations. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Admission Requirements for Sociology and Anthropology Graduate Programs

Prospective students hoping to earn a master's degree in either sociology or anthropology must satisfy specific admission requirements before gaining acceptance. Typical requirements include a baccalaureate degree, transcripts which prove the student has earned a 3.0 or higher GPA, a statement of academic purpose, a research paper writing sample, and a resume. Also, most programs require students to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. GRE scores are also needed, but there is generally no minimum score required for admittance to a sociology or anthropology graduate program.

Comparing Different Sociology and Anthropology Master's Degrees

Master of Arts in Archaeology

Students enrolled in a Master of Arts in Archaeology program will typically spend 2-3 years studying archaeological methods and analysis, environmental archaeology, and historical and ancient archaeology. An MA in Archaeology program is designed to prepare students for careers as archaeologists, anthropologists, museum curators and conservators, and postsecondary educators. However, graduates of this program may choose to enroll in a Ph.D. program and continue their education within the archaeological field instead of seeking immediate employment.

Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology

Medical anthropology focuses on the study of wellness and disease within a human population. Students enrolled in a Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology program can expect to spend 1-3 years studying contemporary theory in anthropology and global health concepts. Interested applicants should submit proof of a baccalaureate degree, preferably with a focus on anthropological or social studies, in addition to transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Master of Arts in Applied Sociology

A Master of Arts in Applied Sociology is designed to prepare students for careers in social research and analysis, and social policy development. Admitted students commonly spend two years enrolled in courses such as applied sociology methodology and research techniques, statistical analysis, and qualitative methods. Students are expected to produce a thesis, complete a research paper, or participate in an internship near the culmination of the program to earn their master's degrees.

Degree ProgramProgram LengthProgram RequirementsRelated Careers
Master of Arts in Archaeology2-3 yearsBaccalaureate degreeArchaeologist
Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology1-3 yearsBaccalaureate degreeEpidemiologist
Master of Arts in Applied Sociology2 yearsBaccalaureate degreeSurvey Researcher

Sociology and Anthropology Master's Degree Career Paths


Anthropologists study the origin and cultural evolution of mankind. They work closely with archaeologists and sociologists to develop theories and produce research relating to the development of humans. Anthropologists may be expected to collect and analyze data in addition to composing research papers and submitting them to the scientific community, which is why they must have an in-depth understanding of research methodology and anthropological practices.


A sociologist studies the behaviors of different groups of people, and much like an anthropologist, is often responsible for collecting data, analyzing that data, and presenting it in an academic setting. Sociologists may work with criminologists to help solve criminal cases, in addition to working with both public and government organizations that require sociological advisement. Sociologists must be experts in their field to meet the demands of both employers and academic peers.

School and Career Counselor

School and career counselors aid students and the unemployed by providing guidance and educated advice to help them solve their career problems. This role requires an understanding of both psychology and sociology, as counselors are expected to work with people of various ages, educational backgrounds, and economic statuses. A master's degree is often required to pursue this career, as counselors must be highly knowledgeable and well-organized.

Museum Curator

Museum curators are responsible for maintaining exhibits, artifacts, and managerial tasks within a museum or gallery setting. Because curators are tasked with a wide variety of responsibilities, they must be educated in the historical, sociological, and anthropological importance of each piece they retain within their collection. Museum curators must also be leaders that are capable of managing staff and communicating with clients in order to find and obtain new artifacts for exhibits.

Survey Researcher

A survey researcher both designs and analyzes surveys. Statistics are a vital component of nearly every organization, and survey researchers may perform surveys on employment, family size, entertainment preferences, and much more. The data collected by a survey researcher often proves invaluable to the company requesting that information, which is why the data must always be accurate, current, and well-presented.


Epidemiologists study the patterns and behavior of disease and illness as they relate to humans. They work closely with medical professionals to collect data, create health programs, and share important findings and research with the larger medical community. Epidemiologists can help prevent pandemics, epidemics, and mass outbreaks of disease, and only those with at least a master's degree are considered for the position due to its grave importance to global health.

Postsecondary Educator

Postsecondary educators or professors work in colleges and universities, educating students and continuing research on their chosen topic. A postsecondary educator must hold at least a master's degree, and must also be eager to perform research, collect data, and publish research papers. In addition, educators are responsible for creating curricula, teaching plans, and lectures.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2018)*Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Anthropologist$62,410 (anthropologists and archaeologists)10% (anthropologists and archaeologists)
School and Career Counselor$56,3108%
Museum Curator$48,400 (archivists, curators, and museum workers)9% (archivists, curators, and museum workers)
Survey Researcher$57,7001%
Postsecondary Educator$83,940 (archaeology and anthropology postsecondary teachers); $74,140 (sociology postsecondary teachers)7% (archaeology and anthropology postsecondary teachers); 6% (sociology postsecondary teachers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Completing a master's degree program in anthropology or sociology can be a rewarding experience that could lead to a diverse range of career opportunities. Students interested in pursuing an MA in anthropology or sociology should expect to spend 1-3 years studying statistics, archaeological methodology, and global health concepts.

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:

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