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Masters of Arts in Sociology

The Master of Arts program is designed to produce skilled social analysts and researchers. In a society awash in information and opinion based on low quality data, our MA students are trained to design and produce socially relevant research of the highest caliber. Intensive seminars focusing on social theory and selected specialty areas (e.g., Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Immigration, Social Movements) will sharpen your thinking and allow you to become a more effective communicator. In addition, we offer advanced methodological training that provides the opportunity to learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret a range of different kinds of data including in-depth interviews and surveys from representative samples.

Admission Requirements

The following represents the minimum standards for regular admission into the ECU Graduate School. Departments/Units may establish higher or additional academic standards for their program(s), but Sociology generally adheres to the Graduate School’s minimum requirements for admission, which allow a small number of admissions by exception. To qualify for regular admission to any graduate degree program at ECU including Sociology, an applicant must:
1) Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or from an approved foreign college/university. International Students must have their transcript evaluated by an outside accrediting board designated by ECU’s Graduate School

2) Score at or above the 30th percentile on the GRE or Millers (MAT) standardized admissions test, or score an average of the 30th percentile for the combined GRE verbal + quantitative sections. In 2015, the 30% for the GRE was 146 in the Verbal and 147 in the Math or a combined minimum score of 293. 

3) Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 based on a 4.0 scale or a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 in a completed graduate degree program.

Standardized Test Waiver Option: The department may waive the GRE/MAT requirement if  (1) the applicant’s major GPA (in any discipline) is 3.4 or higher, whether at ECU or another institution, and (2) the applicant was either (a) a member of an academic honor society while an undergraduate or (b), the applicant was on their undergraduate institution’s Dean’s List, or higher honor list, as an undergraduate for at least two semesters, which need not be sequential.

Note: Upon recommendation of the graduate program director, the standardized admission test may be waived for students with a Graduate Degree from an accredited US institution. 

MA Curriculum

MA program requirements build in a number of options so that you can design your course of study to best fit your own career aspirations. In general, the MA in Sociology requires the following:

  1. Four required courses (i.e., Modern Sociological Theory, Research Methods and Design, Statistics, and Multivariate Techniques and Analysis).
  2. Four elective courses (e.g., Environment and Society, Social Movements, Immigration, Aging and Health, Gender Roles, Social Inequality and Diversity, Family, Population, Social Issues in Regional Development, Qualitative Methods, Society and Coastal Policy).
  3. Thesis, Practicum, or four additional courses

Item 3 above includes three options for completing the degree. The thesis is an original scholarly work that demonstrates your ability to conceive and execute a research project. The practicum offers the opportunity to gain invaluable professional experience and may focus on applied social research or best practices in teaching, as described below. The extended coursework option is an alternative to the Thesis/Practicum route and provides students the opportunity to explore specific areas of interest.

Within this framework students may choose to follow one of these suggested tracks:

How to Apply

Interested in applying? You can start your application through this link to the ECU Graduate School: Apply Now!

For Spring 2019 admission, please apply by November 15, 2018.  For Fall 2019 admission, please apply by June 15, 2019. In order to be considered for assistantships and scholarships, please complete your application by March 1. 

Department Faculty

 Departmental faculty members are highly research active, with publications in well respected Sociology and specialty journals and grants from numerous state and federal organizations. Though faculty research and teaching interests are varied, the department has an emerging focus on issues related to social inequality, stratification, and diversity.

Members of the faculty are also affiliated with the Center for Health Services Research and Development, Center for Health Disparities Research, the Natural Hazards Research Center, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Coastal Science and Policy, the Center for Sustainable Tourism, the Regional Development Institute, the Women's Studies Program, the Religious Studies Program, the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, and the Brody School of Medicine.

The department's Graduate Handbook provides information about graduate faculty and their areas of interest, coursework requirements, areas of concentration, the comprehensive exam, thesis and practicum requirements, assistantship support, and other matters related to the M.A. in Sociology. If you would like further information regarding the M.A. program please e-mail the Graduate Director.

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