Are you interested in learning how to apply sociological theory, social statistics, and research methods to investigate real social problems? Can you envision yourself working for a social research institute or being well prepared to pursue a PhD in sociology?

East Carolina University's MA in sociology is a two-year program in which students may begin in fall or spring. The program consists of intensive seminars focusing on social theory and selected specialty areas (e.g., environmental; immigration; social movements). In addition, we offer advanced methodological training that provides students with the opportunity to learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret a range of data sets including in-depth interviews and surveys.

ECU's MA in Sociology has five options: 1) preparation for doctoral studies/thesis; 2) applied social research practicum; 3) community college teaching practicum, and two 36-credit extended course work only options: 4) non-thesis community college teaching; 5) non-thesis extended course work.

ECU Advantage

Our relatively high faculty-to-student ratio allows students to receive individualized attention not possible in larger MA or PhD programs. Recent ECU MA graduates now work in social research positions in business, government and non-profit sectors, such as with Pharmaceutical Product Development, the US Census Bureau, and Research Triangle Institute.

We also have placed graduates, with funding, in some of the nation's top PhD programs, including UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Arizona, Emory, Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Texas at Austin.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Susan Pearce (402-A Brewster Building; 252-328-2544; pearces@ecu.edu)

In addition to a traditional liberal arts master's program, students may choose to pursue one of three areas of concentration: health services and research, social issues in regional development, and environment and society. Through graduate assistantships, practica, and participation in faculty research, students in these concentrations are expected to become affiliated with a university institute or center related to the student's interest.

Admission requirements: Two letters of recommendation and meet the admission standards of the Graduate School. Where an admission examination is required, it is the Graduate Record Examinations.

The MA degree requires 30 s.h. if a student elects to complete a capstone practicum or thesis; otherwise, the degree requires 36 s.h.

1. Research skills:
  • SOCI 6312 - Multivariate Techniques and Analysis
  • SOCI 6313 - Multivariate Techniques and Analysis Laboratory
  • or
  • Some substitute approved by the graduate director.
2. Required core courses - 12 s.h.:
  • SOCI 6212 - Social Statistics
  • SOCI 6213 - Social Statistics Laboratory
  • SOCI 6312 - Multivariate Techniques and Analysis
  • SOCI 6313 - Multivariate Techniques and Analysis Laboratory
  • SOCI 6459 - Seminar on Modern Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 6488 - Seminar in Research Methods and Design
3. Electives - 12 s.h.:

With approval of the director of graduate studies, students select elective courses that are relevant to their concentration or to their career interests

    4. Capstone course - 6 s.h.:

    Students selecting one of the three concentrations will normally do a practicum in affiliation with a university institute described above. Students who choose not to do a practicum or a thesis must complete the degree by taking an additional 12 s.h. of elective courses with the approval of the graduate program director.

    • SOCI 6992 - Practicum or
    • SOCI 7000 - Thesis
    5. All students must pass a written comprehensive examination following the completion of their required core courses.
      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Sociology
      • Sociology Teachers, Postsecondary
      • Health and Human Services
      • Education and Training
      • Sociology

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.