Sociology, MA

The Master of Arts in Sociology is a 30-credit online degree program offered through the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University.

Students in this program will gain the knowledge and skills that can be used to promote healthy individuals and families by understanding how the social context influences their well being. Students will develop an understanding of the factors that promote successful relationships and positive outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

This program is designed for students who want an applied practitioner-oriented approach from which to develop an advanced understanding of critical social issues in the 21st century. Experienced faculty who are trained in the area and have considerable expertise in delivering high-quality online education teach the courses and help direct students' capstone projects.

The MA in Sociology is a non-thesis degree program that focuses on practical application. It does not require a GRE for admission and can be completed in as little as 15-18 months, enabling students to enter the job market sooner. Graduates often pursue careers working with in human, social, and government agencies.

Why pursue graduate training in Sociology at ASU?

  • Our graduate training is internationally renowned. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, ASU is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide, and ASU's Social Science Programs are ranked in the top 30 (http://www.arwu.org/).
  • Our online, non-thesis degree program is flexible and accessible to working professionals. The online format provides easy access to rigorous and valuable information that inform best practices in improving the lives of families and family members.
  • Our program is tailored to individual interests and differences. The program's non-thesis culminating experience is customizable to fit individual students' personal, professional, and academic needs and interests, resulting in a deeper understanding sociology and sociological issues as well as a professional portfolio.
  • Our program provides an excellent balance between academic and applied studies. Students in this degree program will gain the knowledge and skills to create, facilitate, and evaluate research and programs that promote healthy individual and family development.

Curriculum

Each course in the Sociology MA program is designed and taught by experienced faculty who are trained in the area and have considerable expertise in delivering high-quality online education. 

The Online Master’s in Sociology requires a total of 30 credit hours, including 4 core courses (SOC 585, SOC 500, SOC 501, SOC 598 Diversity), 3 Structured Topic Courses, and 3 capstone courses.

Fall and Spring courses are 7.5 weeks long and summer courses are 6 weeks long.

The table below indicates when these SOC MA courses are offered (note that only capstone courses are offered more than one time per year):

Course Number/NameWhen Course is Offered
SOC 585 Sociological Theory (3 hours)Fall A
SOC 598 Structured Topic (e.g., Leadership and Social Justice, 3 hours)Fall A
SOC 500 Research Methods (3 hours)Fall B
SOC 598 Structured Topic (e.g., Marriage and Family Relationships, 3 hours)Spring A
SOC 501 Social Science Statistics (3 hours)Spring B
SOC 598 Diversity and Society (3 hours)Summer A
SOC 598 Structured Topic (e.g., Social Change, 3 hours)Summer B
Culminating Experience/Capstone Courses (9 hours)
          SOC 586 Capstone Project I (3 hours)Fall B, Spring B, Summer A
          SOC 587 Capstone Project II (3 hours)Spring A, Summer B
          SOC 588 Capstone Project III (3 hours)Fall B, Spring A and B, Summer B

View brief descriptions of SOC MA courses.

Sample Course Plan

Below is an example of a course plan for a student beginning the program in Fall. Students can choose to follow an accelerated course plan (2-3 courses per semester) or an extended course plan (1 course per session). Course availability and financial aid requirements can influence a course plan; therefore, it is important that students work closely with the Sanford School program advisor to develop and follow an appropriate course plan. Structured course topics (courses for which topics may vary) are indicated by * in the course plan below. If you are a current student with course plan questions, please e-mail gradadvisingsanford@asu.edu. If you are a prospective student with course plan questions, please e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

Sample course plan for students beginning in Fall:

Fall AFall BSpring ASpring BSummer ASummer B
Year 1SOC 585SOC 500
SOC 586
SOC 598*SOC 501SOC 598 DiversitySOC 598*
SOC 587
Year 2SOC 598*SOC 588

Capstone Courses and Culminating Experience

The Online Master's degree in Sociology includes three capstone courses that must be taken in sequence, ending with a non-thesis, applied culminating experience. Each part of the Capstone experience allows for some customization to fit individual students' professional and academic needs and interests. Ultimately, this culminating experience will provide students with a deeper understanding of family and human development, as well as professional competencies and insights.

The capstone experience consists of the following parts:

  • Capstone Project Part I: Professional Development. Capstone Project I allows students to explore and begin to specify their professional goals and means of obtaining those goals. This process of professional exploration and goal specification will help ensure that, together, the student and student's capstone instructor can craft personalized Capstone Projects and experiences that maximize the student's potential of obtaining their goals.
  • Capstone Project Part II: Exploration/Specialization. Capstone Project II allows students to delve into their area(s) of interest, developing a greater depth and understanding of topics that influence children, youth, and families, and that further the student's academic and professional goals. Students develop and enhance their writing, research, and presentation skills through various assignments.
  • Capstone Project Part III: Application. Capstone Project III is the culminating experience for the master's program and is taken in a student's last session of the program. This is the point at which students apply what they have learned through their coursework. Once again, the emphasis is on a personalized and useful experience for the students. In consultation with a capstone instructor, the student will fashion a field experience plan that allows the student to gain real-world experience related to family and human development. Activities that fulfill the field experience requirement are vast and varied, often limited only by a student's creativity. Capstone Project III also includes an in-depth investigative paper option . As part of Capstone Project III, students will be required to complete one of the following activities, in addition to coursework that focuses on the application of what has been studied throughout the program:

    • 40 hours of field experience. Field experience hours are typically be obtained by working with a single agency, organization, or project. Examples of field experience may include volunteering with community organizations, completing advocacy or policy work, or starting a non-profit entrepreneurial venture that fills a particular community/societal need. The 40 hours of fieldwork must be completed during the actual 6 - 7.5 week Capstone III course because the fieldwork correlates with the weekly assignments given in class.

      or

    • In-depth investigative paper (40 page minimum). Students will create an in-depth written report that informs the reader of the current state of research, future research directions, and/or identify problems and solutions related to children, youth, and families. Students will be assigned a capstone 3 paper mentor who will work with them throughout the writing process. Note - this is not a thesis.

Through the generosity of special contributors, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is able to provide our students with funding. Sanford School Master’s students are encouraged to apply. The number of positions and scholarships vary from year to year depending upon the number of current and entering graduate students who are eligible for support, and the financial support available to the school.

In order to apply for a Sanford School scholarship, students must complete and submit the online Sanford School Scholarship Application for Master’s Students.    

Applications for fall scholarships are due by August 1 and applications for spring scholarships are due by January 1. Applications are not considered complete until the required recommendations are received. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required materials are submitted by the deadlines.

Susan Coleman Scholarships for Online Master’s Graduate Students Interested in the Aging Process

Susan Coleman Scholarship Eligibility Guidelines:
(1) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
(2) Students must maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship.
(3) Students must indicate an interest in studying and working in areas related to the aging process, including human change over time and/or particular developmental periods (e.g., infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, late adulthood).  Preference will be given to those who show a strong commitment to professional career that addresses needs of an aging population (evidenced in application and history of previous employment, internships, activities, and involvement in the area).
(4) Preference will be given to those students who indicate financial need.

Del Webb Scholarship Eligibility Guidelines:
(1) Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
(2) Students must maintain 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for the year in which they receive the scholarship.
(3) Financial need is not a factor in the selection process
(4) Evidence of volunteer activities with older adults
(5) Statement of interest on application must outline career directions

In addition to Sanford School scholarships, there are various sources of financial aid through the University.  Students should contact ASU’s student financial aid office or visit http://asuonline.asu.edu/what-it-costs/scholarship-opportunities for more information.

A limited number of paid student-hourly Grader positions are also available as part of The Sanford School’s Undergraduate Online Program.  Students interested in applying for these positions should contact Dr. Amy Reesing (amy.reesing@asu.edu).

Application Requirements

How do I apply to the Online Masters Program in Sociology?

Admission Requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an institution with regional accreditation
  • Typically, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • GRE scores are NOT required

Follow these steps to complete the application process.

1. Graduate College Application

ASU transcripts do not need to be sent

2. Other required supplemental materials

Submit all of the following materials online via the Graduate College Application at https://webapp4.asu.edu/dgsadmissions/Index.jsp

  • Resume or curriculum vitae. Must summarize your academic and employment experiences, as well as applicable community involvement.
  • Personal Statement. Must be four to five pages, double-spaced, and address the following:
    • State your professional goals and reasons for desiring to enroll in this program.
    • Describe your strengths that will help you succeed in the program and in reaching your professional goals.
    • Describe the relevant responsibilities you have held.
    • Include any additional information that you feel will help the committee evaluate your application.
  • Two letters of recommendation. These letters should be from people who know you as a student or in a professional capacity.  Letters from family members or friends do not meet this criterion.

As part of the online graduate application you will submit the names and work email addresses for your two recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to electronically send their recommendations.

  • Applicants whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must provide proof of English proficiency. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 is required of any applicant whose native language is not English. 

 3. International Students – Required additional materials

International applicants must also meet all of the requirements and supply all of the information requested by the Graduate College at http://graduate.asu.edu/admissions/international.

If you have any questions about the program, or are interested in the application process, please email graduatesanford@asu.edu.

 

SOC Online Masters FAQ

Program Fit and Careers

Online Format and Coursework

Applying

Program Cost

General Program Information

For More information

Program Fit and Careers

Is this program for me?

If you are wondering if this is the program for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this particular program fit with your individual goals and aspirations? Before beginning ANY graduate program, it is useful to have a clear vision of your career goals and an understanding of what will help you advance in that career.
  • Do you have a hard time with time management and being self disciplined? Every graduate degree requires organization, time-management, and self-discipline; however, an online and accelerated format can require this to a greater extent in order to ensure you stay on top of deadlines and keep up with the work-load with decreased face-to-face contact with faculty and students.
  • Do you need a flexible schedule? The online degree is flexible because we understand that many students work full-time and have families. Like any graduate degree, there are high expectations for students to keep up, be engaged, and be professional.
  • Are you interested in earning a PhD some day? Typically, a terminal master's degree is NOT a path to earning a PhD (although it is not unheard of or impossible).

If an understanding of society, social institutions, and global affairs can enhance your career and help you achieve your goals, if you are ready to be an active learner, and if you are ready to be in control of your education and academic progress, then this is a great program for you!

[return to the top]

What can I do with this degree?

For many students, the Master's in Sociology is a vehicle to a better job, better position, or better pay. Other students pursue this degree because of a passion for the field, a desire to apply what they learn to their existing job, or aspirations to address social needs and issues in applied settings. Graduates from programs such as this often find work in a variety of human services settings, including:

  • human resources
  • community support programs
  • non-profit organizations
  • government agencies
  • child protective services
  • private business
  • education support and administration in elementary schools, high schools, and universities
  • family violence centers
  • crisis intervention centers
  • before and after school programs
  • early childhood centers
  • family support and child care
  • law enforcement
  • correctional facilities or juvenile detention centers
  • adoption agencies
  • health centers and hospitals
  • volunteer centers
  • youth programs
  • nursing homes
  • group homes
  • customer service centers

Additionally, this program can enhance professional degrees and careers students may already have. Teachers; lawyers; speech, occupational, and recreational therapists; police officers; substance abuse counselors; and medical and health professionals, to name a few, could apply the information from this program to increase their knowledge base and job effectiveness.

[return to the top]

Will I graduate from this program with any special licenses or certifications?

You will graduate from this program with a Master of Arts; however, this program does not provide any additional licensing or certifications.

[return to the top]


Online Format and Coursework

How does an online class work? Do I need to "attend" class online on specific days and times?

Our online classes are flexible and recognize variations in student needs and schedules! Although classes will have assignments, projects, and exams due by specific dates, students are able to access course materials, readings, lectures, and discussion boards at their convenience.

[return to the top]

How long is each class?

Fall and spring classes run for 7.5 weeks and summer classes run for 6 weeks. Because each class is accelerated, students are expected to devote approximately 10 to 20 hours per week per class.

[return to the top]

Do I need to come to campus to complete this degree?

No, the online Master's in Sociology will be completed completely online; however, we do try to foster an active student community through the internet.

[return to the top]

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

All students are required to complete 30 credit hours of Sociology coursework from the Sanford School; however, if you have completed a graduate level research methods or statistics course, it can be evaluated for equivalency to our courses. If approved, we will waive the statistics and/or research methods requirement for you (i.e., you will not need to re-take research methods and/or statistics). Instead, you will consult with the director of online graduate studies to find SOC MA courses to take in place of these waived courses. If you have questions concerning a research methods or statistics course you have taken, you can e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

[return to the top]

What does a sample schedule for this program look like?

You can view course maps under the Program of Study tab at the top of this page.

[return to the top]


Applying

How do I apply?

Check out Application Requirements at the bottom of this page for information on how to apply.

[return to the top]

When are applications due?

Admissions deadlines are as follows:

Apply by:

In order to start the program in the:

July 30

Fall A session (begins mid-August)

December 15

Spring A session (begins mid-January)

May 1

Summer session (begins mid-May)

[return to the top]

Are GREs required?

No, GREs are not required for admission to this program.

[return to the top]

If I am completing (or completed) a major unrelated to Sociology, can I still be admitted into this program?

If you do not come from a Sociology, Social Behavioral, or Social Science background, you are still welcome and eligible to apply and be admitted to this program! Family and Human Development is an interdisciplinary field - no single background is better suited for this degree than another. Your academic and work experience may qualify you for the Master's degree in Family and Human Development. Additionally, students with no education or experience in this field may have the opportunity to be admitted to the program conditionally, allowing students to be admitted to the program, followed by completing supplemental coursework related to the field prior to officially beginning the Master's program.

[return to the top]


Program Cost

How much does the program cost?

Visit https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/master-arts-so... to see the cost per credit hour for this program. Students can find more detailed tuition information by visiting https://students.asu.edu/tuitionandfees.

[return to the top]

Does the program offer any special scholarships, grants, or teaching/research assistant positions to help cover program costs?

Through the generosity of special contributors, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics is able to provide students with funding. Sanford School Master's students are encouraged to apply. The number of positions and scholarships vary from year to year depending upon the number of current and entering graduate students who are eligible for support, and the financial support available to the school.

You can learn more about these opportunities by visiting the Scholarships tab at the top of this page.

Can I work while going to school?

This program was designed based on the recognition that many students who are interested in advancing their education also work and have lives outside of school making it difficult or impossible to engage in an on-campus program. The 7.5 week online class format makes this program a great option for such students. The program is intended to be a full-time program, with accelerated (7.5 week long) classes that require approximately 15 to 20 hours of your time per week per class; however, many busy students find that the workload is manageable due to the shorter class length (7.5 weeks rather than 15 weeks) and the flexibility offered with the online format. Additionally, busy students appreciate the fact that the program can be completed in 15-18 months, at which point they are able to advance in or begin their careers.

[return to the top]


General Program Information

Is this program accredited?

This is an accredited program in that it is from an accredited university; however, this degree does provide students with any licenses or certifications. It does not train, certify, or license students to counsel or provide therapy. You can read more about ASU's accreditation at http://accreditation.asu.edu/accreditation-asu-academic-programs.

[return to the top]

When can I begin the program?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for entry Fall, Spring, or Summer. Students may begin the program in one of five sessions:

Fall A (begins mid-August)
Spring A (begins mid-January)
Summer (begins mid-May).

[return to the top]

How long does it take to complete the program?

If you follow the prescribed schedule (1-2 classes per 7.5 week session), then you can complete the program in as few as 15 to 18 months.

Graduate Education policies dictate that students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour during all phases of their graduate education, with registration for every fall semester and spring semester required. Additionally, Graduate Education policies require students to complete their master's degree within 6 years.

[return to the top]

Do you accept transfer courses/credits?

All students are required to complete 30 credit hours of Sociology coursework from the Sanford School; however, if you have completed a graduate level research methods or statistics course, it can be evaluated for equivalency to our courses. If approved, we will waive the statistics and/or research methods requirement for you (i.e., you will not need to re-take research methods and/or statistics). Instead, you will consult with the director of online graduate studies to find SOC MA courses to take in place of these waived courses. If you have questions concerning a research methods or statistics course you have taken, you can e-mail graduatesanford@asu.edu.

[return to the top]

If this program does not require a thesis, what does it require?

Rather than requiring students to complete a thesis, students participate in a culminating experience. This applied culminating experience consists of a 3-part Capstone Project. Each part of the Capstone experience will be customized to fit individual student's professional and academic needs and interests. The culminating experience is limited only by the student's creativity and motivation, with possible experiences being as varied as the student's interests and individual circumstances. Ultimately, this culminating experience will provide students with a deeper understanding of social issues, as well as a comprehensive professional portfolio for work relating to society, social problems, and social institutions. The culminating experience consists of the following parts:

Capstone Project Part I: Professional Development. Capstone Project I allows students to explore and begin to specify their professional goals and means of obtaining those goals. This process of professional exploration and goal specification will help ensure that, together, the student and student's advisor can craft personalized Capstone Projects and experiences that maximize the student's potential of obtaining their goals.

Capstone Project Part II: Exploration/Specialization. Capstone Project II is a written paper that allows students to delve into their area(s) of interest, developing a greater depth and understanding of a selected topic, furthering the student's academic and professional goals.

Capstone Project Part III: Application. Capstone Project III is the point at which students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned through their coursework and the Capstone II written report and research. Once again, the emphasis is on a personalized and useful experience for the students. In consultation with an advisor, the student will fashion a field experience plan that allows the student to gain real-world experience. Activities that fulfill the field experience requirement are vast and varied, often limited only by a student's creativity. Capstone Project III also includes an investigative paper option that builds upon the research interests that were explored in Capstone Project II.

[return to the top]

Will I graduate from this program with any special licenses or certifications?

You will graduate from this program with a Master of Arts; however, this program does not provide any additional licensing or certifications.

[return to the top]

Will my diploma or transcripts specify that this is an online program or that courses were taken online?

There is no reference to "online" on a student's transcript or diploma from ASU.

[return to the top]


For More Information

If I still have questions, who should I contact?

If you have any questions about the online application procedures or about the program, please contact:

Gina Perez, Graduate Coordinator
480-965-6874
graduatesanford@asu.edu

You may also schedule an online appointment with Gina. Schedule Online Appointment.

 [return to the top]

 

If you have any questions about the online application procedures or about the program, please email graduatesanford@asu.edu.

 

Degree Offered

Sociology, MA
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of

Location
Online

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted for entry Fall, Spring, or Summer. In order to be considered for a semester, all application materials must be received by the applicable deadline listed below. Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed.

Apply by:In order to start the program in the:
July 30Fall A session (begins mid-August)
December 15Spring A session (begins mid-January)
May 1Summer session (begins mid-May)

See the Academic Calendar (https://students.asu.edu/academic-calendar) for specific session start dates.

Graduate Online Information Sessions

If you would like to learn more about the Graduate Online Master's Programs, please attend one of our online information sessions. You will learn about the application process, programs of study, and have a short Q&A with our Graduate Programs Coordinator, Gina Perez.

Tues., March 20, 2018 from 1 – 2 pm*
Wed., April 4, 2018 from 1 – 2 pm*

*Arizona time zone

Get more details and RSVP today!

 

Handbook

SOC Graduate Online Handbook