Master of Arts in Sociology

Program Coordinator

Katy M. Pinto, Ph.D.
(310) 243-3180
SBS B-333

Program Description

The Department offers an established graduate program leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology. The program is designed to provide all students with a strong
foundation in sociological theory and research methodology. The graduate program is designed to allow for a substantial degree of student choice. Students may choose a macro- or micro-based program of study and select from several areas for further specialization or experience. These areas include, but are not restricted to, such concentrations as social research and computer applications; sociology of education; community and  clinical sociology; law and society; criminology and deviance; and general sociology. Students are expected to select a major advisor who can best facilitate their specific interests in the program. Finally, students may choose one of the following options to complete their program of graduate study: comprehensive exam, thematic project or thesis. Students with an interest in teaching and administrative applications of the degree are encouraged to complete via examination. Those with research interests or who may wish to pursue advanced graduate study toward a doctoral degree are encouraged to opt for the thesis or thematic project options.


The Department of Sociology has an established record of success in graduate education. Many of the department’s graduates have found careers in research, teaching and a wide range of other fields. Special emphasis is placed on practical and policy-relevant research participation by graduate students in the Urban Community Research Center. Students are encouraged to take an active role in the department, the discipline and the wider community. Students may apprentice in one or more of the many advanced forms of social scientific research, including evaluation research, social impact analyses, ethnographic field research, etc. Students who wish to pursue advanced study beyond the M.A. degree may elect to take additional work necessary to acquire the Graduate Certificate in Social Research.