Prof. Willer teaching a class.

Prof. Willer teaching a class.

For Current Stanford Graduate Students

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Master of Arts in Sociology

The MA degree in Sociology is available to current PhD candidates in Sociology and to students in advanced degree programs (PhD, JD, MD) from other Stanford departments and schools.  

Core Requirements

For the MA degree, students must complete a minimum of 45 units of Sociology coursework with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better. Of these units, 30 units must be taken in courses taught by faculty appointed in the Sociology department. Students may petition to use the remaining 15 units as “flex units” for courses not offered by faculty appointed in sociology, but that are highly relevant to the discipline. Of these flex units, five (5) can be taken as an independent study or directed reading with a member of the faculty appointed in sociology. All flex units applied to courses not taught by faculty appointed in sociology must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Required units must be in courses at the 100-level or above and 50 percent of those units must be in graduate-level courses (at the 200-level or above). All courses must be taken for a letter grade when possible. Workshops and colloquia do not count towards the MA.

Students who wish to engage in a more in-depth study on a specific topic may do so by focusing on coursework within an area of studies, such as Poverty and Inequality, Social Psychology, Organizations, and the Economy, or Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration.

A thesis is not required, but many students work closely with a Sociology faculty advisor to develop a publishable paper. Note that there is no teaching requirement for the MA in Sociology.

How to Apply

A formal application to the MA program is not required and there is no deadline.  Current Stanford students must submit the following:

  1. Graduate Authorization Petition form, available electronically through Axess (the petition can be submitted in any quarter, at any point in your graduate career).
  2. Program Proposal for an M.A. form available for download from the registrar's office website, submitted to Sociology graduate student services manager.
  3. Applicants from outside of the Sociology department must submit a short statement of purpose; 1 page double-spaced, submitted to the Sociology graduate student services manager.

Start Your Application