Master's Program

The department offers three options leading to the MA degree. All three options provide students with graduate-level competency in quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and social theory.

Master's program: thesis option

This program requires 7.5 units of course work (i.e., five courses) and a 7.5-unit thesis, with at least 13.5 of the 15 units drawn from sociology graduate course listings in the calendar. 1.5 units (i.e., one course) may be selected from graduate courses outside of sociology.

In this program, students write a thesis (SOCI 599) for which they receive 7.5 units of credit.   The Thesis is typically between 80 and 120 pages in length, and is a substantial independent research project requiring the use of appropriate theory and/or methods.

Students taking this option are required to demonstrate competence in both sociological theory (SOCI 503 or 504) and method (SOCI 507 and 515).   Within their five courses, students must also complete at least one of the following:  SOCI 520, 525, 535, 545, 608, 616.  CSPT 500 or CSPT 501 may be substituted for these courses if taught by a member of the Sociology Department.

Course Requirements

Course Units
Thesis (SOCI 599) 7.5
Intermediate Social Statistics (SOCI 507) 1.5
Qualitative Research (SOCI 515) 1.5

At least one of the following:

Course Units
Classical Social Theory (SOCI 503) 1.5
Contemporary Social Theory (SOCI 504) 1.5

At least one of the following:

Course Units
Issues in Contemporary Sociology (SOCI 520) 1.5
Current Issues in the Sociology of Gender and Sexualities (SOCI 525) 1.5
Current Issues in Political Sociology (SOCI 535) 1.5
Current Issues in the Sociology of Health and Aging (SOCI 545) 1.5
Advanced Statistical Analysis (SOCI 608) 1.5
Advanced Strategies in Qualitative Research (SOCI 616) 1.5
Topics in Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT 500) 1.5
Contemporary Cultural, Social and Political Thought I (CSPT 501) 1.5

Thesis Preparation

Before a student commences work on the thesis, a thesis proposal outlining the student's problem (from a theoretical and methodological viewpoint) must be approved at a meeting of the student and her/his supervisory committee.  A copy of the proposal and the recommendations of the supervisory committee will be placed in the student's file.

Typically, sociology theses are between 80 and 120 pages long.  Students should consult the Guide to Graduate Studies in Sociology for details on thesis preparation.

Oral Examination

All students will undergo an oral examination upon completion of their thesis.

Supervisory Committee

Students in the thesis option will be supervised by a committee consisting of a minimum of two members: their academic supervisor, plus at least one other member from the Sociology Department.  Additional members can be (but are not required to be) from outside the department.

Program Length

We expect full-time students to spend two years completing the master's degree.  Students who take the co-operative education option can expect to take close to three years to complete the master's degree.  Students who complete the master's degree on a part-time basis can expect to take three to four years, depending on how many terms involve full-time enrolment and how many involve part-time enrolment.

Master's program: major research paper option

At This program requires 10.5 units of course work (i.e. seven courses) and a 4.5-unit Major Research Paper, with at least 12 of the 15 units drawn from sociology graduate course listings in the calendar. 3 units (i.e., two courses) may be selected from graduate courses outside of sociology.

In this program, students write a Major Research Paper (SOCI 598) for which they receive 4.5 units of credit.  The Major Research Paper is typically approximately 40 pages in length and is a piece of independent research work involving substantial analytical engagement with a defined area of sociology, guided by one or more research questions. 

Students taking this option are required to demonstrate competence in both sociological theory (SOCI 503 or 504) and method (SOCI 507 and 515).   Within their seven courses, students must also complete at least two of the following courses:  SOCI 520, 525, 535, 545, 608, 616.  CSPT 500 or CSPT 501 may be substituted for these courses if taught by a member of the Sociology Department.

Course Requirements

Course Units
Major Research Paper (SOCI 598) 4.5
Intermediate Social Statistics (SOCI 507) 1.5
Qualitative Research  (SOCI 515) 1.5

At least one of the following:

Course Units
Classical Social Theory (SOCI 503) 1.5
Contemporary Social Theory (SOCI 504) 1.5

At least two of the following:

Course Units
Issues in Contemporary Sociology (SOCI 520) 1.5
Current Issues in the Sociology of Gender and Sexualities (SOCI 525) 1.5
Current Issues in Political Sociology (SOCI 535) 1.5
Current Issues in the Sociology of Health and Aging (SOCI 545) 1.5
Advanced Statistical Analysis (SOCI 608) 1.5
Advanced Strategies in Qualitative Research (SOCI 616) 1.5
Topics in Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT 500) 1.5
Contemporary Cultural, Social and Political Thought I (CSPT 501) 1.5

Final Project

In this program, students write a Major Research Paper (SOCI 598) for which they receive 4.5 units of credit.  This is a piece of independent research work that involves substantial analytical engagement with a defined area of sociology guided by one or more research questions. Typically, the Major Research Paper is between 40 and 60 pages long.

Oral Examination

All students will undergo an oral examination upon completion of their Major Research Paper.

Supervisory Committee

Students in the project-based program will be supervised by a committee consisting of their academic supervisor and one other member of the Sociology Department.

Program Length

The Major Research Paper option can normally be completed in four or five terms ot study.