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Applied Sociology

Students talking to each other

Sociology offers a wide range of career possibilities since concerns over issues like the environment, urban development, health, aging, and a competitive global economy have increased the demand for social scientists and trained evaluators. The Department of Sociology provides curriculum and training to prepare students to meet this need.

Students learn to think critically about social groups, society, and institutions, and how to conduct quantitative and qualitative research.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. David Dietrich
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 449A

Advisor Support
Lindy Warner
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 449B

“I absolutely loved my graduate school journey in the Department of Sociology. I gained lifelong friends and received top-notch mentoring from amazing faculty members. I constantly apply the lessons I learned in survey research, data analysis, diversity and inclusion, and public speaking that I gained in graduate school. I am confident that continuing my education was the best decision for my personal and professional development.”

— Madi Tabersmith, M.A. ’17, Coordinator for Institutional Effectiveness and IRB, Our Lady of the Lake University

Course Work

Students will master the techniques of qualitative and quantitative research, general statistical analysis and impact analysis in 36 hours of graduate study. They will learn the major theoretical perspectives of sociology and implement practical applications in one of two tracks. In the practicum track, students complete a site-based research practicum while nonthesis-track students take comprehensive exams and additional course work.

Degree Concentration Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.S. No concentration 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S. Practicum 36 Non-Thesis No minor
Undergraduate Academic Center building

Graduates pursue doctoral degrees in nationally recognized programs; others teach in universities or work as advocates, research analysts, research specialists and statisticians at nonprofit and local government agencies.

Program Mission

The mission of sociology programs is to provide students with an advanced understanding of sociological theory, methods, and principles that can be applied in public and private agencies and nonprofit organizations. The Department of Sociology prepares graduates to become informed citizens, scholars, researchers, and leaders in their communities at the local, state, and national levels. The department provides an environment conducive to intellectual exchange characterized by innovative and outstanding:

  • teaching and curricula
  • service to students and community
  • scholarship and research
  • sociological practice
  • commitment to multiculturalism and diversity

Related Programs

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

Faculty are well-trained methodologically and theoretically and conduct both applied and basic research. Main areas of specialization include inequality and multicultural relations (race, class, gender, sexuality), health and illness, aging and gerontology, and sustainability/environment. The sociology faculty contribute actively to the field by publishing research relevant to current issues in books and scholarly journals, often receiving national and international recognition from academic circles as well as the popular press.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Sociologists embark on various career paths growing in number and significance within the fields of research, advocacy, and teaching. Graduates will find positions in corporations, human resources, academia, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations such as:

  • survey or market researchers
  • program evaluators
  • evaluation researchers
  • policy analysts
  • grant writers
  • data analysts
  • statisticians
  • informed activists or advocates
  • diversity specialists or administrators
  • teachers in community colleges

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard July 15 June 1
Spring October 15 October 1
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II June 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work in sociological theory, statistics, SPSS, and social research. Read additional information below.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • statement of purpose (two pages, double-spaced with your full name and contact information) describing your personal and career goals. Include your academic interests and the relationship of this graduate degree to your life/personal goals. Also, discuss why you are interested in this particular graduate program and explain your career goals after earning the degree. The Graduate Admissions Committee will evaluate the following:
    • Did you demonstrate a familiarity with the field?
    • Did you indicate your strengths (background, experience, training, and education)?
    • Did you express why the program will hone your skills?
    • Did your statement show excellence or promise in writing skills? 
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals knowledgeable about your academic ability and promise as a scholar
  • current resume or curriculum vitae

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Background Course Work
You will be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work.