Graduate Program

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M.S. in Sociology

You’re interested in teaching, research or deepening your understanding of sociological issues so you can apply it to your professional work. The sociology graduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University is tailored to equip you with critical skills for any path you want to pursue. We offer one core curriculum with two distinct tracks:

  • Thesis option
    Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or research-intensive professional position should consider the thesis option.
  • Applied option
    Students interested in earning a master’s and taking it directly into the workplace should consider the applied option. This track can be earned on campus or through online courses — both formats have identical curriculum requirements.

Program overview

Our graduate program recognizes that many sociologists seek to both understand social problems and identify viable solutions for responsible social change.

Building on this philosophy, our program seeks to bridge basic and applied research in an intellectual environment that fosters critical thinking about topics such as race, health care, the environment, economic inequality, gender and family issues. Our goal is to develop well-trained sociologists capable of initiating changes in settings including social service agencies, nonprofits, the military or businesses.

Both the thesis and applied options provide students with a strong core of theory, research methods and social statistics courses. The thesis option prepares students for further academic research, while the applied option equips students with research skills they can use to survey clients, assess programs and carry out evidence-based work. Students are encouraged to discuss the options with sociology faculty members, who offer a wide spectrum of expertise and are dedicated mentors.

All students must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours, as approved, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.


Ready to apply to the sociology master’s program? Follow the instructions on the VCU Graduate Admissions website. Applicants interested in enrolling in the applied option’s online courses should indicate that on the application form and in their essay/personal statement.

Contact us

Tara M. Stamm, Ph.D.
Graduate program director
Phone: (804) 828-9432

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