The Catholic University of America

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M.A. in Sociology

The M.A. in sociology focuses on social justice. It is conferred upon completion of 30 credit hours of coursework (normally 10 courses), of which up to six credits can be fulfilled by writing an M.A. thesis. As an option to the thesis, two journal quality research papers may be submitted. Students finishing their M.A. coursework must also pass a comprehensive examination.

Core required courses:

  • SOC 501 Research Design and Methods
  • SOC 503 Social Statistics
  • SOC 512 Theories of Comparative Societies
  • SOC 604 Intermediate Social Statistics (or equivalent course with department approval)
  • Five elective courses

The curriculum is organized along three tracks or principal fields:

Students may also pursue a general sociology degree by passing the core graduate requirements and taking courses from any of the tracks. The graduate program suggested sequence of courses allows students to decide which area to choose.

Through our advanced quantitative methods, students become expert at using statistical procedures and software. These skills are highly sought by researchers at the university's own distinguished research institutes as well as by business and policy research centers throughout the Washington, D.C., area and elsewhere.



Departmental grade policy requires students to maintain grades not lower than a B for all courses in sociology. Students who receive a grade lower than a B for any of the core skill courses (501, 503, 512, and 604) may petition to the department to re-take the course. Departmental grade policy specifies that students who do not meet the grade criteria are subject to dismissal from the program.

A comprehensive examination is given to students finishing their M.A. coursework. The examination is based on coursework and especially on an integrated reading list revised periodically by the faculty. The department views carefully the professional training of each graduate student; in this regard, the faculty normally expects students to engage successfully in research under faculty supervision.