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Sociology Master of Arts

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Applied Emphasis

The applied emphasis program culminates in a professional research report based on the research internship experience.

Thesis Emphasis

The thesis emphasis program culminates in a thesis research project.

Graduates who are interested in furthering their understanding of and ability to analyze social phenomena will find UNC’s Master of Arts in Sociology relevant. Students will learn to assist in identifying and overcoming barriers within organizations and help the organizations achieve their goals. They will also be able to assess and make reasonable projections concerning social costs and benefits resulting from local, regional and national policies aimed at meeting community or organizational needs.

Our students include employees in both public and private social service agencies as well as those interested in these types of careers or in continuing on to a Ph.D.

Prepare for a Varied and Changing Future

The work you do on your internship and the closely related research project will prepare you for an administrative position in a non-profit or governmental organization. Various human service organizations dealing with families and children, the aged, crime and justice, community planning, housing, domestic violence and social policy research are targets for graduates of this master’s program. Because the degree is very general you must decide where to specialize with the internship and research project. The broad degree allows for changes in emphasis later in your career.

Learn to Be a Practicing Social Scientist

The skills emphasized in this program include interpreting and analyzing social problems from a sociological perspective. You will learn analytical skills as well as grant writing and administration. The emphasis is on the analytical ability to assess problems and organizations in a broad societal context.


The sociology program’s greatest strength is its faculty. The faculty members represent a variety of theoretical perspectives, areas of interest and professional experience. Some faculty members have worked in human service type positions and some have done considerable consulting and research for such agencies. There are faculty whose primary emphasis is at the macro-level and others whose emphasis is primarily at the micro-level. The sociology faculty members are also distinguished by their teaching and research. Faculty members have published a number of academic and professional texts as well as authored a variety of scholarly journal articles and conference papers. In addition, a number of faculty members have won teaching and curriculum awards.

The Admissions Process

You must be admitted by both our Graduate School and the Master in Sociology program (either the applied or thesis emphasis). Consult the Admissions Requirements for complete details for the Applied Emphasis or the Thesis Emphasis.

Financial Aid for Graduate Students In Sociology

The sociology program offers a limited number of tuition fellowships and merit-based awards. We also have teaching assistantships available for students who have previously enrolled in a college teaching practicum that is offered in the program. Students are not eligible for a teaching assistantship until their second semester in residence unless they have previous teaching experience at the post-secondary level. Teaching assistantships include tuition assistance and a semester stipend paid by the month. For information about grants, loans, employment, scholarships and veterans’ benefits, contact the Office of Financial Aid.