Sociology (MA)


Sociology seeks to understand the social world. The program strongly emphasizes the diversity of sociological theories and research methodologies. Upon this foundation, the program provides an in-depth apprenticeship in the discipline of sociology by combining core courses, diverse subject areas, and the opportunity for intensive academic specialization. This program is ideally suited for those who wish to continue their education, earn a Ph.D. and plan a career in college teaching or research. It is also appropriate for those who choose to pursue careers applying sociology in a variety of work settings. 

Catalog Year



Master of Arts

Major Credits


Total Credits




Career Cluster

Human Services

Program Requirements

Common Core

Proseminar is an introduction to the sociology graduate programs at MSU Mankato and broader issues related to graduate education. Students will learn about program requirements; differences between capstone options (thesis or alternate plan paper) how they are structured and time-lines for completion; department plagiarism policy and how to avoid plagiarism; become familiar with library resources; become familiar with the policies and procedures of the IRB; meet department graduate faculty and become familiar with their areas of expertise, scholarship, and graduate courses they teach. Proseminar is an important course that prepares students for a timely completion of their graduate degree.

Prerequisites: none

A survey and analysis of major scientific approaches to human social behavior.

Prerequisites: none

Appreciation of basic multivariable methods in the analysis of sociological data. Includes computer applications using SPSS and application to various social issues.

Prerequisites: none

Advanced-level introduction or review of social science research methods, including entire research process: problem definition, literature review, hypothesis development, method development, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication; focuses on quantitative methods.

Prerequisites: none

An overview of sociological theory that spans the classical and contemporary traditions within the discipline and focuses on current theoretical issues and controversies within the field.

Prerequisites: none

This course is an analysis of the meaning, social construction and significance of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and other boundaries within the pluralistic culture of the United States and in a global world. The course unpacks the mechanisms by which inequalities are maintained in organizations of education, politics, labor market, criminal justice system, sports, neighborhood boundaries, marriage and family, migration, nation, and citizenship. The course explores the matrix of domination and structural dimensions of life by considering sociological critiques of social institutional analyses.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Choose 9 - 12 Credit(s). Any 500/600 level elective courses selected in consultation with an advisor.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

Choose Thesis or APP - Choose 1 - 3 Credit(s).

Preparation of an alternate plan paper under supervision of the student's graduate advisor. Prereq: must be enrolled in the MS program in Sociology.

Prerequisites: none


Prerequisites: none


Admission Standards

  • In addition to all materials required by the University, applicants must submit: a) three (3) letters of reference; b) resume or curriculum vitae; c) cover letter or statement of purpose; and d) a sample of written work
  • Admission generally requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the undergraduate degree, although applicants with a lower GPA may still be admitted depending on the strength of their other application materials.
  • Admission generally requires 24 quarter credits or 18 semester credits of sociology at the undergraduate level, including courses in sociological theory, research methods, and statistics. Applicants who did not complete these courses may still be admitted if they can demonstrate adequate preparation through other means (e.g., research experience, professional development).
  • Applicants who meet department admission standards are routinely admitted on a year-round basis and may begin coursework as soon as they are admitted. While it is ideal to start Department graduate program in the fall, a spring admission is possible as well.

Completion/Graduation Standards

Graduate students must assemble a group of three faculty members to serve as the examining committee. The committee is chaired by the graduate student’s advisor and includes two other faculty members, ideally including one from outside the Department of Sociology.