Sociology (MA)

Master of Arts in Sociology (SOCIMA)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Sociology 
Academic Plan Code(s): SOCIMA, SOCIMA_ACC

Program Information

The Department of Sociology, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers graduate training leading to the Master of Arts in Sociology. The 34-hour program of study seeks to provide graduate education at the highest standards, introducing students to the current state of sociological knowledge and methods through quality classroom instruction, faculty-student collaboration, and independent student research and practical learning opportunities.

The program is designed to prepare students for the pursuit of a PhD in sociology or for moving directly into the workforce for a career in government, nonprofits, or the private sector.

Degree Overview

Accelerated BA-BS/MA in Sociology

The Department of Sociology offers an accelerated master's degree program, which is designed to allow motivated undergraduates the opportunity to earn graduate credit hours in sociology during their senior year. As undergraduates, accelerated students may earn between six and nine (6-9) credit hours (taking two-three graduate level courses), which are applied toward both the undergraduate degree as well as the graduate degree, allowing students to begin the graduate program in sociology with credits already applied toward their MA degree.

The graduate courses taken during the student's senior year will depend on the courses the student has remaining to complete his/her undergraduate degree in sociology. The undergraduate advisor works individually with accelerated students regarding their course schedules.

NOTE: Students in the accelerated program in sociology may only apply their graduate credits earned as an undergraduate toward the graduate degree in sociology at the University of Louisville.

To be admitted to the program, a student must have: an undergraduate GPA of 3.35 or better at the time of application and satisfactory GRE scores (see Admissions tab for more information).

Admissions Requirements

Applicants are examined holistically using the following information in the admissions decisions: GRE scores, GPA, quality of the undergraduate program from which the applicant graduated, two academic letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and possibly an interview with the candidate.

The Department of Sociology is committed to fostering diversity by considering factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, and social class in its graduate and undergraduate programs; as such, background factors and circumstances will be considered when reviewing applications.

While the Graduate Admissions Committee does not base admission solely on meeting—or not meeting—certain criteria, chances of admission are improved with the following:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.2;
  • Verbal and quantitative GRE scores;
  • Previous undergraduate course work in statistics, methods, and theory*; and
  • International students should also have either (a) a TOEFL score of at least 550 (on the paper-based test), 213 (on computer-based test) or 79-80 (on the internet-based test), or (b) a IELTS score of at least 6.5.

*Students may be allowed to make up deficiencies or use equivalent undergraduate courses for these prerequisites. Students who have completed similar courses in these areas may be asked to provide both the course syllabus and completed course work to determine equivalency. Students should contact Dr. Jonetta Weber to discuss any questions regarding these prerequisites.

In exceptional cases, students not qualified for regular admission may be conditionally admitted by action of the Graduate Admissions Committee.

We encourage anyone interested in our graduate program to apply, regardless of GRE scores or grade point averages from undergraduate work or previous graduate work. When making our admission decisions, we holistically consider GRE scores and GPAs alongside personal statements and letters of recommendation (and other materials), knowing that low GRE/GPA numbers can be offset by other personal strengths. We do, however, prefer individuals with undergraduate GPAs of 3.2 or above, and (if applicable) graduate degree GPAs of 3.5 or above.

We encourage anyone who is considering applying to our graduate program to visit our department and meet with our faculty members and current graduate students.

Program Admission Procedure

All applicants must submit to the Graduate School, Graduate Admissions:
• A graduate application
• Official copies of transcripts from all colleges attended (students with a foreign transcript must submit an evaluation of the transcript from World Education Services ( or Educational Credentials Evaluators (
• Two references (preferably from former instructors, and in sociology, if possible) in the form of a discursive letter of recommendation and completion of the Letter of Evaluation form
• GRE scores (GRE scores should be no older than five years unless a graduate degree has been earned within the last five years)
• A curriculum vitae or resume, and
• For international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Applicants must also submit to Dr. Jonetta Weber ( a personal statement (~500-750 words) addressing the questions below and giving the Sociology Departments' Admissions Committee a basis for evaluating the student's interest in and ability to complete the program:

• Please explain your reasons for applying to the master's program in sociology at the University of Louisville. 
• What are your professional or occupational objectives, and how do you envision the department’s program fitting into those objectives?
• What areas of sociology do you find especially interesting for study and/or research, and with which sociology faculty might you be interested in working?

Application Deadlines and Graduate Assistantships

The Sociology Department has available annually a limited number of graduate assistantships.

The application deadline for students not seeking funding is June 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission. (Late applications may be considered on an individual basis.) The Department of Sociology does not admit students during the summer session.

The application deadline for students seeking funding (in the form of a graduateassistantship) is January 5 of the preceding year for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission. The materials must also be accompanied by a letter of interest (a) indicating that the applicant wishes to be considered for an assistantship, and (b) elaborating why the applicant feels that s/he would be a good candidate for an assistantship.

Accelerated BA-BS/MA in Sociology Application Procedure

Students must apply during the first or second semester of Junior year (i.e., when they have earned between 70-80 credit hours) by submitting the following to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • Graduate application
  • Two references (preferably from sociology instructors) in the form of a discursive letter of recommendation and completion of the Letter of Evaluation form
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • GRE scores.

Applicants must also submit to the Department of Sociology responses to the Sociology Graduate Admissions Questionnaire (below).  Responses should be of sufficient length to give the Graduate Admissions Committee a basis for evaluating the student’s interest in and ability to complete the program, and provide a sample of the student’s writing. Responses can be submitted in four separate essays or combined in one longer essay.

Admissions Questionnaire

  1. Please explain your reasons for applying to the accelerated master's program in sociology. What are your professional or occupational objectives (including any study beyond the master of arts in sociology)? How does this department’s program fit into those objectives?
  2. What areas of sociology do you find especially interesting for study and/or research?
  3. What positions of responsibility, if any, have you had, and what, specifically, do you believe you have gained from such experience? Positions may include not only employment, but offices held in organizations, volunteer work, etc.
  4. Please summarize what you believe to be your most important accomplishments to date, including those in the academic or occupational areas.

Program Requirements

SOC 604Proseminar in Sociology-MA1
SOC 609Statistics I3
SOC 610Statistics II3
SOC 611Statistics lll3
SOC 618Qualitative Research Methods3
SOC 622Survey Research and Design3
SOC 628Contemporary Theory3
SOC 690Independent Study (second course may be a graduate-level sociology elective)6
SOC 693Research Study Administration3
SOC 695Research Study6
Minimum Total Hours34