Sociology (M.A.)

Sociology (M.A.)
Sociology M.A.

Why get a master’s degree in sociology?

The M.A. program in sociology will provide foundational training in critical thinking and research and a deeper understanding of the social causes and consequences of human behavior. You’ll build skills in data analysis, research design and sociological theory, and engage in research on topics such as environment and social change, gender, race and inequality, family, social demography, and stress and mental health. Our master’s program culminates in an original research thesis project, and these analytical and research skills will prepare you for a wide range of careers in research, education, health and human services, law, business, public policy and government.

Why choose UNH for your sociology degree?

At UNH, you’ll be supported by world-class faculty and outstanding facilities as you advance toward a career or doctoral studies. The Crimes against Children Research Center and Prevention Innovations Research Center provide high-quality research and statistics to the public, policymakers, community organizations, law enforcement personnel and child-welfare practitioners. The Carsey School of Public Policy is a resource for research, leadership development and engaged scholarship. UNH’s location near urban and rural communities will give you a variety of research options.

Potential career areas

  • Business 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Criminology
  • Education 
  • Juvenile court
  • Law
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Public policy
  • Research 
  • Social work

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    Sociology Major and M.A. | Research Fellow
    Following the completion of my master’s degree in sociology in 2021, I have been working as a research fellow at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.
    Learn More
  • headshot
    Sociology M.A. and Ph.D. | Assistant Professor
    I am currently teaching undergraduate courses in the Criminal Justice Department at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. 
    Learn More
  • headshot
    Sociology major and M.A. | Research Associate
    As a Research Associate at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at UNH, I work on projects about child sex trafficking and online victimization of children.
    Learn More
  • Shae Callahan
    Sociology Major | Alumni Relations Team, Harvard Kennedy School
     Read more about Shae's success using her Sociology degree on UNH Tales.
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

The master's program emphasizes Sociological theory and methods. Some students earn the M.A. to prepare for positions as applied sociologists. Their work often includes field experience. Others view the M.A. degree as preparation for Ph.D. studies. An M.A. thesis or publishable paper describes results from the student's own original research.

Degree Requirements

Completion of the degree requires a minimum of 32 graduate credits.  Students must complete at least 26 credit hours (seven courses) of graduate-­level coursework in sociology. In addition, students must complete 6-10 credits of Master's Thesis work.

SOC 900Pro-seminar2
SOC 901Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics4
SOC 902Sociological Methods II: Research Design4
SOC 911Sociological Theory I4
Select three graduate seminars
SOC 899Master's Thesis6-10
Successful completion of the thesis constitutes the capstone experience for the M.A. degree.

  • Outcome 1: Students will learn to interpret quantitative and qualitative data in a value-neutral way.
  • Outcome 2: Students will learn to run advanced quantitative analyses.
  • Outcome 3: Students will learn to communicate effectively in writing from a sociological.
  • Outcome 4: Students will learn to produce original sociological research.
  • Outcome 5: Students will learn to deliver effective oral presentations about their sociological research.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: RI VT ME

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores, including waiver requests and current COVID related impacts, please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

  • Establish a committee by the second semester
  • Develop proposal
  • Conduct original research
  • Write thesis
  • Register for 6-10 thesis credits (Sociology 899)

Full-time students typically complete their course requirements within their first three semesters of graduate study. Subsequently, top priority goes to completion of the M.A. thesis. Successful completion of the thesis constitutes the capstone experience for the M.A. degree.

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