The Mason MA program is one of only a very few in the nation that emphasizes public and applied sociology. You will receive training in traditional sociological research methods and inquiry, with an eye toward questions of broad public relevance. You will be encouraged to consider the audiences for which you are writing, including policy makers, political activists, community groups and non-profits, and the general public. This is sociology in action.
Sociology faculty are sought after contributors to local and national media on a range of topics from high school proms to prison reform to the economic contributions of immigrant households. Many hold leadership positions in local, regional, and national professional associations and are working on research projects supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Science Foundation, and the State Department, among many others.
The faculty specialize in culture, family, youth and aging; gender; globalization; immigration and migration; political economy, development and economic sociology; political sociology and social movements; race/ethnicity; religion; sociological theory; and urban sociology.
Our students range from recent graduates to mid-career professionals, and bring both local and international perspectives to the classroom. Some of our graduates pursue a PhD in sociology and several have gone on to academic positions. Some work in higher education administration, marketing, and social services. Others find research positions in public policy at organizations such as the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Mathematica Policy Research, the US Census Bureau, and Nielson. The Washington, D.C., area offers rich opportunities to pursue employment in all of these fields.
For more information on our program, and answers to some FAQs, visit our Prospective Student webpage.
Our graduate students are very active outside of the classroom.
Students earn credit and gain hands-on experience through graduate practicum internships.
They are active in research; participating in varied Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) initiatives such as the Social Science Research Lab, Democratizing NOVA, and all research hubs. They also intern and support varied research initiatives at Mason’s Institute for Immigration Research (IIR).
Mason sociology graduate students also have a robust and active student network. The Public Sociology Association (PSA) is the primary student-led organization and includes both MA and PhD students as elected leaders. The PSA organizes social, educational, and professionalization events including a biennial Public Sociology Conference.
They are also involved in the broader Mason graduate student community as active members of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA).