About Our Graduate Programs

Students enrolled in one of the graduate programs offered by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology will learn the distinct theories and skills necessary to succeed in their field(s) of choice. Yet students of either Sociology or Anthropology may find that these two fields overlap in such critical ways that together they can enhance our understandings of human social activity. Many topical issues are common to both fields of the department, from transnationalism and globalization, to conflict and violence, and questions of ethnicities and identities.


The Graduate Program in Sociology focuses on linking public sociology and applied research. Public and applied sociology calls for sociologists to bring the distinct skills of the discipline to bear on matters of great public concern within academic, policy, and applied research settings.

In our public and applied Sociology Program we teach and support students in: 

  • designing research and programs to address diverse questions raised by scholars, partners, and/or clients;  
  • using a broad range of methods and techniques including comparative, qualitative, quantitative, and engaged research methodologies, as well as techniques for outreach and engagement and skills for applied research settings; and, 

  • producing a variety of outcomes, including publication in academic and popular journals and media, public events and other interventions, and program development and implementation.   

Sociology at Mason relies on what we learn from our engaged research to ensure that we perform highly relevant and reliable work. For us, practice and theory are bound together. Upon completing our program, our students have the theoretical, analytical, and professional skills and connections that allow them to transition into teaching, research, and diverse public and applied settings.  


Graduate Anthropology students may focus on cultural anthropology and bioarchaeology. Coursework in related fields, like Sociology, Cultural Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and History for instance, can be used to enhance the student’s program of study. Areas of emphasis are advanced training in sociocultural anthropology; culture, health, and bioethics; and transnationalism and globalization. Advanced graduate courses focus either on regional studies (i.e., the Middle East, Latin America, India) or special topics that build upon faculty interests and expertise. Graduates of the Anthropology MA program will be prepared to address theoretical and applied questions in health, human rights, education, policy, conflict analysis, and additional areas on national and international levels.