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M.A. More info

Submitted by sandra.grills2 on Tue, 03/22/2016 - 1:16pm

Admission Requirements

General Admission Information

Applications for admission to the Department of Sociology must be submitted on-line. Specific instructions for applicants are included with the application form. Normally students enter in September with an application deadline of December 15. While the Department of Sociology recommends admission, final admission approval rests with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Applicants are advised that letters of reference are most appropriate when written by people who know of your sociological abilities. For this reason, letters from former employers or from professors in fields unrelated to Sociology are not as relevant or helpful in the admissions process.

Potential applicants should consult with the Graduate Administrator and/or Graduate Director to ensure appropriate completion of application forms and requirements. Please note the policy regarding deferral of admission found in the Department's Graduate Handbook.

Admission To The Master Of Arts Program

For admission to the M.A. program, the Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in the last two years of course-work or 10 full-course equivalents. (Although 3.00 is the minimum required GPA, the Department normally requires a GPA of 3.50 or higher). In addition to Faculty criteria, the Department of Sociology selects students on the basis of background in Sociology, academic performance, particular courses taken, letters of recommendation, fit between student and faculty research interests, proficiency in the English language, and personal interviews when practical. Applicants are also requested to provide: (1) a general written statement of intent (personal statement) which describes their career aspirations, their reasons for seeking admission to the Sociology graduate program, and areas of special interest and experience; (2) a sample of written work, such as a term paper or research report, preferably in Sociology. The expected completion time for the M.A. is 20 months.

To be considered for admission to the M.A. program, an applicant must hold a four-year undergraduate degree in Sociology or a cognate field (a closely related field with significant sociological content.)  Students should show competency (as judged by the Graduate Studies Committee and departmental specialists) in each of the following: Sociological Theory, Methods of Sociological Research, and Sociological Statistics. Students who lack competency in these core areas may be required to complete undergraduate prerequisites extra to the requirements of the graduate program in the first year of full-time registration. Application for credit for Sociology graduate courses already completed should be made to the Department at the time of admission, so that the Department can take previous work into account when specifying a student's program. Normally credit is given for no more than two graduate courses taken as an Open Studies student at the University of Calgary.

Applicants are also requested to provide: (1) a general written statement of intent; (2) a sample of written work, such as a term paper or research report, preferably in Sociology.

Statement of Intent:  Please provide a written statement that indicates your reasons for seeking admission to the Sociology graduate program and proposed area of study.  What are your areas of special interest and experience?  What research questions motivate you?  What theoretical tradition(s) will likely inform or structure your research?  Are there specific methodological skills you hope to develop and apply while in the program?  Please also identify one of more potential faculty supervisors with whom you would like to work.  Your statement of intent should be between 500 and 1000 words in length.  Applicants who have not completed a BA in Sociology should include with their statement of intent an additional statement of 500 words or fewer describing their level of preparedness for graduate study in Sociology, e.g., completed courses with substantial sociological content, sociological research and sociologists that have informed your own work, related research experiences, etc.

Program Requirements

In order to graduate, students must meet criteria set out by both the Department of Sociology and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. For more detailed information on the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, including those relating to thesis and degree completion, please consult the faculty web page.

To receive the M.A. degree, students must:

  • Demonstrate competence in sociological statistics, methods of sociological research, and sociological theory by completing Sociology 611 (Social Statistics; The General Linear Model); Sociology 613 (Quantitative Research Methods) or 615 (Qualitative Research Methods); and Sociology 631 (Sociological Theory);
  • Complete two Half Course Equivalent (HCE) electives at the 600- or 700-level; at least one HCE elective must be a Sociology Department offering in a substantive area;

  • Complete Sociology 602 training in Professional Sociology, including preparation of a thesis prospectus.  

  • Complete the M.A. thesis requirement.

Note: Graduate students must maintain a grade point average of 3.00, as computed at the end of each year of the program.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations (E.2) stipulate that a student who receives a "C+" or lower in any one course will be required to withdraw regardless of their grade point average (GPA) unless the program recommends otherwise.  Ifthe program permits the student to retake a failed course, the second grade will replace the initial grade in the calculation of the GPA, and both grades will appear on the transcript. 

A student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 in order to graduate.  A graduate program may recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that a student be required to withdraw for lack of satisfactory progress in either course work or research. 

The Faculty of Graduate Studies, after consultation with the graduate program and/or supervisory committee concerned, may initiate the withdrawal of a student. 

Current Schedule

Graduate Program Course Offerings

The Master of Arts Program in Sociology requires that students take Sociology 602, 611, 613 or 615 (Qualitative or Quantitative Methods) and 631 and two half course electives at the 600- or 700-level; at least one elective must be a Sociology Department offering in a substantive area; complete training in Professional Sociology, including preparation of a thesis prospectus, achieved through completion of Sociology 602.

For the current course listing please see

Students planning to go into academia are strongly encouraged to consider enrolling in the University Teaching Certificate Program offered by the Learning Commons. Further information is available on their website: