UMass Boston

Applied Sociology MA

Request Info


Explore the dynamic field of applied sociology and make a tangible impact on society.

UMass Boston's Applied Sociology MA program is designed to help you understand the social forces that shape the world with practical training in research methods, statistics, and evaluation research. The program's applied focus integrates research approaches and coursework that emphasizes a wide range of faculty specializations. Our graduate students regularly present at conferences, publish in academic journals, and participate in grant funded research.

In this program, you will:

  • Develop advanced knowledge of sociological theories, research methodologies, and analytical tools
  • Apply sociological perspectives and insights to contribute to the advancement of social justice, equality, and well-being
  • Cultivate the communication, collaboration, and leadership skills that enable you to engage with diverse stakeholders, advocate for social change, and facilitate community engagement and participation

Career Possibilities

Conduct sociological research studies, collect and analyze data, and contribute to research projects in academic institutions. Analyze social policies, assess their impact, and provide recommendations for policy development and reform as a policy analyst. Or, work with community-based organizations to mobilize and empower communities, address social issues, and facilitate development and engagement. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Social Researcher
  • Policy Analyst
  • Community Organizer
  • Social Services Administrator
  • Market Research Analyst

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A strong undergraduate record in sociology and related subjects, with at least a 3.0 GPA in sociology and related course work and, normally, an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Applicants who do not hold a BA in sociology should have at least 18 semester credits or the equivalent in undergraduate sociology or another behavioral or social science field related to program objectives.
  • Successful completion of one or more undergraduate courses in sociological theory, research methodology, and statistics. Candidates admitted to the program who are deficient in any of these areas may be admitted provisionally and required to complete additional undergraduate courses, no later than the end of the second semester of residence, to gain full admission to the program.
  • A statement of 1,200 words by the applicant on his or her academic and career interests in applied sociology. The statement should indicate the candidate’s current specialization interests (see “Additional Instructions for All Applicants” in the Graduate Admissions Application Instructions section of the graduate application).
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals acquainted with the applicant’s interests who are qualified to evaluate his or her potential for sustained graduate study in applied sociology. When possible, at least one of the letters should be from a faculty member with whom the applicant is studying or has studied.
  • An academic writing sample from coursework in sociology or a related field
  • Candidates for admission interested in applying for a graduate assistantship should indicate their interest in the application. Limited awards are made by the graduate program committee to qualified students who will be enrolling in six or more credits each semester. For complete information, see Costs, Financial Aid, & Assistantships.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: March 1 for fall, October 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Core Courses (13 Credits)

  • SOCIOL 600 - Foundations of Applied Sociology 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 604 - Classical Sociological Theory 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 650 - Meth Of Research I 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 651 - Quantitative Methods 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 700 - Proseminar I: Introduction to Graduate Sociology 1 Credit(s)

Fieldwork or Internship Course (3 to 6 Credits)

  • SOCIOL 610 - Teaching Sociology: Theory & Practice 3 Credit(s)
  • or

  • SOCIOL 698 - Field Work 3-6 Credit(s)

Capstone Course (6 Credits)

  • SOCIOL 694 - Master’s Research Seminar 6 Credit(s)

Electives (12 to 15 Credits)

Complete 12 to 15 credits of electives in graduate SOCIOL or other courses chosen in consultation with the graduate program director.

Graduation Criteria

Complete 37 credits from at least ten courses including five core courses, one field work or internship course, one capstone course, and three to five electives.

Capstone: Completion of a master’s paper or thesis or a comprehensive examination.
Residency: No more than six credits from courses outside the Sociology Department may be applied toward the program with permission of the graduate program director.
Statute of limitations: Five years.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply theoretical concepts to empirical issues
  • Analyze data to address a research question
  • Design and execute a research project of their own


Graduate Program Director Elizabeth Brown
elizabeth.brown [at]
(617) 287-6344

Applied Sociology Department
sociology.gradprog [at]

Students rehearse orchestra playing flutes.

College of Liberal Arts

Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Liberal Arts.

Explore College of Liberal Arts