Master of Arts (MA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Master of Arts students will gain a world-class education that lays the foundation for further study at a doctoral level, or for professional employment. Recent research topics have included offence specialization among juvenile delinquents; Chinese social clubs; women athletes’ perception of coaches; bisexual identity and politics; contraceptive risk-taking; youthful involvement in prostitution; the subculture of sky diving; and trust and the health care system. The 20-month program provides foundational training in sociological theory, methods and statistics, as well as substantive courses of interest. Students benefit from a professor/student ratio that guarantees access to support and feedback.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Students take courses in social statistics and theory, in addition to seminars in quantitative or qualitative methods.

  • Master's Seminar: Students complete training seminar in professional sociology and preparation of a thesis prospectus.

  • Additional Courses: Topics may include health and illness, quantitative and qualitative research methods, ethnic relations, theory and more.

  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Health sector, education, government, non-profit, researcher, analyst, program evaluation, clinician.

A master’s degree in sociology will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

20 months full-time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

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Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Demonstrated competence, normally through course work, in classical and contemporary sociological theory, social research methods, and social statistics.

Work samples

A sample of written work.


A written statement of intent.

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

Canadians and permanent residents:

  • Dec. 15 application deadline

International students:

  • Dec. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Sociology

Social Sciences Building, Room 956A
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website