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Our MA program prepares students to apply social research skills to a wide range of industries and jobs. MA students go on to a range of careers as data analysts, program managers, researchers, grant writers, and others across many different industries. Our diverse community of deeply engaged faculty provides students with rigorous research training as well as developing in-depth understanding of social systems, dynamics, and human behavior. The core MA course sequence provides a strong foundation in sociological theory, research, and analysis, while elective courses and faculty mentoring help develop students’ expertise in more specific areas of sociological study. 

Graduate students in the UWM Department of Sociology come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We welcome applications from prospective students with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology, as well as those with degrees in other fields who have developed a passionate interest in sociology. Please visit the Graduate School Future Master’s Student webpage to learn about graduate study at UWM and life in Milwaukee.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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New to Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is a bustling city and metro area with a smaller town vibe. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, recreational opportunities abound all year round. Parks, beaches, bike trails, water sports and more are enjoyed by residents.

The restaurant scene is hopping, and Milwaukee is known as a foodie city. From casual to fine dining, food lovers will find no shortage of choices across all types of cuisine.

Milwaukee also hosts countless music and ethnic festivals throughout the year and boasts a large number of concert venues from small intimate clubs to large arenas, all of which bring in today’s hottest acts.

The area offers all of the amenities of any large city at a lower cost than comparably sized areas. Housing choices range from urban city living to suburban homes to rural areas, all within a reasonable commute from campus.

Milwaukee skyline
Milwaukee skyline

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


New graduate students are admitted to the MA Program in Sociology only for the fall semester. Completed applications should be received by the department no later than January 10th of the year the applicant intends to start, but if space permits we continue to review applications received until mid-April.

All applicants must meet the UWM Graduate School’s requirements for admission to the MA program in Sociology. In addition, applicants to the MA program must:

  1. Provide three letters of recommendation from persons, preferably faculty, familiar with the applicant’s scholastic achievement and potential.
  2. Submit a sample of scholarly writing, a minimum of five pages in length.
  3. Submit a reasons statement (statement of purpose) that explains your reasons for pursuing graduate study, describes your specific interests and background in the field, and lists any relevant skills, training, and academic awards or honors.

Submission of GRE scores is optional. GRE scores often enhance an application, so applicants are welcome to submit scores for consideration in the review of their application, but GRE scores are not required for an application to be reviewed.

Financial Aid

The major source of financial assistance for graduate students in sociology is employment as a teaching assistant. Assistantships are awarded every academic year on a competitive basis and may be renewed for an additional year; they include a stipend, full tuition remission and eligibility for low-cost health insurance.

Graduate students also are eligible for fellowships awarded by the Graduate School on a competitive basis. Additional information on the types and availability of fellowships may be obtained directly from the Graduate School.

Advising Procedures

Upon admission, the Director of Graduate Studies will serve as the student’s advisor. An initial advisor will be assigned in the student’s first semester in residence. The initial advisor assists students in planning their course programs, and in scheduling other degree requirements. When the MA student begins to formulate a topic for a thesis, a master’s paper, or MA examination, the student selects a member of the Sociology Graduate faculty as their committee chair. This person then becomes the student’s main curriculum advisor for the remainder of the time in the program.

Credits and Courses

The MA in Sociology requires a minimum of 30 graduate credits.

SOCIOL 701Professional Seminar1
SOCIOL 715Systematic Sociological Theory3
SOCIOL 750Research Methods in Sociology3
SOCIOL 760Advanced Statistical Methods in Sociology3
Select a 900-level sociology seminar course 3
Select 17 elective credits in consultation with advisor17
Total Credits30

Up to five credits of SOCIOL 790, may be taken by students who elect the thesis/paper capstone option.

With permission of the student’s advisor, up to six graduate credits may be taken outside the department in courses related to the individual’s plan of study. No more than six credits of undergraduate/graduate courses (excluding those previously taken as an undergraduate), taken at the graduate level, may be applied toward meeting degree requirements. No more than six credits in SOCIOL 799 may count toward the degree.

Application to all graduate programs are completed through the UWM Graduate School. Please see their website for detailed information about the application process and contact them with questions.

We also have provided information about applying to one of the Sociology graduate programs and our admissions criteria:

How to apply for the MA in Sociology

Teaching and Research Assistantships are the primary form of financial support for sociology graduate students. These positions provide a salary and tuition remission. Some small scholarships are also available. Click below for more details.


Prospective Graduates

Questions regarding the application or the application process should be directed to the UWM Graduate School at or 414-229-6569.

Current Graduates

Questions about research opportunities, department funding opportunities, or issues specific to the discipline should be directed to John Roberts.