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M.A. Program

The Department of Sociology, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers a terminal master's degree which must be completed in three years.

In the 1990s, the department chose to focus on global phenomena, as well as their connection to national dynamics.  We thus take a leading position in the discipline of sociology and in the university's efforts to become more globally relevant.  We broadly emphasize inequalities, with specific areas of faculty expertise in the environment, gender, health, international development, and racism, among others.  We are a methodologically diverse department that spans both quantitative and qualitative methods.  In sum, we aim to teach students how to use the best methods available to inform the most pressing research questions of our time.

The Department of Sociology offers both an M.A. and Ph.D. degree program. Our doctoral program is nationally ranked, which reflects the placement of our students in a wide variety of settings – including research universities, elite liberal arts schools, teaching schools, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Recent graduates have been hired for positions at: University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, SUNY-Brockport, California State University-Bakersfield, University of Memphis, University of Northern Colorado, New York University (Postdoctoral Position), University of Stockholm (Postdoctoral Position), Yale University (Research Scientist), and the United Nations Statistics Division.

In proximity to New York City, students have the opportunity to take courses at NYU, CUNY, Columbia University, among other nearby universities. Students are also well situated to research global and local dynamics within the areas of New York City and Long Island. In addition to our rigorous training process, which emphasizes methods, theory, and application, students also have the opportunity to complete certificates in other programs, such as the Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, Africana Studies, and the Data and Computational Sciences (among others). 

Importantly, some students have the opportunity to work with faculty on funded research projects. These mentoring opportunities often contribute to co-authored conference presentations and publications. Some co-authored publications with faculty include (graduate students are underlined):

Kim, Jessica* and Kathleen Fallon. 2020. “The Political Sociology of Democracy: From Measurement to Rights,” in The Handbook of Political Sociology, eds. I. Martin, T. Janosky, J. Misra, C. De Leon. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tasmim, Samia, .Sommer, Jamie M., Shorette, Kristen, and John M. Shandra.  2020.  “Non-Governmental Organizations, Boomerangs, and Forest Loss: A Cross-National Analysis.”  Environmental Sociology 22: 1-17.

Sommer, Jamie, Shandra, John M. and Carolyn Coburn. 2019. "Mining Export Flows, Repression, and Forest Loss:  A Cross-National Test of Ecologically Unequal Exchanges." In Frey, R., Gellert P., Dahms H. (eds.). Ecologically Unequal Exchange. 167-193.

Jason J. Jones, Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Jessica Kim, and Steven Skiena. 2019. “Stereotypical Gender Associations in Language Have Decreased Over Time.” Sociological Science 7(1): 1-35.

Nicholas Hoover Wilson and Lucas Azambuja. 2018. “Cultures of Colonialism.” In the Handbook of Cultural Sociology, 2nd Edition, John Hall, Laura Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng Lo (eds.)

Bhandari, Aarushi and Rebekah Burroway. 2018. “Hungry for Equality: A Longitudinal Analysis of Women’s Legal Rights and Food Security in Developing Countries” The Sociological Quarterly 59(3): 424-448.

Sommer, Jamie, Shandra, John M., and Carolyn Coburn. 2019. “Mining Export Flows, Repression, and Forest Loss: A Cross-National Test of Ecologically Unequal Exchange.” In Frey, R., Gellert P., Dahms H. (eds). Ecologically Unequal Exchange. 167-193.

Coburn, Carolyn, Restivo, Michael, Reed, Holly, and Shandra, John M. 2017.  “The World Bank, Reproductive Health Lending, and Maternal Mortality: A Cross-National Analysis of Sub- Saharan Africa.” Sociological Forum 32: 50-71.

Heerwig, Jennifer A. and Katie M. Gordon. 2018. “Buying a Voice: Gendered Contribution. Careers Among Affluent Political Donors to Federal Elections, 1980-2008.” Sociological Forum 33(3): 805-825.

Burroway, Rebekah and Andrew Hargrove. 2018. “Education is the Antidote: Individual- and Community-Level Effects of Maternal Education on Child Immunizations in Nigeria.” Social Science & Medicine 213: 63-71.

Fallon, Kathleen, Anna-Liisa Aunio, and Jessica Kim. 2018. “Decoupling International Agreements from Domestic Policy: The State and Soft Repression.” Human Rights Quarterly 40(4): 932–961.

Fallon, Kathleen and Heidi E. Rademacher. 2017. “Social Movements as Women’s Political Empowerment: The Case for Measurement,” in Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment, eds. A. Alexander, C. Bolzendahl, and F. Jalalzai. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Rademacher, Heidi and Kathleen Fallon.  2017. “International Feminisms: Historical Roots and U.S. Participation.” The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Women’s Social Movement Activism.  Edited by Holly J. McCammon, Lee Ann Banaszak, Verta Taylor, and Jo Reger. New York: Oxford University Press.

Restivo, Michael, Shandra, John M., and Jamie Sommer. 2018. “United States Agency for International Development and Forest Loss: A Cross-National Analysis of Environmental Aid.” Social Science Journal 55: 171-181.

Sommer, Jamie, Shandra, John M., and Restivo, Michael. 2017. “The World Bank, contradictory lending, and forests: A cross-national analysis of organized hypocrisy.” International Sociology 32: 707-730.


For admission to graduate study in Sociology, you must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. The following documents are required in order to apply:

  • Online application
  • Application fee of $100
  • Personal statement
  • Strong recommendations from three former instructors
  • Transcripts of previous academic work
  • Official TOEFL scores, if applicable
  • Writing samples and CVs are optional
    • GRE scores are not  required for Fall 2023 admissions

Official transcripts are required and must be sent to:

Stony Brook University
Office of Graduate and Health Sciences Admissions
Health Sciences Tower, Level 2 - Rm. 271
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8276
Official E-Transcripts:  Should be send to

Applicants with domestic credentials must submit an official transcript from each undergraduate college or university attended, regardless of whether a degree was conferred.  Applicants must also submit an official transcript from each college or university relating to graduate level work, regardless of whether a degree was conferred. 

Applicants with international credentials must submit an official English translation of all coursework showing a complete course-by-course record, GPA, degree, and institution, in addition to the original documents. SBU graduate admissions personnel will evaluate coursework, GPA, degree requirements and institutional equivalence. In some instances where the coursework, degree equivalency, GPA, and/or institution cannot be verified, a course-by-course evaluation from one of Stony Brook University's approved NACES members listed below, may be requested from the applicant. 

  • World Education Services (WES)
  • International Education Evaluations, Inc. (IEE)
  • Education Credential Evaluators (ICE)

Unofficial copies for both domestic and international credentials are acceptable for an admission decision to be made. If admitted, the applicant must submit final official transcripts/evaluations sent directly from the college/university or evaluation agency as noted above. 

If your native or primary language is not English, English proficiency must be established based on the results of the TOEFL exam. A score of 80 is required for admission to the master's program and to be eligible for consideration for TA support. The TOEFL is not required for international students who have a degree from an English-speaking school.

Applications must be submitted online through the Graduate School website by January 8th of each year. Admissions are for the Fall semester only. There are no Spring Admissions.

Please see the School of Social Welfare to apply for a master's degree in Social Work.


Requirements for the Master's Degree

In addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, the following are required:

A. Courses

Course requirements for an M.A. in sociology include four designated courses, two in sociological theory and two in statistics, and an additional six elective courses totaling thirty credits. Students must achieve a minimum 3.0 grade point average for 30 credits of graduate level courses.

B. Writing Requirement

Students are required to write a theoretical/empirical research paper as described in the writing option (Section D, Option 2.1, Mandatory Theoretical/Empirical Paper) for the Ph.D. program. This paper will constitute an original piece of social science research evaluated formally by two faculty members.