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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):

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

  • A bachelor's degree or its equivalent, as attested to by transcripts of previous academic work. Official transcripts from international colleges or universities must be evaluated by   World Education Services
  • Undergraduate statistics course (suggested but not required).
  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Satisfactory results on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. International students, in addition to taking the GRE, must take the TOEFL exam and receive a score of 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), 79-80 (internet based) or better to be considered for admission.
  • Strong recommendations from former instructors.
  • Acceptance by both the Department of Sociology and the Graduate School.

Applications must be submitted to the Department by   January 15th  of each year. Admissions are for the Fall semester only. There are no Spring Admissions. Applications should be submitted online through the graduate school website:   Graduate School

Supplementary materials can be mailed directly to:

Sociology Department - Graduate Program Applications
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356

Writing Samples and CVs are optional. If you choose to send writing samples, they must be MAILED directly to the department. Please DO NOT e-mail them to the Graduate Program Coordinator. DO NOT upload them to Apply Yourself. They will NOT be printed out if uploaded.

If you want to apply to the School of Social Welfare for a Master's Degree in Social Work, please go to

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.

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