We offer two options for a master’s degree in sociology: a traditional degree and an accelerated one. These degrees also allow two optional concentrations, in Africana Studies and in Women’s and Gender Studies.

What Is a Master’s in Sociology?

A master’s degree prepares students for doctoral work and for careers in applied settings such as business, federal and state government, and social services. The program introduces students to the work of sociologist, builds their content knowledge, and allows them to undertake significant independent research.

Why Study Sociology Here?

Our master’s program includes 6 hours of coursework in statistical analysis, 3 hours in research methods, and 3 hours in contemporary theory, providing a solid foundation for individual research. Our program also offers electives that cover a broad range of topics, allowing you to tailor your degree to your area of interest. 


Steps to Apply

Start Your Application

Application Deadline: August 1

Deadline for International Students: April 1

Deadline for Funding Consideration: January 15

  • Complete the online Application for Graduate Admission:
    • select sociology from the alphabetical list of degree programs
    • upload a personal statement of academic and professional goals
    • upload required writing sample
    • submit the names and contact information of three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation
    • upload resume/CV
    • pay applicaiton fee ($75)
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities where you completed undergraduate or graduate coursework or degrees
  • Send GRE scores: our code is #005859
  • Send TOEFL scores (for applicants who are not native speakers of English)

Additional Notes

  • Our application deadline is August 1st, but international students should apply by April 1 for consideration. For funding consideration, please apply by January 15th.
  • Applicatnts are expected to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 (out of 4.0) for the last two (2) years of undergraduate study.


Graduate Assistantships

Details about Assistantships




  • Each year we award assistantships on a competitive basis.  Assistantships include full tuition remission, a monthly stipend, and health insurance program. A full-time position requires 20 hours of work per week, usually fulfilled by teaching undergraduate courses or assisting faculty with research.  
  • The out-of-state differential is waived for graduate assistants.
  • Graduate students are responsible for paying the Comprehensive Student Fee each Fall and Spring semester.



    Other opporutnities for graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships are available across the university. 

    Duration of Funding

    Contracts are for one year, with renewal depending on progress in the degree program and satisfactory performance of assistantship duties. The majority of our students are funded for two years. 

    Benefits of Assistantships

    Assistantships provide these benefits:

    • stipend
    • tuition waiver
    • health insurance program (see the Graduate School benefits page for details)


    You can find details on benefits and fees under "financial matters" at the Graduate School website: www.grads.vt.edu.

    Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend for teaching undergraduate courses, usually public speaking. Other campus-wide opportunities are avaialble. See additional assistantship information avaialble through the Graduate School.

    Students pay non-academic fees. Students are advised to apply for Virginia residency as soon as possible (after one year in residence). 


    Applying for Funding

    A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. If you check yes, you will automatically be added to our list of candidates. All new positions begin in the fall semester.

    Travel Support

    Graduate students are encouraged to seek funding for their work from other resources. Students should also consider applying for scholarships that offer research funding. 

    Beyond the Classroom


    We offer competitive assistantships to qualified students. These awards include a tuition waiver and highly competitive monthly stipend in exchange for assisting faculty in teaching or research. 


    Our diverse faculty of 36 works closely with students to design a program that fits their needs. We have particular strengths in quality of life; inequality; and work and technology. 


    In addition to the two tracks available to M.S. students, we also offer two degree concentrations: Africana Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, which are supported by dedicated faculty and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.

    Finishing with Options

    Our programs have been successful in placing students in governmental and non-profit positions as well as sending students on to prominent Ph.D. programs nationwide.

    Thesis Sociology
    Writing Your Thesis

    Spend several semesters developing a carefully argued, in-depth, original research project that demonstrates your expertise in a chosen area.

    Graduate School VT
    Graduate School

    Learn more about living and studying in Blacksburg as a graduate student.


    Director of Graduate Studies

    Dr. Neal M. King

    642 McBryde Hall
    (540) 231-8174

    Graduate Coordinator

    Tish Glosh

    560 McBryde Hall
    (540) 231-8972

    Sociology Office

    560 McBryde Hall

    (540) 231-8971