Virginia Tech’s Sociology graduate program offers ideal training for academic, applied, and research careers. The master’s program requires 24 graded credits and is both stimulating and rigorous, with faculty academic advisors that are open and supportive.
Master’s students will receive advanced methodological training, gain experience teaching and develop a teaching portfolio, have opportunities to collaborate with faculty and other students on research projects, and explore a range of topics in and beyond the discipline.
Admitted students are fully funded through an assistantship program that includes a 9-month stipend, health insurance, tuition remission, office space, and conference travel support. Program alumni go on to PhD programs (many here at Virginia Tech), as well as applied research positions.
Curriculum and Courses
The core course series consists of theory, research methods, research design, and a foundations course on inequalities. Click here for a full list of the required coursework.
Students can tailor their program towards their interests with 9 credits of within-discipline electives. Departmental electives are typically offered within our Areas of Specialization.
Students take coursework and develop a thesis project under the direction of their advisor. They defend a thesis proposal before a committee, and ultimately defend the full thesis before their committee. Students typically finish the MS program in two years.
Admission and Application Information
Students are admitted on a full-time basis in the fall of each academic year. In addition to the admission standards prescribed by the Graduate School, students applying for an advanced degree program in sociology must also meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- Three letters of recommendation, preferably from former professors
- A written statement describing research goals, relevant experience, and motivations for pursuing a doctoral degree in sociology
- An academic writing sample
- A 3.0 minimum GPA (on a 4 point scale) in all sociology courses previously taken
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 (out of 4.0) for the last two years of undergraduate study
- The GRE is no longer required but is still recommended. If you elect to take the GRE, please have the testing agency send your official scores to the Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.
International students must also have the following TOEFL scores: Paper: 550 | Computer: 213 | iBT: 80 Click here to learn more about testing requirements.
Those wishing to pursue the M.S./Ph.D. track with SOC@VT should apply to the M.S. program. With satisfactory progress towards their thesis, they can request funding to continue into the doctoral program by January 15 of their second year. Although the M.S./Ph.D. track can be completed in 5 years, the department provides funding for a total of 6 years (2 years for M.S. and 4 years for Ph.D.) for those who maintain satisfactory progress throughout their enrollment in our graduate programs. We do not accept transfer courses for the masters program.
Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application, though you can check to see if you qualify for a fee waiver.
Applicants will need to include a scanned copy of their college transcripts with the online application and then arrange for an official copy to be sent to the Graduate School upon an offer of admission. Official transcripts should be sent directly from your institution(s) to Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions. Click HERE to apply now!
To apply to the graduate program, students must submit the Virginia Tech Graduate School online application.
Submission Deadline for full consideration for funding: January 15
Submission Deadline for Domestic Application: April 15
Submission Deadline for International Application: April 1
On the online application, please select the following options when prompted:
- Application Type: First Time Graduate Study or Readmission
- Program: Sociology
- Degree Type: M.S.
- Campus: Blacksburg (Main Campus)
- Term: Fall
Each year the department awards assistantships on a competitive basis that include a stipend for the academic year and full tuition remission. We aim to fund all admitted students to either the M.S. or Ph.D. program. The typical practice is to award admitted students with funding for the standard time to completion for their degree (2 years for M.S. and 4 years for Ph.D.). However, funding may also be awarded on a provisional basis at the discrepancy of the Sociology Graduate Committee.
Students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application; no separate application is required.
The University also provides a health insurance subsidy for graduate students. Click here to learn more about the health insurance benefit.