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Explore our graduate programs

in the Department of Sociology

Graduate Programs

Department of Sociology

MA Program

We offer thesis-based and course-based MA degrees. Both MA programs are suitable preparation for doctoral programs in Sociology.  If you have questions about which program is right for you, please contact

Learn more about the MA Thesis program.

Learn more about the course-based MA program.

PhD Program

This is a thesis based program for students who have completed an MA program in Sociology or another related field.

Learn more

About our Graduate programs

The Department of Sociology offers graduate programs leading to both M.A. and Ph.D. Degrees. There are over twenty active full-time faculty members in the Department, pursuing research in a wide range of substantive areas, using a wide range of methods. The Department has over 800 majors at the undergraduate level and provides classes for nearly 3,500 undergraduates each term. There are currently twenty-five Ph.D. students, and twenty-three M.A. students in the program.

Our graduate programs emphasize exceptional training in sociology and skills in how to effectively use a sociological perspective in a variety of settings. Students take courses in sociological theory and concepts, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and specialized substantive areas. Funding is available for study in our programs on a competitive basis. Our program enables graduates to compete successfully for jobs in the academy and beyond in both the private sector and public sector.

Faculty in the department pursue research in a wide range of substantive areas, with overlapping expertise in areas such as criminology; social policy; sociology of health and illness; sociology of knowledge; sociology of sport; family and gender studies; globalization, immigration, race and ethnicity, and transnational communities; urban sociology, sociology of work, sociology of culture; network analysis; and social theory. 

The University of Calgary and the Department of Sociology are committed to providing high-quality graduate education for future generations of researchers, educators and creators.

Why pursue graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Calgary?

Sources of Funding

Over the past ten years, more than two million dollars in outside funds accrued to research projects in the Department, much of which is used to fund graduate students. Faculty members regularly receive research funding from highly competitie sources, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Great careers

Our graduates are very successful in obtaining positions both inside and outside of academia. During the last decade, the Department has graduated more than eighty M.A. students and twenty Ph.D students. Graduates have found employment in universities and colleges in Canada and beyond, serve as consultants or work directly for government agencies, departments, or the United Nations, or are analysts or administrators in the private sector.

High scholarship rates

Our scholarship success rate for graduate students is high. Sociology graduate students have won Sir Isaac Walton Killam scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canada Graduate Scholarships, Queen Elizabeth II scholarships, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowships and Louise McKinney scholarships. The Department also awards the Donald L.Mills Graduate Scholarship on an annual basis and a Graduate Teaching Award is given for teaching excellence by a graduate student.

Great environment

We offer a collegial environment that stresses the integration of graduate students into department affairs and faculty research programs.

Thesis-based study

Pursue independent research guided by a supervisor who shares your research interests. If you want to advance your knowledge or expand your expertise in a specific field or research area, our thesis-based programs are for you.

Course-based study

Ideal for students seeking to advance their careers, our course-based programs offer research, project and group work components in a wide variety of delivery methods.


A supervisor is a faculty member who oversees your research and the development of your thesis.

Graduate program contacts

Contact us for any questions you may have about the programs we offer in the Department of Sociology.

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Matt Patterson
(403) 220-5037

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Graduate Program Advisor