Sociology MA


Join graduate students of the highest caliber from across the country and around the world as you delve into the workings of society with a focus on how to improve life. Started in 1967, our well-established sociology master's program will guide you in applying your knowledge, skills and values to examine and engage with current social issues through our four available specializations in environment, food and communities; work and organization; crime and social control; and identities and social inclusion.

As a sociology MA student, you'll gain valuable leadership experience and professional development as you build the skills you need to succeed inside and outside of academia, such as content knowledge, disciplinary and applied skills and experiential learning. In addition to our core areas of specialization, our faculty conduct research, supervise and teach in many other fascinating areas of study.

The Sociology MA program is not offered on a part-time basis. All students are required to register in the program full time.

Program Brochure  Meet Our Graduates

Fields of Specialization

Our sociology MA provides the opportunity to specialize in one of four fields where our faculty is well-recognized for its expertise, including:

The field of Environment, Food, and Communities reflects sociological interests in understanding societal-ecological interactions more broadly. The specific focus may include environmental/natural resources/food systems and environmental justice/community sustainability.

Students specializing in this field will be encouraged to draw on established methodologies in the field, including the comparative and historical approach. Attention will be given to the ways in which structure/power/culture and class/gender/race and ethnicity play out in at least one of the substantive topics comprising this field.

The field of Work and Organization reflects sociological interests in changing patterns of work and employment in comparative contexts, labour markets, gender and work, industrial and organizational change, economic restructuring and work, organizations and protest, education for work, and the regulation of work. These trends are located in the broader processes of globalization, economic restructuring and fundamental shifts in public policy.

Students specializing in this field will be encouraged to focus on the dialectical relationship between the configurations of gender, class, race and ethnicity, and the transformation and re-organization of work.

The field of Crime and Social Control reflects sociological interests in how crime is defined, measured, explained and reacted to by society.

Within this field students will be exposed to scholarly material on a broad range of topics including: cyberbullying, victimization, legal responses to homelessness, intimate partner violence, drug policy, school violence, feminist criminology, critical criminology, restorative justice, sociology of risk, policing, the social construction of crime, inmate re-integration, youth justice, wrongful convictions, and life course criminology.

The field of Identities and Social Inclusion reflects sociological interests in the study of intergroup relations, with special emphasis on struggles over influence and power. Students specializing in this field will acquire a deeper understanding of the complex intersection as well as the overlap of forms of identity and group mobilization based on ethnic, linguistic, regional, class, gender, racial and other forms of social division.

The field also provides students with the opportunity to study Indigenous issues and policies related to multiculturalism, equity and local or regional autonomy.


Completion Requirements  Course Descriptions

Collaborative Specialization in International Development Studies

Students can choose to combine their sociology MA with an international development studies (IDS) specialization. The collaborative IDS specialization offers an interdisciplinary framework for the study of international development that combines training in a selected academic discipline with exposure to a broad range of social science perspectives.

More about the IDS specialization


In addition to our core areas of specialization, our faculty conduct research, supervise and teach in many other fascinating areas of study. If you are interested in working with world-renowned faculty on cutting edge topics, please reach out to a faculty member directly through our faculty profiles.

Meet the Faculty

Applicants must possess an honours BA degree (4 years) or its equivalent with a minimum B+ average in the final two undergraduate years.

Students who do not meet departmental requirements (e.g., students whose undergraduate degree does not include basic courses in Sociology), may be admitted provisionally and required to complete appropriate make-up courses from offerings in the undergraduate program.


The University of Guelph offers many resources to financially support graduate students. Explore your options on the Graduate Studies website.

Help fund your graduate studies by taking advantage of Entrance Awards.

Cost of Tuition and Living


Take the Next Step

Start the application process and explore options for funding your education.

How to Apply

Awards & Scholarships