Master's Program

1. Admission Requirements

All applications to the Master's Program are reviewed by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology, using the criteria that follow, in addition to the standard criteria required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  These criteria are minimal and do not guarantee admission to the program. Recommendations regarding acceptance or rejection, and any conditions of admission, are forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Final approval rests with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

1.1 Students may enter the Master’s Program in one of two ways:

1)  after completing a 4-year Honours degree in Sociology at the University of Manitoba (or equivalent elsewhere); or

2) after completing a Pre-Master’s year following a 3-year B.A. or 4-year Advanced B.A. in Sociology at the University of Manitoba (or equivalent elsewhere).

A limited number of students are admitted to the program, on a competitive basis, each year. Normally, a B.A. (Honours), or equivalent, a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 over the last two full years of study and a minimum G.P.A. of 3.25 in Sociology courses, is required. Students must have completed six credit hours in undergraduate Sociological Theory and six credit hours in undergraduate Research Methods in order to gain admission to the M.A. program. Those students who do not have this background in theory and research methods will be required to satisfy these requirements before advancing to graduate courses in these areas. Official transcripts from all universities attended by an applicant must be submitted with the application.

1.2     Applicants must submit a “Statement of Goals and Interests.” This statement should minimally include the applicant's reasons for seeking admission to the graduate program, an indication of the particular substantive focus that s/he wishes to pursue, and other relevant information about the applicant's academic background and interests. This information is carefully scrutinized by the Graduate Committee to determine whether the Department has the capacity to provide the applicant with the kind of Master's-level graduate training s/he desires and whether the Department has faculty members who will be able to serve as a thesis advisor. This statement is a very important part of the application and should be completed carefully. If the Graduate Committee determines that the statement is too vague and/or that the department is unable to provide the kind of training environment an applicant is seeking, it may recommend that the student seek other graduate programs or plans.

1.3     Prospective students must also arrange for two letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with their academic abilities and potential.

1.4     Proficiency in the English language is required for those whose native language is other than English. For specific requirements and further information, see Section 1 of the Academic Guide found in the University of Manitoba Graduate Calendar.

1.5     International students, or those with a B.A. in a discipline other than Sociology, will be assessed on an individual basis by the Graduate Committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Such students may be required to undertake additional course work to remedy deficiencies in their undergraduate Sociology training. Similarly, those individuals who completed a B.A. degree more than 10 years prior to application, but are eligible on the basis of other criteria, will be carefully considered before being offered a place in the Master's program. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis, and may be required to take additional course work prior to admission to the program.

Course Requirements:

As of September, 2011, students who have been admitted to the Master of Arts Program are required to complete 18 credit hours (6 courses), comprised of at least 3 credit hours of methods at the 7000-level and no more than 3 credit hours of directed readings courses.  Ancillary courses must normally be graduate level courses in Sociology or another appropriate discipline, and are to be selected by the student in consultation with his/her Advisor (where applicable) and the Chair of the Graduate Committee. (In exceptional circumstances students may be permitted to take upper-level undergraduate courses as Ancillary courses. Students who wish to pursue this possibility should consult the Chair of the Graduate Committee.)

Thesis Requirement

In addition to their course work, M.A. students must also complete, and successfully defend, a graduate thesis. There are a number of steps involved in the development and preparation of a thesis:

Together with the Advisor, the student will formulate a suitable thesis topic. The student and the Advisor are responsible for forming a Thesis Committee. This committee includes the Advisor and at least two additional faculty members, one of whom must be from the Department of Sociology and the other (External Member ) from a department other than Sociology (The External Member of the Thesis Committee must normally also be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.) Students and their advisors should consult with the Chair of the Graduate Committee regarding the composition of the advisory committee.

Once members of the Thesis Committee have approved the student's choice of a topic, s/he will be required to prepare a formal thesis proposal, outlining in some detail the problem s/he intends to investigate, as well as the theory and methodology that are to be utilized in this endeavour. The proposal will be presented in the department. The purpose of this presentation is, first, to inform members of the Department of the kind of thesis work students are undertaking and, second, to provide the student an opportunity to receive comments and suggestions on his/her proposed research. Students should normally present their thesis proposals within 1 year of completing their coursework.

The student will then proceed to the actual thesis stage of the program and undertake the necessary research and writing as outlined in the proposal in close consultation with the student's Advisor and members of the Thesis Committee. When the thesis has been developed to the point where the student, the Advisor, and members of the Thesis Committee are satisfied that it is ready to be examined (i.e., is defensible), a copy will be made available to the Department and the student will proceed to defend it orally before the Committee in a forum open to the University community.


Normally, it is expected that a Master’s degree will be completed in two years:

1st year: 18 credit hours of coursework
               Selection of Thesis Advisor and Committee
               Preparation and presentation of thesis proposal
               Begin work on actual thesis

2nd year:  Completion of thesis and thesis defense


For complete information see the handbook, Graduate Study in Sociology