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 The entrance requirements for the Master's program are:

1)  A minimum GPA of 3.00 in the last two years of study and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all Sociology courses

2) A 4-year Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sociology or a closely related cognate field that includes substantial sociological content and a strong  foundation in sociological research methods and theory
A Pre-Master's year of stipulated courses following a 3-year B.A. or 4-year Advanced B.A. in Sociology (or equivalent)
Note: Students must have a substantial number of courses in Sociology with a strong foundation in sociological research methods and theory. Those students who do not have this background in theory and research methods will be required to satisfy the requirements through additional coursework, early in the program, before advancing to graduate courses in these areas.

A limited number of students are admitted to the program, on a competitive basis, each year. Official transcripts from all universities attended by an applicant must be submitted with the application.

1.2     Applicants must submit a “Statement of Intent.” 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. The Department of Sociology and Criminology uses all EAL test score minimums as stipulated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies with the following exceptions:

  • IELTS: the minimum score must be 6.5 in each of test bands
  • TOEFL: minimum thresholds must be 600 on the paper test and 100 overall on the internet-based test (with a minimum speaking/writing of 22)

For specific requirements and further information, see Section 1 of the Academic Guide found in the University of Manitoba Graduate Calendar.

1.5     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:

M.A. students are required to complete 18 credit hours (6 courses), comprising at least 12 credit hours of Sociology at the 7000-level, 3 credit hours of which must be a methods course. Students will not normally be permitted to take directed reading courses, except under exceptional circumstances. No more than 3 credit hours will be counted towards a student's required coursework. Courses outside the Department of Sociology and Criminology will normally be at the graduate level, and selected by the student in consultation with his/her Advisor and the Graduate Chair.

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 Sociology and Criminology Supplemental Regulations.