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MA, PhD and CSSH Certificate Programs

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Students wishing to pursue professional careers in applied sociology, or careers doing research or policy work with non-profit organizations, government, or in other non-academic domains, will want to explore our MA program. Students who envision a fuller immersion within the discipline of sociology, and who may primarily wish to pursue academic careers, will want to apply to the PhD program. Students can enter the PhD program with or without an MA in sociology. Those with an MA already in hand may receive partial credit toward the coursework required for the PhD. Those with only the BA degree can earn the MA degree along the way to PhD completion.

The Master’s Degree

The MA program is designed to address the needs of applicants who seek professional training in a focused area of social research that can be chosen from urban sociology, environmental sociology, medical sociology, and several other fields. The program encourages students to develop deep expertise in research design, methodological techniques (whether quantitative or qualitative), evaluation research, and other research skills that are essential to data analysis and decision-making in varied organizational settings. It also equips students with substantive knowledge in fields that are relevant to consulting organizations, social policy and planning contexts, and non-profit organizations. Some proportion of MA students may elect to go on to academic PhD training, though this is not the core mission of the MA program. Students who wish to enter into professional or research positions after completing the MA are advised to substitute an additional methods or statistics class for one of the two theory courses the department otherwise requires. Choices include training in program evaluation, GIS, and social epidemiology, in addition to traditional quantitative analysis. MA students who are considering continuing on with academic training are advised to complete the full two-course theory sequence. Learn more about the MA degree>>

The PhD Degree

The PhD program is designed to attract students who wish to develop a broad base of sociological knowledge, such as would equip students to embark on academic careers in leading institutions of higher education. The PhD program boasts a wide array of curricular strengths and diverse methodological offerings, all of which draw upon the department’s emphasis on the study of social inequalities along lines of race, class, and gender. Faculty expertise ranges widely from domestic U.S. concerns to issues that affect groups, regions, and societies on a global scale.

The Ph.D. program is organized around four key areas of concentration.

In addition to the graduate courses offered in the areas of concentration, the program provides a strong foundation in both theory (classical and contemporary) and methods (quantitative and qualitative). Reflecting the program’s distinctive emphasis on social inequalities, students are required to select a core elective in this field. As students complete their core requirements, they also work closely with individual faculty members to advance their work within one of the department’s standing areas of concentration. Students also have the right to petition to construct their own areas of concentration (pending departmental approval), and have completed area examinations in a host of subfields. Among these are: environmental justice, political economy of global capitalism, theoretical criminology, feminist theory, political sociology, social psychology, sociology of violence and immigration, among many others. Learn more about the PhD program>>

CSSH Certificate Programs

All currently enrolled Northeastern CSSH graduate students can opt to complete any graduate certificate while concurrently enrolled in a degree program. Masters and doctoral students seeking a graduate certificate must (1) apply and be admitted to the certificate program and (2) must complete the course requirements of the certificate prior to meeting coursework requirements for the primary degree program. Certificate coursework cannot extend beyond the point in time when degree requirements are met.

Learn more about CSSH Certificate Programs: https://www.northeastern.edu/cssh/graduate/programs/certificate-programs

Graduate Director: Associate Professor Liza Weinstein, 617.373.2686

Administrative Coordinator: Joan Collins, 617.373.2686



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