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Sociology (MA)

Sociology (MA)

waterloo  waterloo

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Note: This program is not accepting applications for 2019/20.

Laurier Sociology’s Master of Arts (MA) is an intensive one-year program that develops your academic competencies and professional skills in the analysis of social problems in contemporary society. The program enhances your capacities in sociological thought and will prepare you to intervene in the social world. Our program encourages your intellectual growth, along with fostering writing, analytical and research skills. You will develop sound scholarship and the capacity to conduct empirical research independently.

With an eye to social justice and equity, coursework will develop your skills in social theory and research methodology, such as content analysis, interviewing, conversation analysis, survey research, quantitative methods and statistics. The course curriculum is sociologically grounded, but purposefully eclectic in scope to expose you to a breadth of social contexts and sites for analysis, in order to encourage a well-rounded understanding of the social world.

Along with our program’s academic curriculum, you will also undergo self-directed professionalization to prepare for the working world. You will develop skills in writing, communication and interaction, information retrieval and collection, diversity and career development through workshops, seminars and online modules.

All full-time students will serve as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses. These assistantships are a valuable opportunity to demonstrate your academic capacities in curriculum development and delivery, and further develop professional skills in mentorship, group facilitation and peer support.

Graduates from our program have secured employment in non-profit, government and corporate settings, including applied sociology, statistics, policy analysis, social service work or health or law enforcement researcher, counselling and teaching. Those students following the one-year Major Research Paper program option will be especially prepared to pursue doctoral work in sociology; some of our graduates have gone on to doctoral training in sociology or other areas such as public health and rehabilitative sciences in top tier research universities.

Course-Work Option

All students will be initially admitted to the course-based option. Completion of the course-based option requires four electives and four core courses. Electives to a maximum of two may be taken outside the program.

Major Research Paper Option

In cases in which a) you have demonstrated the academic capacity for original independent research and b) your interests are aligned with the expertise of a faculty member available to support them, you may transition to the Major Research Paper (MRP) option. The MRP option will require the completion of two elective courses, four core courses and the MRP.

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Contact Us:

Jeffrey P. Aguinaldo, Graduate Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x3031

General Inquiries: Sandra Dalpe

T: 519.884.0710 x3402


  • Winners of major external awards (OGS, QEII and Tri-Council) may be eligible for top-up funding which includes the Dean’s Graduate Scholarship (total value exceeds $10,000). 
  • Eligible domestic students admitted to study on a full-time basis are entitled to one year of funding totalling, on average, $14,500. This support may be made up of teaching assistantships, internal/external scholarships, and/or faculty-funded studentships or research assistantships.
  • A list of all funding opportunities available to Laurier graduate students, including information about OGS, QEII and Tri-Council, is available on our graduate funding webpage.

Research Focus

Our faculty specialize in a wide range of research interests broadly connected to equity and social justice. These areas include human rights, globalization, migration, social movements, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability studies, crime, poverty, bio-politics, families, aging, health and medicine.


  • A four-year (honours) undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in sociology or a related field.
  • A B+ average in your final year of full-time study and a cumulative B+ average in all sociology courses.
  • Applications are reviewed by the graduate program committee, which considers all prior university grades, a statement of research interests, a writing sample and letters of reference.


Our graduates have gone on to work in education, financial services and charitable /social services.

Examples of jobs held by our graduates include:

  • policy analyst, Health Canada, Ottawa
  • women’s community development coordinator, City Of Guelph
  • senior research associate, Research Strategy Group, Toronto
  • instructor at Conestoga College, Waterloo
  • coordinator YMCA Ontario Early Years Program, Waterloo

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