Master of Arts in Sociology

The Master of Arts in Sociology program is an advanced study of human social relations. It requires in depth study of institutional, structural, and historical patterns that govern human social behavior. The scope of study at the graduate level includes micro, macro, and global perspectives. The program is primarily designed for working students seeking a Ph.D., career advancement, or wishing to pursue a career in community college teaching. For that reason, the program offers three options or "tracks": a Thesis Option, a Teaching Option, and a Special Project Option. The program of study is enhanced by opportunities for qualified students to work on campus as a Research Assistant in the Institute for Social and Community Research, as Teaching Assistants in the Department or in area community colleges, or work in the community via the Internship programs available.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Sociology program requires that the following basic criteria be met:

1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

2. GPA of 2.5 overall and 3.0 over the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units.

3. A satisfactory TOEFL score (a minimum of 500) or 213 on the new conversion scale for International students.

4. In lieu of the requirements listed in item 2 above, a student may petition the Graduate Program Coordinator for an exception.

5. Satisfactory completion of the following undergraduate courses:  Introductory Statistics, Social Theory, and Research Methods.  Students who have not completed these courses as part of their undergraduate degrees may be admitted conditionally and will be required to complete these courses prior to taking graduate-level courses.

Application Process

1. Complete a graduate admission application online at to initiate the application process.

2. In addition to the online application form, prospective students must submit a completed Department Application, three signed and sealed letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.  Please note that letters of recommendation must use the official form (linked on the right-hand side of this page).  Letters of recommendation should be from individuals with the ability to evaluate your academic qualifications and potential to succeed in a graduate program.  If you would like GRE scores to be considered as part of your application, they should be included in the application as well.

3. Send all completed departmental application materials to:

Graduate Admissions c/o Renee Rugnao
Office of Admissions & Records 47 SA
California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Dale Willlits, Graduate Coordinator, by telephone (661) 654-6279 or dwillits 'at'  


Culminating Experience

All students in the MA Sociology program are required to complete a "Culminating Experience" project (either a thesis, special project, or teaching portfolio, depending on a student's selected track).  Culminating experience committees must consist of three PhD-level faculty members and must be chaired by a PhD-level Sociology faculty member.  Up to 1 person on the committee may be a PhD-level faculty member from a related decision, selected in consultation with the chair.  Students may petition the Graduate Program Coordinator for alternative committee specifications.  


Fall 2015 Application Deadline

Files must be completed by May 15, 2015

Department Application Materials

Department Application

Recommendation Form