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Sociology

Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

Sociology

Location

  • Department of Sociology
  • Stephen Leacock Building, Room 713
  • 855 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC H3A 2T7
  • Canada
  • Graduate Program and Admission Information:
  • Telephone: 514-398-6847
  • Fax: 514-398-3403
  • Email: graduate [dot] sociology [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/sociology

About Sociology

The Department offers training leading to the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts in Sociology (Thesis and Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Arts in Sociology – Development Studies Option (Thesis and Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Arts in Sociology – Gender and Women’s Studies Option (Thesis and Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Arts in Sociology – Medical Sociology Option (Thesis and Non-Thesis) with the Social Studies of Medicine Department
  • Master of Arts in Sociology – Population Dynamics Option (Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Arts in Sociology – Social Statistics Option (Non-Thesis)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology – Gender and Women's Studies Option
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology – Population Dynamics Option

We have particular strength in the following fields: states, nationalism, and development; economy and society; social inequality (class, ethnicity, and gender); deviance and social control; and health and society. The Department of Sociology has very high standards and an excellent record of placing students in both academic and non-academic careers in institutions ranging from the University of Chicago and Berkeley to StatsCan and CEGEPs. The Department has a stellar record of research publications and a lively graduate program, and we benefit from many new faculty appointments allowing us to be at the forefront of current issues. A large number of M.A. programs are offered. Fewer are offered at the Ph.D. level (see below). The Department houses the Social Statistics Unit. This has full access to the resources of StatsCan, with additional training for students.

Availability of Funding

The Department offers a limited number of teaching assistantships. A full teaching assistantship consists of a maximum of 180 hours of work per term. Appointments for a full teaching assistantship span 15 weeks and involve an average of 12 hours per week.

M.A. Program Options

Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Thesis) (45 credits)
This program provides excellent methodological training, but is principally designed for students who wish to gain a first experience doing original research. Some students have stopped at this stage; more have gone on to higher degree work. Researching and writing a thesis requires considerable effort, and this program typically takes two years to complete.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Thesis) — Development Studies (45 credits)
This program is for students with a particular interest in development—an area in which McGill is very strong. Researching and writing a thesis takes considerable time, and this program typically takes two years to complete. Students enter through one of the participating departments and must meet the M.A. requirements of that unit. Students will take an interdisciplinary seminar and a variety of graduate-level courses on international development issues. The M.A. thesis must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the Development Studies Option Coordinating Committee.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Thesis) — Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)
This interdisciplinary program is for students who meet the requirements in Sociology and who wish to earn 6 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women’s studies, and in issues in feminist research and methods. The student’s thesis must be on a topic centrally relating to issues of gender and/or women’s studies. Researching and writing a thesis takes considerable time, and this program typically takes two years to complete.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Thesis) — Medical Sociology (45 credits)
The Department contributes to knowledge at the forefront of current issues—in particular, those dealing with health systems and with policies concerning HIV/AIDS. This program is a cooperative effort of the Department of Sociology and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. Many students who have chosen this option have gone on to do further research and others to personnel work in the health services. Researching and writing a thesis takes considerable time, and this program typically takes two years to complete.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)
This program is both for students who wish to continue from an undergraduate degree in sociology, and those who wish to enter sociology for the first time. McGill is an excellent venue because the program involves rigorous training in methodology. Academically inclined students have gone on to higher degrees, some at McGill and others at other universities; the training offered has allowed others to go to varied careers, not least as teachers in CEGEPs. This program is designed to be completed within twelve months.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) — Development Studies (45 credits)
This program is for students with a particular interest in development—an area in which McGill is very strong. Many students from this program have gone on to further research, but several have entered the world of non-governmental organizations—with some going on to work for the U.N. Students enter through one of the participating departments and must meet the M.A. requirements of that unit. Students will take an interdisciplinary seminar and a variety of graduate-level courses on international development issues. The research paper must be on a topic related to development studies, approved by the Development Studies Option Coordinating Committee. This program is designed to be completed within twelve months.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) — Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)
This interdisciplinary program is for students who meet the degree requirements in Sociology and who wish to earn 6 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women’s studies, and in issues in feminist research and methods. The student’s research paper must be on a topic centrally relating to issues of gender and/or women’s studies. The program is designed to be completed within twelve months.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) — Medical Sociology (45 credits)
The Department contributes to knowledge at the forefront of current issues—in particular, those dealing with health systems and with policies concerning HIV/AIDS. This program is a cooperative effort of the Department of Sociology and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. Many students who have chosen this option have gone on to do further research and others to personnel work in the health services. The program is designed to be completed within twelve months.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) — Population Dynamics (45 credits)
The purpose of the Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is to provide graduate training in demographic methods (including life table analyses) and enhance students’ knowledge of critical population issues. As such, students will be required to take a course on demographic methods and an overview substantive course on the key population issues facing societies today. In addition, students will take one complementary course in Sociology; Economics; or Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, which focuses on a particular population issue such as population health, migration, aging, family dynamics, and labour markets and skills acquisition. Students will attend at least five of the seminars given in the Social Statistics and Population Dynamics Seminar series. Research Projects must be on a topic relating to population dynamics, approved by the PDO coordinating committee.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Sociology (Non-Thesis) — Social Statistics (45 credits)
This program complements the basic research training with the application of statistical methods to Statistics Canada data (or equivalent). It requires a statistics-based research paper that will normally flow out of a paper written for one of the graduate seminars. Comparable to an article in a professional journal, the paper ought to focus on a clearly defined research problem, demonstrating familiarity with the most important relevant scholarly work and the ability to carry out and organize the results of the research. The program is designed to be completed within twelve months.

Ph.D. Program Options

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Sociology
There are two ways to enter the Ph.D. program. Some students are fast-tracked (i.e., from a B.A. degree without having to complete an M.A. in Sociology), as Ph.D. 1 students; they take twelve substantive courses, in addition to various thesis requirements, and are trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods and in research design. Other students, typically those with an M.A. in Sociology, are considered as Ph.D. 2 students; they typically take six substantive courses, in addition to various thesis requirements—although further courses may be required if their methodological skills do not meet the standards required by the Department. Our Social Statistics Laboratory allows students to make systematic use of quantitative data sources. All students must pass two area exams and present a thesis proposal before turning to the thesis itself, which may take the form of a single piece of research, or a set of articles on a particular theme.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Sociology — Gender and Women's Studies
This interdisciplinary program is for students who meet the Ph.D. requirements in Sociology and who wish to earn 6 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women’s studies, and on issues in feminist research and methods. The thesis or set of articles must relate to issues of gender and/or women’s studies.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Sociology — Population Dynamics
This program aims to provide advanced graduate training in demographic methods (including life table analyses) and enhance students’ knowledge of critical population issues. As such, students will be required to take a course on demographic methods and an overview substantive course on the key population issues facing societies today. In addition, students will take one complementary course in Sociology; Economics; or Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, which focuses on a particular population issue such as population health, migration, aging, family dynamics, and labour markets and skills acquisition. Students will attend at least five of the seminars given in the Social Statistics and Population Dynamics Seminar series. Dissertation topics must be related to population dynamics and approved by the Population Dynamics Option (PDO) coordinating committee.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

Sociology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.3 or better out of a possible 4.0. The degree may be either in Sociology or in another relevant social science. In the latter case, applicants may be required to take some additional sociology courses to fill gaps in their background.

The strength of an applicant's academic record is of primary importance in consideration of an applicant's dossier. For a detailed description of courses open to graduates and undergraduates, and of preparation required of McGill University honours students, candidates should consult the Undergraduate eCalendar.

All applicants are asked to submit a writing sample. Applicants must submit with their applications the results of the Verbal, Analytical, and Quantitative aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Arrangements to take the GRE should be made directly with the Educational Testing Service by visiting their website at www.ets.org/gre. Certain students must submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL exam is 567 on the paper-based test and 86 overall on the Internet-based test (no less than 20 in each of the four component scores). For more information on whether the TOEFL is required please visit www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/international/proficiency. International students can also contact International Student Services at 514-398-4349 for more information, or visit their website, www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents.

Candidates who lack sufficient preparation in the social sciences, but whose academic record justifies consideration for eventual admission to the master's graduate program, must register for a qualifying year during which they are required to take courses to broaden their knowledge of sociology. Candidates must achieve a final grade of at least a B in these courses and an average in all courses of at least B+; in general, they must, in the opinion of the Department, have achieved sufficient preparation in the subject matter of sociology before they will be allowed to proceed with graduate work. All candidates are expected to have taken courses in statistics, research methods, and sociological theory at the undergraduate level.

Any prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members that they may wish to work with to ascertain that they will be available and not on leave during the time at which they wish to study. If need be, they may feel free to contact the Graduate Program Director to guide them.

The program of study is designed to give students an advanced understanding of a major field in sociology, of current methods of sociological research, and of some principal theoretic issues in the discipline. Three terms of residence study is the minimum requirement for a master's degree. For the doctoral program, three years is the minimum residency requirement for students entering at the Ph.D. 1 level (those students without an M.A.) and two years for students entering at the Ph.D. 2 level (those with an M.A.).

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Please note that the dossier must be complete before the applicant will be considered for entrance to the graduate program.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • GRE
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample – can be in the form of a graded paper or a chapter from a thesis and must be at least 15 typewritten pages in length translated into English or French

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Sociology Department and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: N/A
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

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