MA Programs

 


Our MA programs enable students to develop an excellent range of research skills and knowledge – valuable for those intending to eventually pursue jobs in a vast array of fields such as business, education and government.  An MA in sociology from McGill is also well-regarded among the world’s top universities and serves as an excellent launching off point for students intending to pursue doctoral studies. All candidates for a sociology MA degree must complete the degree in three years


Note: The Sociology Department’s graduate programs are governed in vital bureaucratic matters (e.g., residency, additional sessions, leaves of absence, withdrawal, plagiarism and cheating) by Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies (GPS).  Students may consult the GPS website and the university calendar for elaboration.

 

MA PROGRAMS – Residency and Prerequisites

MA Programs - Residency Requirement

Students entering a sociology MA program are required to spend three terms in residence at McGill.  In order to be considered full-time, students in residence must register for a minimum of 12 credits per term in both the thesis and non-thesis programs.  There is no residency requirement while the student is writing the thesis.

MA Programs - Prerequisites

All students will be required to take a Statistics Refresher Mini-Course at the beginning of the term, unless given an exemption by the instructor. 

 

MA THESIS PROGRAMS (45 credits)

To provide students with some research experience, all students in this program must prepare a thesis based on their own research.  While not necessarily requiring an exhaustive review of work in the particular field of study or a great deal of original scholarship, the thesis must show familiarity with previous work in the field and demonstrate the ability to carry out research and to organize results, all of which must be presented in good literary style.

Students may elect to pursue either the standard sociology MA thesis program or they may couple it with one of three ‘options’ in 1) development studies  2) gender and women’s studies or 3) medical sociology.  Such options enable students to acquire a cross-disciplinary specialization.  Coursework and thesis foci requirements vary in accordance with the option selected.

 

MA Thesis Programs – Course and Thesis Topic Requirements

 

Course Requirements

 

SOCIOLOGY THESIS

SOCIOLOGY THESIS WITH DEVELOPMENT OPTION

SOCIOLOGY THESIS WITH GENDER AND WOMEN’S STUDIES OPTION

SOCIOLOGY THESIS WITH MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY OPTION

Thesis Courses

SOCI 691: MA Thesis 2 (6)

SOCI 693: MA Thesis 4 (3)

 

SOCI 690: MA Thesis 1 (3)

SOCI 694: MA Thesis 5 (18)

=30 Credits

SOCI 690: MA Thesis 1 (3)

SOCI 694: MA Thesis 5 (18)

=30 Credits

SOCI 694: MA Thesis 5 (18)

=27 Credits

SOCI 690: MA Thesis 1 (3)

SOCI 695: MA Thesis 6 (15)

=27 Credits

Other Required Courses*

 

SOCI 504: Quantitative Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 580: Social Research Design and Practice (3)

SOCI 600: Qualitative Research Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 625D1/D2: Professional Development Seminar in Sociology (0)

SOCI652: Current Sociological Theory (3)

 

N/A

= 12 credits

INTD 657: Development Studies Seminar (3)

=15 credits

WMST 601: Feminist Theories and Methods (3)

=15 credits

N/A

=12 credits

Complementary Courses

A 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level sociology courses (see the calendar)**

 

=3 credits

N/A

 

 

=0 credits

WMST 602: Feminist Research Symposium (3) OR a 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level course on gender/women’s studies issues (may be taken outside the department)

 

=3 credits

SOCI 515: Medicine and Society (3) OR SOCI 538 Selected Topics in Sociology of Biomedical Knowledge (3) AND a 3-credit course in History of Medicine (see the calendar)**

 

=6 credits

Thesis

N/A

The MA thesis must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the Development Studies Option coordinating committee.

The MA thesis must be on a topic that significantly engages with issues of gender and/or women and/or feminism.

N/A

*Students granted an exemption from any one or more of these courses by the Graduate Program Director must substitute another substantive seminar in its place.

**Students may take a course in a related field, with the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

MA Thesis – Supervision and Format

Each student is responsible for finding a faculty member willing to serve as his/her supervisor for the MA thesis.  In cooperation, the student and supervisor select at least two faculty members, one of whom may be from outside the department, to sit on the thesis committee. Approval of any external appointment must, however, be obtained from the Graduate Committee. Students may consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Support website for guidance about supervisor-supervisee relationships.

An MA proposal must be submitted to the supervisor by the end of the first year (i.e.,  August 15).  It should not exceed 15 pages in length, double-spaced.  The proposal should include a discussion of methods and data to be used, hypotheses and a justification of the research.  The thesis supervisor then convenes a meeting of the thesis committee to discuss and secure approval of the proposal. The main purpose of this meeting is to supply the student with advice as to the feasibility of and possible problems with the proposed project. A copy of the accepted proposal must be filed with the department.

MA Thesis - Submission and Examination (Pass/Fail)

There are numerous university requirements regarding the content and format of the MA thesis. Please consult the GPS guidelines.

MA theses can be submitted at any time but there are set deadlines set by GPS for each graduation date.  Please see GPS’s website for deadlines. 

MA theses must be evaluated by one ‘external’ examiner.  S/he must be a scholar of established reputation and competence in the field of the thesis research The examiner may be from inside or outside of the university.  Please see GPS’s ‘Thesis Examination’ guidelines for details on thesis examination.

In instances, where the thesis is not passed by an examiner, a student may revise and resubmit.  See the GPS guidelines on ‘Thesis Examination Failures.’

 

MA NON-THESIS PROGRAMS (45 credits)

This program culminates in a publishable-quality research paper that normally, but not necessarily, flows out of a paper written for one of the graduate seminars or an independent reading and research course.  Comparable to an article in a professional journal, the paper should focus on a clearly delineated research problem, demonstrating familiarity with the most important relevant scholarly work and the ability to carry out research and organize results.

Students may elect to pursue either the standard sociology MA non-thesis program or they may couple it with one of four ‘options’ in 1) development studies 2) gender and women’s studies 3) medical sociology or 4) population dynamics. Such options enable students to acquire a cross-disciplinary specialization.  Coursework and research paper foci requirements vary in accordance with the option selected.

MA Non-Thesis Programs – Course and Thesis Topic Requirements

Course Requirements

 

SOCIOLOGY NON-THESIS

SOCIOLOGY NON-THESIS WITH DEVELOPMENT OPTION

SOCIOLOGY NON-THESIS WITH GENDER AND WOMEN’S STUDIES OPTION

Bibliographic Methods and Research Paper Courses

SOCI 603: Bibliographic Methods 1 (3)

SOCI604: Bibliographic Methods 2 (3)

SOCI 696: Research Paper 1 (3)

SOCI 697: Research Paper 2 (3)

SOCI 699 (3): Research Paper 4 (12)

=24 credits

Other Required Courses*

 

SOCI 504: Quantitative Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 580: Social Research Design and Practice (3)

SOCI 600: Qualitative Research Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 625D1/D2: Professional Development Seminar in Sociology (0)

SOCI652: Current Sociological Theory (3)

N/A

= 12 credits

INTD 657: Development Studies Seminar (3)

=15 credits

WMST 601: Feminist Theories and Methods (3)

=15 credits

Complementary Courses

Three 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level sociology courses (see the calendar)**

 

=9 credits

Two 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level sociology courses (see the calendar)**

 

Note: assignments in selected courses should focus topically on development issues

=6 credits

WMST 602: Feminist Research Symposium (3) AND a 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level course on gender/women’s studies issues (may be taken outside the department)

 

=6 credits

Research Paper (Topical Focus) Requirement

N/A

The research paper must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the Development Studies Option coordinating committee.

The research paper must be on a topic centrally relating to issues of gender and women’s studies and approved by the supervisor and by participating faculty members in the Gender and Women’s Studies program.

 

Course Requirements

 

SOCIOLOGY NON-THESIS WITH MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY OPTION

SOCIOLOGY NON-THESIS WITH POPULATION DYNAMICS OPTION

Research Paper and Bibliographic Methods Courses

SOCI 603: Bibliographic Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 604: Bibliographic Methods 2 (3)

SOCI 696: Research Paper 1 (3)

SOCI 697: Research Paper 2 (3)

SOCI 699 (3): Research Paper 4 (12)

=24 credits

Other Required Courses*

 

SOCI 504: Quantitative Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 580: Social Research Design and Practice (3)

SOCI 600: Qualitative Research Methods 1 (3)

SOCI 625D1/D2: Professional Development Seminar in Sociology (0)

SOCI652: Current Sociological Theory (3)

N/A

=12 credits

SOCI 545: Sociology of Population (3)

SOCI 626: Demographic Methods (3)

=18 credits

Complementary Courses

SOCI 515: Medicine and Society (3) OR

SOCI 538 Selected Topics in Sociology of Biomedical Knowledge (3) AND a 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level course in History of Medicine

AND a 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level course in the Social Studies of Medicine 

=9 credits

One 3-credit 500, 600 or 700 level course related to population dynamics.

= 3 credits

Research Paper (Topical Focus) Requirement

N/A

The research paper must be on a topic related to population dynamics and approved by the Population Dynamics Option coordinating committee.

 

Note: Students are also required to attend at least five seminars given by the Social Statistics and Population Dynamics seminar series.

 

*Students granted an exemption from any one or more of these courses by the Graduate Program Director must substitute another substantive seminar in its place.

**Students may take a course in a related field, with the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

MA Research Paper– Supervision and Format

Each student is responsible – ideally, during his/her first semester – for finding a faculty member willing to serve as his/her supervisor for the MA research paper.  Students may consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Support website for guidance about supervisor-supervisee relationships. If a student intends to revise an existing seminar paper for the purposes of an MA research paper, s/he must submit the original paper to the supervisor for approval along with a one-page outline of the proposed revisions to the paper.  A more elaborate proposal, of approximately five pages (double-spaced), is required where a seminar paper does not serve as the basis for the MA research paper.   

The MA research paper should be no longer than 30 pages in length, double-spaced, exclusive of footnotes and references.

The courses - SOCI 696: Research Paper 1 and SOCI 697: Research Paper 2 - are graded on a pass/fail basis.

MA Research Paper - Submission and Evaluation (Grading)

The deadline for submission of the MA Research Paper is August 15th. It should be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator who will then relay it to the supervisor and the ‘second reader’  for marking. With the student’s consent, the supervisor will make the request of another departmental faculty member to serve as ‘second reader.’ Once chosen, the supervisor should notify the Graduate Program Coordinator as to who will act as the ‘second reader’. Both the supervisor and the ‘second reader’ read the paper, assess its quality and allocate a numerical grade, based on the McGill grading scale. The two grades are then averaged, generating the final grade for SOCI 699. Final grades must be entered by August 31st.

 

MA PROGRAMS – GENERAL INFORMATION

MA Programs - Reading and Research Courses

A student may register for one independent reading and research course as part of his/her complementary courses.  Reading and research courses provide an opportunity for students to study a topic of interest in greater depth in an independent way.  These courses are negotiated between a student and a professor on an individual basis.  Students must complete the ‘Reading and Research’ form detailing the nature of the work involved and the method of evaluation.  The form must be signed by the student, the professor overseeing the course and must be returned to the Graduate Program Coordinator.

MA Programs - Taking Courses Outside the Sociology Department

Subject to the requirements of a student’s elected course of study and with the approval of the Graduate Program Director, students may take a course in another department (e.g., epidemiology, anthropology).  Language courses require the approval of the Graduate Program Director and GPS; in some instances, student may incur additional costs for such courses.

MA Programs - Taking Courses  at Other Universities

Students may take a graduate course at another university, when needed, in order to meet their MA program requirements at McGill.  Students interested in pursuing coursework at other Quebec universities are eligible for a Quebec Inter-University Transfer. Students interested in universities located outside Quebec should confer with the Graduate Program Coordinator as to the current procedures for authorizing such exchanges. 

 

Back to top