Sociology

Sociology

Location

Location

  • Department of Sociology
  • Stephen Leacock Building, Room 712
  • 855 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC H3A 2T7
  • Graduate Program and Admission Information:
  • Telephone: 514-396-1828
  • Fax: 514-398-7476
  • Email: graduate.sociology [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: mcgill.ca/sociology

About Sociology

About Sociology

The Department offers training leading to the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts in Medical Sociology (Thesis and Non-Thesis) with the Social Studies of Medicine Department
  • 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 – Population Dynamics 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

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. M.A. programs are offered, as well as a few at the Ph.D. level (see below). The Department has full access to the resources of StatsCan, with additional training for students.

We have particular strength in the following fields:

  • comparative political sociology and development
  • diversity and inequalities
  • population and health

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.) Medical Sociology (Thesis) (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 (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.) Medical Sociology (Non-Thesis) (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 12 months.

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 12 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 12 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 12 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/or 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.

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 12 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 substantive overview 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/or 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.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)

Sociology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Sociology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants—whether for an M.A. or Ph.D. program—should ideally 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 in sociology or another relevant social science. In the latter case, applicants may be required to take additional sociology courses to fill gaps in their background.

The strength of an applicant's academic record is of key importance in considering their application for admission. The Graduate Admissions Committee assesses applications to both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs on the basis of the following required materials: (1) transcripts for all coursework pursued at the post-secondary level (including those involving transfer credits); (2) two reference letters; (3) proof of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL) only in certain cases; (4) a personal statement (maximum of 1,000 words, double-spaced); (5) a writing sample (maximum 30 pages); and (6) a CV. Please note that the GRE is no longer required for admission to the Sociology program.

The department's acceptance rate (approximately 10% of the applicant pool) means that admission to our program is quite competitive.

All applicants are required to submit a personal statement (maximum 1,000 words, double-spaced). That statement should: (1) outline the applicant's areas of academic interest (e.g., proposed research topic); (2) identify faculty members of interest (e.g., possible supervisors) and with whom the applicant's research interests align; and (3) discuss future academic and/or career plans. All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members with whom they may wish to work—in advance of applying—to ascertain their availability (e.g., ensure they will not be on leave, are available to take on more students).

Applicants whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed a degree from a recognized institution where English is the main language of instruction are required to provide proof of English language proficiency. For further information, see McGill's requirements on English language proficiency. International students may also contact McGill's International Student Services at 514-398-4349 for more information.

Applicants who are missing most of the prerequisite courses can be admitted to a Qualifying semester or year, during which they can take the prerequisite courses. During the Qualifying period, students must take a minimum of 12 credits (4 courses) per semester. No more than one Qualifying year is permitted. Each course must be passed with a grade of B+ or higher to be considered for admission to the M.A. program. Admission to the Qualifying semester or year does not mean automatic admission to the graduate program afterwards. Applicants admitted for a Qualifying semester or year must reapply for the M.A. program; chances for admission depend on performance during the Qualifying period and the quality of the overall application compared with other applicants at that time. No funding is available for students taking a Qualifying semester or year.

Applicants are expected to have taken courses in statistics, research methods, and sociological theory at the undergraduate level.

The program of study aims to provide students with an in-depth comprehension of a major field in sociology, current sociological research methodologies, and some of the fundamental theoretical 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

Application Procedures

The department only offers admission in the fall. The online application process for admission to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs opens annually in September (for the following fall) through McGill's online graduate admissions system. The deadline to apply for the Fall term is January 7th.

Note: It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that ALL supporting documents are received by the January 7th deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines 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 mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Information on application deadlines is available at mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/how-apply/application-steps/application-deadlines.

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

Note: The Department Admissions Committee announces its selections by mid-March and the end of April.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. in Sociology provides advanced methodological training in sociology The program culminates in the preparation of a thesis, which is written under the direction of a supervisory committee, and which is expected to report on original research of publishable quality.

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis) (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits)

The M.A. thesis must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the Development Studies Option (DSO) coordinating committee.

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)

The M.A. in Sociology; Gener and Women’s Studies provides advanced methodological training in sociology with an emphasis on issues in gender and women’s studies. The thesis must be on a topic relating to gender and women’s studies and approved by the supervisor and by participating faculty members in the Gender and Women’s Studies program

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Medical Sociology (Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. in Medical Sociology is offered jointly with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. The program provides advanced methodological training in sociology and medical sociology. The thesis must be on a topic approved by the supervisor and by participating faculty members in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine.

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Medical Sociology (Thesis) (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. in Sociology; Non-Thesis provides advanced methodological training in sociology and exposure to research in different areas of sociology.

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits)

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

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)

The M.A. in Sociology; Non-Thesis - Gender and Women Studies provides advanced methodological training in sociology and exposure to research in different areas of sociology with a focus on gender and women’s studies. The research paper must be on a topic relating to issues of gender and women’s studies and approved by the supervisor and by participating faculty...

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Medical Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. in Medical Sociology; Non-Thesis is offered jointly with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. The program provides advanced methodological training in sociology and medical sociology.

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Medical Sociology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits).

Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Population Dynamics (45 credits)

The Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is open to Masters (non-thesis) students in Sociology specializing in Population Dynamics. The purpose of this program 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...

For more information, see Master of Arts (M.A.) Sociology (Non-Thesis): Population Dynamics (45 credits).

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology

The Ph.D. in Sociology is a professional degree program designed to prepare students for careers in academia as well as research and policy positions in both the public and private sectors. The program focuses on quantitative and qualitative methodology and sub-fields within the discipline. The dissertation should represent a unique contribution to the discipline...

For more information, see Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology: Gender and Women's Studies

The Ph.D in Sociology; Gender and Women's Studies focuses on an interdisciplinary specialization in feminist, women's, and gender studies. The Ph.D. dissertation must be on a topic that significantly engages with issues of gender and/or women and/or feminism.

For more information, see Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology: Gender and Women's Studies.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology: Population Dynamics

The Population Dynamics Option (PDO) is open to PhD students in Sociology specializing in Population Dynamics. The purpose of this program 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...

For more information, see Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Sociology: Population Dynamics.

Faculty of Arts—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)
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