The sociology master's program at Illinois State helps you take the extra step to make the world better.
The sociology field is broad and our program reflects that. We'll give you a solid foundation in data analysis and research methods to prepare you to work in a data-driven society. From there, what you study is up to you. You can choose to focus on areas of sociology that engage you and meet your goals.
We offer lots of opportunities for you to take a deep dive into your passion. In addition to a thesis, you can work one-on-one with faculty on research projects that make positive impacts in communities around the world.
Sociology at Illinois State offers you all the support you need. Our classes are small and you'll have plenty of individualized attention. Plus, our faculty and staff will be with you from start to finish.
Once you finish our program, you'll have a solid skill set in research, writing, critical thinking, and communication. You'll be well prepared to pursue a Ph.D. or embark on a rewarding career.
Point of Pride
The sociology master’s program is at the gold standard level as described by the American Sociological Association. Students get extensive training in research methodology and theory, making them well-prepared to work in an increasingly data-driven world.
Our program requires a thesis. This puts students in a favorable position to earn a future Ph.D. or enter the workforce in almost any position.
Discover what life as a Illinois State graduate student is like with an Online Graduate Student Information Session.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
A student applying to this program must:
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of your undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master's program
- submit a current resume
- submit a statement of purpose describing why you are seeking admittance into the program (2 pages)
- submit an academic writing sample (at least 5 pages)
- submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application.
GRE scores are not required for your application. However, if you wish to submit them, you may.
Scores do not play a significant part in our decision-making process for admission. GRE scores may help your application if you did not have strong undergraduate grades but do have strong GRE scores.
Use institution code 1319 if you want to submit your scores. It will not be held against you if you do not submit GRE scores as part of your application.
- Fall (August) Term — March 1
- Spring (January) Term — October 15
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
Graduate tuition waivers are awarded on a competitive basis by departments/schools offering graduate programs to students who show promise for success and who have not received a fellowship or other award funding tuition costs. Tuition waivers cover tuition only. The student is responsible for paying the required fees. Submit this form to your department graduate coordinator. https://grad.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/tuition_wavers/graduatetuitionwaiver.pdf
- Students with an established GPA, must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students without a graduate GPA, must have a minimum of 2.8 for the last 60 hrs. of undergraduate GPA.
- Student must be fully admitted into a degree program. Students on probation and visiting students are ineligible for tuition waivers unless they are teaching a course for a department.
- Tuition waivers may only be used to cover coursework that will be placed on the degree audit and count towards the student's degree.
- No more than 3 thesis/dissertation hours beyond those required for the degree.
- Students must be in academic good standing.
- Tuition Waivers are awarded by a majority vote of the graduate admissions committee based on the greatest need among applicants who show promise for success.
- Submitted on time (Deadlines): August (fall) January (spring) May (summer)"
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.