The master's degree program in Sociology emphasizes in-depth study of sociological theory, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and statistical analysis, while also offering advanced seminars in substantive areas in sociology as a foundation for graduate students' original research projects.
Every student writes a master's thesis as the capstone requirement of the program. Students are prepared to enter Ph.D. programs or embark upon a career where they will use the knowledge, advanced research skills, and enhanced writing, critical thinking, and oral communication abilities gained in the master's degree program.
Point of Pride
The Sociology master’s program is at the gold standard level as described by the American Sociological Association, requiring extensive training in research methodologies and theory. Our program remains the only sociology program at a public university in Illinois requiring a master’s thesis of all students.
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
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.