Admission Requirements

To Apply Online


The Department of Sociology offers a full M.A. program with requirements of theory and methods and a broad range of electives. Two program tracks offer the student maximum flexibility in pursuing academic and career goals. The general M.A., which includes a thesis requirement, is designed for those who are interested in pursuing a general education in sociology as well as developing research skills and those considering the pursuit of a PhD. in sociology in the future. The M.A. with applied emphasis is designed for students who wish to relate a general graduate education in sociology with more specific skills or substantive interests. Rather than writing a thesis, an additional six hours of coursework is coordinated with the student's advisor to provide an individualized program of study. The coursework may include classes in other graduate programs such as public administration, education and criminal justice. All course work for the Master of Arts degree in sociology may be taken on the Colorado Springs campus, although students may, at their option, take up to 8 credits of appropriate and approved courses at the Denver or Boulder campuses. Admission to the M.A. program at Colorado Springs, however, does not relate to admission to the graduate programs at Denver and Boulder.


Application for admission is made online.
Click here to apply online

Fall application deadline is Feb 1 for fellowship consideration and July 1 if not.
Spring application deadline is December 1.

Admission as a Regular Degree Student:

To be admitted as a regular degree student, an applicant must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university or have completed work equivalent for such a degree and equivalent to the degree given at this University
  • An undergraduate overall grade-point average of at least 2.75*
  • A grade point average in sociology undergraduate coursework of at least 3.00
  • Adequate preparation to begin graduate study in sociology
  • Show promise for advanced study and research, as judged by the applicant's previous scholastic record
  • Applicants with lower GPA may be considered with strong Graduate Record Exam scores.  The GRE exam is not required otherwise.

Application Process

Admission as a Provisional Degree Student

An applicant who does not meet the minimum requirements for admission as a regular degree student may be admitted a provisional. To convert to regular degree status,  the student may be required to complete courses to make up deficiencies and/or demonstrate the ability to successfully perform graduate work.


No more than eight (8) semester hours from other accredited institutions or in non-degree coursework may be transferred toward the master's degree in Sociology at the University of Colorado  Colorado Springs. All transfer credits must be approved by the Sociology Department and the Graduate School by the beginning of the semester prior to that in which the student will graduate.


Students who complete a major in Sociology at UCCS and achieve a minimum overall grade point average of 3.25 and a 3.33 in sociology will be guaranteed admission to the Department's M.A. program. For students meeting these requirements the three letters of recommendation will be waived.


This admissions program is for former undergraduate students that have graduated from UCCS with a degree in Sociology no more than four years prior to the time of application to the graduate program. While admission is not guaranteed, the requirements are the same as regular degree admission with the three letters or recommendations waived.


The traditional MA program in Sociology is designed to allow completion in one year (fall, spring and summer semesters) of full-time study by those who have a strong background in Sociology.  The possibility of completing the MA degree with only a fifth year of study is enhanced for students who complete appropriate graduate level courses while an undergraduate, if these courses are not counted toward the total number of hours required for completing the BA degree.  Students may apply for up to eight hours of such course work to be counted toward fulfilling the MA requirements, in much the same manner as graduate credits earned in graduate programs in other departments may be transferred toward the MA degree in sociology.


A limited number of graduate assistant-ships for new and continuing students are available from the Sociology Department.  These are awarded on the basis of both need and merit in compensation for assisting with departmental programs of instruction and research.  Contact the Sociology Office for application forms and deadlines.  Additional support in terms of financial aid and scholarship be available from the Graduate School




Core Courses

All students must complete the following courses in a satisfactory manner:
SOC 5050 - Proseminar in Sociology
SOC 5070 - Seminar:  Research Methods
SOC 5160 - Seminar:  Social Theory II

Students who have not taken an undergraduate course in Social Theory are also required to take SOC 5150-1 credit Seminar in Social Theory I.

And one of these:
SOC 5170- Advanced Statistics and Research
OR SOC 5180- Community Organization and Analysis
OR SOC 5830- Seminar:  Race and Ethnic Relations

No grade lower than B in one of the required MA core courses will count toward the Master's degree.


There are two options for completing the requirements for the degree:

Plan I- Thesis

Plan I students must complete a total of 24 hours of approved course work, including the required courses, plus an acceptable thesis for 6 hours of credit.

Plan II - Non-Thesis

Plan II students must complete a total of 30 hours of approved course work, including the required core sociology courses and are encouraged to develop individualized areas of concentration with the elective credits. Elective coursework may include approved courses from other UCCS Graduate programs, for example: the Graduate School of Public Affairs, Applied Geography, Communications, Business and the College of Education.

Advisory Committee, Thesis Advisor, and Examination Committee

Each student must select a graduate faculty member within the Department as his or her Advisor. This should be done as early as possible during the first semester of graduate work.


In graduate sociology courses, no grade lower than B in a course that meets a requirement for the master's degree will count toward that degree.  Candidates must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in their graduate courses or face departmental probation.  Required courses may only be taken twice.

According to the Policy and Procedures of the Graduate School, coursework receiving a grade of less than B- may not be counted toward any graduate degree.  A student who receives a grade below B- in a course may repeat that course once, upon approval of the program director, provided the course has not been previously applied toward a degree.  The grade received in a repeated course will substitute for the original grade and only the latter grade will be used in calculating the Graduate Program grade point average required for graduation.  However, all grades received will appear on the student's transcript.

If a graduate student earns a grade of C+ or lower, they are required to meet with the Graduate Director to write out an action plan.  If a second grade of C+ or lower is earned, it will be considered grounds for dismissal from the program.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades of "I" will convert to "F" if the work is not completed within the one-year maximum period (no extensions are approved beyond the one-year time limit) according to University Policy.

Time Limit

All requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Sociology must be completed within five years or six successive summers.  This is effective from the fall semester 2005 forward.


All MA students must pass the Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations and either a Thesis Defense or a Comprehensive Examination, as defined below.

The Preliminary Examination

Students' progress will be reviewed after completion of the first 6 hours of graduate level courses to ensure adequate qualifications to proceed in the program. Students will be notified of the results of this review process and appropriate recommendations for further progress will be included.

The Qualifying Examination

After completing 18 graduate hours, including the required core sociology courses, students must prepare an Admission to Candidacy form (available from Rosemary Kelbel, Graduate Program Coordinator). This form is also available online at

The student's academic record will be reviewed and a plan for either a thesis (Plan I) or course work (Plan II) must be approved to continue in the program.  If problems are identified, appropriate steps will be specified in order to become a candidate for degree.

Plan I:  Thesis Defense

As the first step in pursuing the Master's Thesis track, the student will select a Thesis Committee, which consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members (an additional member may be included from outside the Department). Under the direct supervision of the Thesis Chair, the student will develop a Master's Thesis Proposal. After the Proposal is approved by all members of the committee, the student will complete the research and writing of the thesis. This committee, with the approval of the UCCS Dean of the Graduate School shall serve as the student's examination committee for the Master's Thesis Defense. Upon completion of the Master's Thesis and approval of each member of the committee a defense is scheduled. The goal of the defense is to provide for a thorough discussion of the thesis project, and exploration of issues and implications for continued research in the thesis topic.


Plan II: Comprehensive Oral Examination

Students pursuing this applied track will select an Oral Exam Committee, which consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members. The comprehensive examination is based on a discussion of the materials provided by the student in her/his graduate student portfolio. During the examination the student is asked to summarize her/his educational development in the program and relate this to further academic work and/or career plans. The graduate student portfolio should include: 1) a self statement detailing the student's goals and what he/she has learned; an academic resume and  copies of papers from each of the required sociology courses. Portfolios should be turned in to the Graduate Program Coordinator two weeks before the comprehensive examination. Portfolios are not returned to the student, but become part of the graduate archive in the sociology department.


The Graduate program currently offers the option of three graduate certificates; one in Diversity, one in Teaching Sociology, and one in Advanced Research Methods.  Coursework that meets the requirements for a certificate also counts toward the total credits required for the Masters.

Graduate Certificate in the Sociology of Diversity

The Graduate Faculty of the Sociology Department has a strong emphasis in diversity and inequality issues; highlighting race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. For sociology graduate students wishing to concentrate in these areas, we offer a graduate certificate of specialization in diversity. Completion of the certificate provides evidence of specialized study, which can be beneficial for enhancing future career options and interests.

Graduate Certificate in Teaching Sociology

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Sociology will be offered to graduate students enrolled in the Masters Program in Sociology interested in practical training in the process of teaching sociology at the university level. Completion of the certificate provides evidence of significant classroom face-time, along with training in syllabus development, pedagogical styles, and assessment.

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods
This certificate trains Masters-level sociologists in a range of sociological research methods.  Completion of the certificate provides evidence of competence in tolls of quantitative and qualitative research methodology, which can be beneficial for enjancing future career options. 

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