Graduate Program

About the M.A. Program in Sociology

The master’s degree program in sociology at CSUN has been producing graduates for more than forty years. The department has a broadly trained and energetic faculty supporting its graduate students. The program offers advanced training in core areas of classical and contemporary sociological theory and quantitative and qualitative research methods. We also offer courses in a number of areas including: gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, education, social psychology, social movements, evaluation research, political sociology, and arts-based research. Our students have presented their research at professional academic conferences and worked on various research projects with faculty, institutes, and centers on campus. Students have also had the opportunity to gain teaching experience as Instructional Student Assistants. Some of our graduates continue their education by going onto Ph.D. programs while many others pursue careers in various non-profits, government agencies, community colleges, universities, marketing firms, and businesses in the following positions: research analysts, program evaluators, project managers, community college instructors, consumer researchers, directors of non-profit organizations, diversity, equity and inclusion officers, and community organizers.

Applying to the Master's Degree Program in Sociology

The M.A. degree program in sociology accepts applications for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Below is information on applying for Spring 2025. Information on applying for the Fall 2025 semester will be posted after the Spring application period has closed. If you have any questions please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. McDonald via e-mail at:

Applying for the Spring 2025 Semester

Final Application Deadline: October 15, 2024

Note about Cal State Apply website: The Priority Application Filing Period (Aug 1, 2024 - August 31, 2024) listed on the Cal State Apply website is not a priority application date for our program. Applications can be submitted to Cal State Apply up to the final deadline of October 15, 2024, however we suggest that you submit your Cal State Apply Application and your transcripts as early as possible due to long processing times.

Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid

We recommend that you submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as early as possible. You can submit your FAFSA prior to submitting your application to the M.A. program. On your FAFSA, please list California State University Northridge as one of the schools you want your information to be sent. In order to be considered for state grant aid, applicants applying for the Fall semester need to meet the March 1st priority date. Spring applicants should submit the FAFSA as early on in the process as possible. For more information on financial aid click on the link below.

Step 2: Submit your online application to Cal State Apply 

Please note that the "Priority Application Filing Period" listed on the Cal State Apply website does NOT represent a final deadline. You can still submit your application to the Cal State Apply website after the priority application filing period.

Please click on the link below for guidance on how to fill out the Cal State Apply online application There are some sections that are required by our program and others that are not.

Step 3: Have your Official Transcripts Sent to CSUN

If you attended (or are currently attending) CSUN for your bachelor's degree, you do not need to send your official transcripts as they are already on file. All other applicants must have their official transcripts from all colleges and universities they attended (including community colleges) sent either electronically or via mail.

Sending Electronic Transcripts: When ordering your school's electronic transcripts, choose "CSU Northridge" or "California State University Northridge" as the recipient. If that option is not available use: as the recipient email address. If you have any California community college transcripts, please review eTranscript California and have the transcripts sent through this system.

Paper Transcripts: Paper transcripts must be received in sealed, unopened envelopes. Ask your previous schools to send your official transcripts directly to the following address: California State University Northridge, Office of the Registrar, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8207.

Step 4: Additional Admissions Materials required by the Sociology Department

Please click on the link below for instructions on how to submit your statement of purpose, writing sample, and letters of recommendation.

Step 5: Final Checklist 

Please click on the “Application Checklist” below and use it as a personal guide to confirm that you have completed all of the required steps. 

Additional Information

Graduate Program Handbook

Graduate Program Handbook 2023-2024

If you are now, or are about to become, a graduate student in the Sociology Department at California State University Northridge, welcome and congratulations! You are here because we are excited by your interest and background, and because we believe in your potential to complete a master’s degree. The Graduate Program Handbook is our next step in helping you realize that potential, and reading it is your next step towards that degree. The goal of this handbook is to clarify the graduate program and to help you navigate and complete the program. It is thus intended both as an introduction and as an ongoing resource to help you make timely progress towards the master’s degree in sociology.

Student Funding, Awards, Fellowships, Research Competition

M.A. Thesis Projects

M.A. Thesis Projects

The above link provides a comprehensive list of our Sociology M.A. graduate students who have completed M.A. thesis projects. As you will see our students have completed research on a wide range of topics including: Anti-Blackness and colorism within Latino/a/x communities, California's inmate firefighters, the experiences of women of color in the higher education labor market, LGBTQ+ skateboarders, confronting false information on social media, solitary confinement as state-sanctioned violence against youth, gentrification and school choice, and women's experiences with pregnancy and childbirth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of our graduates (Leah Lamoreaux, Dorothy Goulah-Pabst, and Jen Marony) are the recipients of CSUN's Distinguished Thesis Award.

CSUN M.A. Alumni - Where are they now?