Graduate students in the GW Department of Sociology gain the expertise and practical experience needed to pursue in-demand careers in social research, policy and related fields. Taught by our talented and experienced faculty, students develop a solid grounding in sociological theory and research methods. Our collegial community in the heart of Washington DC offers unique access to research and career opportunities at government agencies, advocacy organizations, and think tanks.

The Master of Arts in Sociology degree promotes a deep understanding of social stratification and inequality, while the Master of Arts in Criminology degree emphasizes the social context of crime and criminal justice systems. 


Who We Are

Students discussing in a circle in professor Hillary Silver's class

In the George Washington University Department of Sociology, students become part of a community of scholars who analyze the social world through coursework and research. Our seminar-style courses are small and intensive, which allows students and faculty to get to know each other well and work together to develop skills in social scientific research. 

At this moment of profound social change amidst wide-ranging challenges to social justice, the need is great for sociological and criminological research focused on the problems of our time. The Department of Sociology equips students with the practical, critical, and theoretical tools needed to make real contributions. 

We are proud of what our graduates accomplish with their Master's degrees from George Washington University. Alumni have found positions in advocacy, research, policy, and service in government, non-profit, and private-sector positions. Their job placements include the US Census Bureau, DC Superior Court, the US Department of Justice, the Urban Institute, and the US Sentencing Commission. Our Master's degree is also an excellent basis for admission to top doctoral and professional programs. 


Prospective Students

Master's Highlights

The Capitol Building lit up at night

D.C. Location

Washington, D.C., is an ideal backdrop for social scientific studies, with an array of government agencies, advocacy organizations and think tanks. Graduates of our MA programs are in high demand, both in the workforce and in PhD programs in their field.


Two women talking and writing on a white board

Research Skills

All graduate students in the department must complete three research methods and data analysis courses. Students gain experience with statistical data collection, measurement, and sampling techniques, as well as qualitative skills such as in-depth interviewing and participant observation. 


Daina Eglitis standing at the front of a classroom lecturing

Experienced Faculty

Our talented and diverse faculty represent a wide range of interests within sociology and criminology, providing ample opportunities for mentorship, research advising, networking, and publishing guidance.


"In my career as a survey statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau, I use the training I received from the Sociology Department's Research Methods and Data Analysis courses daily. Thanks to my coursework at GW, I have a foundation in the survey life cycle process and how to analyze data."

Amber Henderson
BA ’11, MA ’15