Graduate opportunities

The aim of the graduate Sociology programs at the University of North Texas is to develop independent thinkers capable of conducting quality, innovative research in a particular area of interest.

By pursuing a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in Sociology, you learn to apply social science perspectives and tools to social problems thereby improving the quality of life. This equips you for a career in academia or applied sociology.

We offer flexible scheduling with classes available in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate work schedules and other personal commitments. You can also work closely with faculty members in a variety of educational and research areas such as:

  • Comparative and global sociology
  • Demography
  • Development and social change
  • Environmental sociology
  • Health, illness and aging
  • Marriage and family
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Social inequality and stratification
  • Social media
  • Sustainable societies
  • Work and organizations

Our students often present their work at national and regional conferences and earn other recognition for their research and teaching.

UNT provides a wide variety of services exclusively to graduate students. The Graduate Student Writing Support office can help you with writing, and the Office of Research Consulting offers assistance with statistical research.

The Toulouse Graduate School® offers several professional development workshops, including a Thesis Boot Camp. Many of the workshops are available online for your convenience.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

Admission to the program is a two-step process. First, you’ll need to be admitted to the graduate school. Second, you’ll need to complete the sociology department’s application process, which requires a statement of purpose and three completed recommendation forms or letters.

Unconditional program admission requires:

  • Acceptable GRE scores on the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections (Scores must be on file before application review and final approval of an application can be given.)
  • 18 credit hours of completed sociology courses
  • A 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credit hours of courses for the bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA on all sociology courses

If the GPA requirement isn’t met, conditional admission may be granted by having either:

  • A 2.8 GPA or higher on the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate courses
  • A 2.8 GPA or higher on all undergraduate work plus a 2.8 GPA or higher on all sociology courses. Additional course work may be required if you have fewer than 18 credit hours of sociology courses (or their equivalent).

Degree requirements

Master of Arts and Master of Science

Thesis option

  • 9 credit hours of required sociology core courses
  • 15 credit hours of substantive sociology courses (6 credit hours may be in a minor in a related field)
  • 6 credit hours of thesis and successful defense of thesis in lieu of a comprehensive exam
  • Reading knowledge of a foreign language (Master of Arts degree only)

This option is strongly encouraged if you plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Non-thesis option

  • 9 credit hours of required sociology core courses
  • 21 credit hours of substantive sociology courses (up to 6 credit hours may be in a minor in a related field)
  • Reading knowledge of a foreign language (Master of Arts degree only)
  • Pass a comprehensive exam designed by your advisory committee

The graduate school will notify you about being admitted to our program. We recommend completing the admission process by the last Monday in November the year before you want to enroll to be eligible for all available financial assistance.

Selected candidates are invited to a retreat in early spring to learn more about the program and to meet professors. Accepted applicants should consult with our Director of Graduate Studies before registering for their first semester of course work.

Financial assistance

The primary forms of financial support are assistantships in the Department of Sociology, scholarships or federal financial aid. To be considered for assistantships, you should submit all admission materials to our department and the graduate school by the last Monday in November the year before you want to enroll. Assistantships are announced shortly after the spring informational retreat.


Donna Barnes, Professor and Department Chair; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Social movements; social stratification and social change.

Cynthia M. Cready, Associate Professor; Ph.D. Texas A&M University. Quantitative methodology; elder health care; inequality; marriage and family.

Gabe Ignatow, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Standford University. Text analytics; theory; new media.

Ronald Kwon, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of California, Riverside. Immigration, race and ethnicity, gender, inequality and stratification, political economy/world systems, quantitative methods.

Kevin McCaffree, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of California, Riverside. Sociological theory; criminology; social psychology; sociology of religion; sociology of morality; quantitative methods.

Helen Potts, Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies; Ph.D., University of North Texas. Social capital, organizations and the workplace, alternative dispute resolution/mediation.

William “Buddy” Scarborough, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago. Gender, race, stratification, culture, quantitative methods and data science.

Gul Seckin, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University. Medical sociology; aging/social gerontology; mental health; quantitative methodology.

Katherine Sobering, Assistant Professor; Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin. Inequality; work and organizations; social change; political sociology; qualitative methods; ethnography.

George Yancey, Professor; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Christian studies, science, knowledge, religion, race relations, interracial unions, multiracial churches.

Dale Yeatts, Professor; Ph.D. University of Virginia. Environmental sociology; aging/social gerontology organization; Chinese culture/society; self-managed work teams.

Milan Zafirovski, Professor; Ph.D. Florida International University. Stratification/mobility; theory; economy and society.