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Public Sociology M.A.

Public Sociology takes sociology into the real world. 
The master’s program in public sociology, focuses on social justice and environmental sustainability, while fostering a network of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who are committed to social change.  Students are taught to translate their work for the non-academic world and make an impact on the broader community. Our students focus on both teaching and practicing sociology, while developing capacities to build socially-just communities. Our program is a good fit for students who would like to pursue either a Ph.D. to either teach or conduct research in higher education, or to work in research institutions,  or a career without needing a Ph.D. Such careers include leading a non-profit, managing a government agency, or teaching at a community college.

Why this Program

The master’s in Public Sociology provides students with multiple skills—including qualitative and quantitative research skills, how to conduct program evaluations, and how to effectively teach.

Working professionals can get their degree part time, or full time, taking evening classes.

Sociology graduates offer a unique understanding of the social world and possible social solutions to major social issues, as well as the day-to-day issues faced by every organization. 

Sociology alumni at an event

Program Emphases

Students learn cutting-edge pedagogical practices, and receive both hands-on experience and close mentorship. This is great preparation for teaching at a community college, facilitating and leading groups, designing educational materials, or securing a teaching assistantship in a PhD program.

Students develop into well-trained and valuable applied sociologists. They build their skills through classes, a 240-hour placement with a community partner, paid research opportunities, and their thesis/capstone work.

Did You Know?

There is much you can do as a Sociology major to plan for your future. You can join professional associations, and attend, and/or present papers at relevant conferences like Pacific Sociological Association,  American Sociological Association, and the Critical Criminology Association, among many others. 

Graduate students are actively involved in faculty research and social action projects, many of which are linked with community organizations and government agencies.

Our program is structured to move students through the program in a timely manner. In fact, the majority of our students finish their degrees within two years.

Public Sociology student presenting


Former Humboldt Public Sociology graduates have gone on to work, and take leadership, in the non-profit sector, activist organizations and social service agencies, work in higher education, teach at a community college, pursue a Ph.D., and much more!

  • Advertising Quantitative/Qualitative Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Financial Specialist – Social and Health Services
  • Food Policy Researcher and Advocate 
  • Health Policy Researcher
  • Harm Reduction Specialist
  • Recruiter/Program Analyst – Housing Authority
  • City Planner
  • Public Policy Analyst/Researcher 
  • Community College Instructor
  • University Instructor/Professor

Ready to find what
your future holds?