Sociology and Criminology MA Program

"Learning at UNCW expanded my intellect in ways I never could have imagined, and eventually inspired me to continue in graduate school by pursuing my Ph.D."

Degree Requirements

In order to receive a Master’s Degree in Sociology or Criminology, students must complete both coursework and a research project in the form of a thesis or research internship. Degree requirements can be completed in four semesters of full-time study or six semesters of part-time study.


The program requires a minimum of 34 semester hours of graduate study, 31 of which must be in Sociology and Criminology. No transfer credits will be accepted. All of our courses are offered in the late afternoon or night, making them convenient for full and part-time workers.

  • All students must complete a minimum of 28 semester hours of course work, including 16 hours of core coursework (listed below):
Core Coursework

SOC or CRM 500 - Social Research Methods (3)
SOC or CRM 502 - Evaluation, Methods, and Policy (3)
SOC or CRM 503 - Sociological Theory (3)
SOC or CRM 504 - Data Analysis (3)
SOC or CRM 505 - Pro Seminar (1)
Seminar in Criminology or SOC 524-Social Stratification (3)

  • Only 3 hours of DIS or graduate coursework outside the department will count towards graduate degree credit requirements. Students wishing to take a DIS as well as electives offered by other departments must have approval from the Graduate Coordinator prior to registration.

  • Students must earn a "B" or above in all graduate courses taken to earn graduate credit in the program


Students may elect between an research internship option CRM/SOC 598 (6 hours) or a thesis option CRM/SOC 599 (6 hours). See our alumni page for examples of the type of research internship and theses projects previous graduate students have completed.

  • Each student must successfully, orally, defend a thesis or research internship proposal prior to registering for thesis or research internship hours

  • Each student must successfully defend the final thesis or research internship to their committee

Graduate students have five calendar years to complete his or her degree program. The period begins with the student’s first term of work after formal admission to a degree– granting program. Both full-time and part-time students are required to follow the five-year time limit. When extenuating circumstances warrant, an extension of the time limit for completing a graduate program may be granted to a student upon his or her petition to the Graduate School.