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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Social Science

Majors Overview November 19, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in social science and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Social Science

An interdisciplinary approach finds usage in master’s degree programs in social science for the examination of how culture and society relate to each other, thereby training students for various career roles, including historian and anthropologist. Coursework explores topic areas such as economics, history, anthropology, political science, and sociology. An area of specialization – international studies or family systems – is also usually chosen by students. A capstone project or thesis is a requirement for most programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In some schools, preference is given to applicants who have completed prior courses in research, social and behavioral sciences, and statistics. Orientation residency sessions are in some program as prerequisite courses to be completed by students before they can begin core coursework.


Social science programs often attract students keen on researching cultural diversity and learning about how society relates to specific topic areas, such as war, global politics, and family systems. There can be varied curricula in these programs where many disciplines found in the social sciences are embraced. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•European politics
•Society and armed conflicts
•Quantitative and qualitative family research techniques
•Cultural analysis of Asia
•Ancient civilizations

Job and Wage Outlook

Job growth can vary by specialty. For instance, over the 2012 – 2022 decade, anthropologists are expected to see a 19% job growth while historians can expect to witness an 6% job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, anthropologists and historians brought in respective average annual wages of $57,420 and $52,480 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates can seek entry-level jobs with private industry and government. For some positions, applicants may need to complete additional training in math or statistics to enable research work. Those keen on continuing education may pursue a Ph.D. in one of the social sciences that could lead to university-level careers in research and academia.

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