Combine diverse research with classical theory 

Waterloo’s Sociology Department provides a supportive, friendly, and intellectually vibrant environment to cultivate a sociological analysis of the most pressing issues confronting societies today.

Students in Sociology gain a strong understanding of social, political, economic, and cultural relations through sociological theory and methods, critical analysis, and interdisciplinary research training. Our programs offer courses and research expertise in law, crime, and security; social inequalities and public policy; migration and transnationalism; governance studies; and culture and education.

Our graduates have gone on to hold coveted positions in policy development, law, research analysis, and academia. Notable places of employment include Employment and Social Development Canada, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and at post-secondary institutions across the country.


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MA in Social and Legal Studies

This 1-year coursework program allows students to take 8 graduate courses that cover both sociological theory and the sociological implications of the law.

  • Full-time or part-time
  • 1 year
  • Coursework
  • Co-op available
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MA in Sociology

This MA program will prepare covers topics such as sociological theory and social research with electives ranging from feminism and governance to the sociology of religion.

  • Full-time or part-time
  • 1-2 years
  • Research
  • Co-op available
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PhD in Sociology

Our PhD program combines rich sociological theory with practical applications in our key research areas and prepares students for careers inside and outside of academia. 

  • Full-time or part-time
  • 4 years
  • Research
  • Co-op available
Ashley Ryan

"When I was applying to the University of Waterloo for my undergraduate degree, I did so because it was one of the top schools in the country. I liked the campus environment and I loved the emphasis on leadership and innovation. I decided to stay at Waterloo for my graduate studies because of the great working relationship I have with my supervisor, the different opportunities available on campus, and the social roots I had established”

- Ashley Ryan, PhD Candidate

Want to know more about our programs?

Quinn Smith
Coordinator & Advisor, Graduate Studies
519-888-4567 x41953

  • Admissions
  • Program information
  • Funding

Owen Gallupe
Associate Chair for Graduate Studies
519-888-4567 x 43361

  • Research guidance
  • Supervisor queries
  • Learning outcomes

Notice for international applicants: Due to funding restrictions, the Faculty of Arts is currently limiting the number of international students we can admit. If you are an international applicant, please contact the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies prior to applying.