Approval of Previous MA

Students who enter the program with an MA can request a formal faculty review of their thesis. Students whose MA is approved via this process are not required to complete a second MA degree in the UW sociology department. However, they need to take the required first-year courses.


During your first quarter, submit the following materials to the graduate program advisor:

  1. A completed Request for Review of Prior MA Degree form
  2. A short statement describing the MA program and what the thesis accomplishes
  3. A copy of the MA thesis. If your thesis was written in a language other than English, include a translation
  4. A transcript of prior graduate coursework

An ad-hoc committee of at least two faculty members will review the materials. One member of the committee will have substantive and/or methodological expertise in the thesis topic. The prior MA will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Does the MA thesis demonstrate an ability to conduct methodologically sound social scientific research?
  2. Does all of the submitted work demonstrate that the student is prepared to begin independent, empirical, sociological research at the Ph.D. level?


The two most common outcomes include accepting or denying the previous MA. In rare cases, the committee will recommend that a student work with a faculty member to revise their thesis. This requires:

  • approval of the entire graduate program committee
  • agreement from the designated faculty member
  • completion of revisions within two quarters


  • Students whose MA is accepted will be classified as 'post-MA'.
  • Committee members will provide a summary evaluation of the MA thesis and make a recommendation about advancement to the Ph.D. program.
  • Students with extensive prior coursework in social statistics may petition to waive one or more of the required statistics courses.