Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Why Study at Loyola?


The Graduate Program at Loyola University Chicago has certain unique features:

  • Our graduate program includes both full- and part-time students, recent undergraduates, persons who have completed an MA at a different institution, and returning older adults.
  • We pride ourselves in being one of the more diverse graduate programs at Loyola. We welcome students of all ages, religions/faith traditions, races/ethnicities, sexual orientations, educational, and employment backgrounds.
  • To accommodate our diverse student body we work to maintain small class sizes (fewer than 15 students per class). Seminar-level courses have even fewer students and focus on particular areas of ongoing research and faculty-student interest.
  • Classes meet once a week for 2 1/2 hours and are usually scheduled in the evening or late afternoon to facilitate those students who also work during the day. All required courses are offered in the evening.
  • In addition to prominence in research and professional activities, the faculty work closely with graduate students conducting independent research projects and collecting data to writing articles and reports.
  • The department places strong emphasis on helping students to plan courses and research experiences that fit their own goals and interests, and at the same time take fullest advantage of the distinctive strengths of its faculty.

Loyola’s graduate programs in Sociology offer many other advantages:

  • A faculty of scholar-teachers - At many universities, a large and overcommitted faculty has little time or incentive to concentrate on teaching and mentoring its students. Smaller departments where teaching is emphasized, on the other hand, may lack the research-active faculty found at the more prestigious institutions. At Loyola, you will find the best of both worlds in a faculty of nationally respected, active scholars who also take pride in their teaching, and who give graduate education and graduate students the care and attention they deserve.
  • Chicago - Graduate study at any institution is a long-term commitment, lasting at least five or six years for many students. Chicago is a wonderful place in which to spend a significant time of one's life—a thriving, culturally vibrant, yet very "livable" urban center which most new residents come to love. The Loyola Lake Shore Campus and Coffey Hall is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Surrounded by public transportation routes, the campus provides a safe and attractive refuge while also giving easy access to the resources of the city around it.
  • Success in the job market - Despite the notoriously challenging job market, the Sociology department at Loyola has a strong, long-standing record of success in placing our students in jobs. This is particularly true at liberal arts colleges, where teaching is valued, but also at research universities and in research or consulting jobs in non-academic settings.
  • Manageable degree requirements - For the master’s degree, ten courses (30 credit-hours) are required and you can choose to submit a portfolio demonstrating your competencies or a thesis in order to complete the degree. The MA program is designed so that full-time students (3 courses per semester) could complete all the requirements within a year and a half (3 semesters at full time plus one summer course). Interested in doing the MA on a part-time basis while working at a full-time job? We make it possible by offering the majority of our graduate seminars in the evenings and late afternoons. Coursework in the PhD program can be completed within three years (two years for students entering with the MA degree), with the special field exams, dissertation proposal and dissertation taking two to three more years of study.
  • Real training in teaching skills - Our department considers the training of our graduate assistants in classroom teaching to be an important part of what we do. We do not throw new graduate students into the classroom without training. All students who teach for the department must have the MA degree, have taken a teaching workshop or class, or have teaching experience before they enter the classroom as an instructor of record. Our students feel well prepared when they teach their own first course and our graduates hone a teaching skill set that is very attractive to prospective employers.

There are additional interdisciplinary and University-wide resources of special relevance to graduate students in Sociology:

  • Through its research and partnerships, the Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University Chicago creates innovative solutions that promote equity and opportunity in communities throughout the Chicago metropolitan region. CURL provides links to regional, national, and international networks in pursuit of new ideas and approaches that address grassroots needs.
  • The Women's Studies & Gender Studies program is interdisciplinary, offering many cross-listed courses in the humanities, social sciences, business, and law. Additionally, dual-degree program options are provided at the graduate level in conjunction with social work and theology.
  • The Peace Studies minor at Loyola University Chicago has its origins in Mundelein College, which was founded in 1930 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and steeped in their commitment to peace and justice. The minor is organized around a broad definition of peace, encompassing societal peace (including work to reduce violence and inequalities within the United States), international peace (focusing on ending wars, terrorist acts, unequal distribution of resources, and other infringements on human rights and dignity worldwide), and environmental peace (involving work on sustainable resources, global warming, and response to natural and human-made disaster).
  • The McNamara Center is home to faculty research projects and grants, supports graduate students working on dissertations in related topics, and sponsors special events that make social scientific perspectives on religion available to the university and the public.