Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt


Master of Arts
Sociology of Education

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

Tailor course selection and thesis research to your chosen topic of interest and develop a strong disciplinary grounding to approach education questions with a sociological lens. Areas of specialization include Education and Social Inequality, Education and Social Change, Policy Analysis, and Program Evaluation.

Request Info
Professor Lisa Stulberg in her office talking with colleagues

Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Sociology of Education

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

This Master's degree is designed to provide you with strong analytical and methodological training in a sociological approach to education-related questions and problems. We prepare graduates to pursue careers in research evaluation, education policy, government agencies, and youth and community service organizations. Many of our students choose to continue on to doctoral-level work in the sociology of education or a related field.

You will:

  • Identify the larger social and cultural contexts that shape educational institutions
  • Analyze educational problems and issues using the knowledge, concepts, and research methodology of sociology
  • Demonstrate an expertise in an area of specialization in the sociology of education through the production of a high-quality MA thesis
  • Acquire habits of critical thinking and systematic investigation to critique the role of education in society
  • Develop effective written and oral communication skills by applying the conventions of the discipline of sociology

You will take core courses in qualitative and quantitative sociological research methods, sociological theory, and the sociology of education. Faculty research and core courses primarily focus on US education, urban education, higher education, and US educational equity issues.

All students spend about two semesters working closely with a faculty advisor to write a substantial thesis. Yours could include original research that employs quantitative or qualitative methodology or could be a critical review of research in an area of your interest.

We make extensive use of course offerings beyond Steinhardt, particularly those of NYU's nationally ranked Department of Sociology (Graduate School of Arts and Science) and the Wagner School of Public Service. Additionally, students can incorporate global opportunities into their course sequence to gain comparative perspectives on the US education system.

Our program is small and selective. Students join us from around the country and the world. They hold undergraduate degrees from small and large public and private colleges and universities. Their majors include sociology, psychology, economics, public policy, history, early childhood education, English, political science, Latino studies, urban studies, and many others.

Some of our students have completed their undergraduate studies within the last few years. Others have returned to school to enroll in our MA after they have been in the work world for a number of years. Most have had some experience in the field of education as volunteers, classroom teachers, nonprofit staff members, or tutors in after-school programs, or through research.

Many of our students intend to continue on for advanced doctoral study. Others in our program intend to work, after they complete their studies, in education policy, government agencies, and youth and community service organizations.

Graduates of the master's program are well equipped to pursue careers in research and evaluation, education policy, government agencies, and youth and community service organizations. Many are also well equipped to pursue and succeed in doctoral-level work in the sociology of education or a related field.

Graduates of the Sociology of Education degree work in various types of organizations across the country. Many graduates are also pursuing doctoral studies at various prestigious programs and institutions. Here are some examples of specific positions that Sociology of Education alumni have held after graduation, along with doctoral programs in which our recent alumni have enrolled:


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact us at

Sociology of Education student Catalina Iglesias

The Sociology of Education program reinforced my conviction of following a career path in the field on research and public policy. The program allowed me to gain a deeper and more critical understanding of the larger social, economic and political contexts that give shape to educational institutions and policies.

Catalina Iglesias '17


Lisa M. Stulberg

Associate Professor of Sociology of Education

L'Heureux Lewis-Mccoy

Associate Professor of Sociology of Education

Mercy Agyepong

Assistant Professor of Sociology of Education

Affiliated Faculty

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng (程華宇)

Vice Dean for Research and Equity; Associate Professor of International Education

Rachel Fish

Associate Professor of Special Education

David Kirkland

Professor of English and Urban Education

Collaborative FAS Faculty

Mary Beth Hunzaker

Associate Professor of Sociology

Ann Morning

Associate Professor of Sociology