Master’s program

MA in Sociology

General information and program requirements - Master of Arts Sociology 

The master’s program in sociology is as well-known in academia as in the labour market. At the crossroads of Canadian, French, American and global traditions, and available in both official languages, it offers a wide range of academic specialization and employment possibilities. Many graduates of the program find work in the public sector working on issues that are central to sociology, such as immigration, ethnicity, gender, social movements, identity, aging and the social dynamics of health. The MA program also gives students the opportunity to pursue doctoral studies in sociology as well as in other disciplines, at the University of Ottawa or elsewhere around the world.


New! - Short Duration Master's - MA in Sociology with Coursework option

Specialize in the sociological issues you face at work.

The Sociology program lets you deepen your understanding of issues of public interest, like social inequality, the French-speaking world, immigration or the effects of new technology. You can study an issue of your choice while improving your knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Increase your influence at work.

Few universities combine sociology, data analysis and data sharing in one program. Not only will you have the opportunity to strengthen your critical faculties by interpreting data, but you will develop your creativity by producing innovative communications tools that allow you to effectively present information to key stakeholders, both in the public sector and in community organizations. 

Benefit from over 65 years of engagement and leadership.

The School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies’ approach, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, makes it stand out as key partner in an environment where the federal government and various community organizations have extensive research requirements.

Basic requirements

  • Successfully complete 24 course credits, including 3 compulsory courses and 5 choice based courses
  • Adding French Immersion adds the possibility of receiving, in addition to the MA in sociology, a certificate attesting to the student's linguistic competence in French as a second language

Why choose the coursework option

  • The course option is a training combining a good knowledge of sociological analysis with the ability to perform one's exercise in professional activities.
  • The coursework option is recommended when the student wants hands-on experience in collaboration with organizations; a program evaluated according to professional type requirements (memo, briefing, team); is aiming for a rapid completion of program requirements.

Expected time-to-completion

  • The requirements of the coursework option, including the Concentration in Sociology Practice, can be completed in 12 months.

Deadline to apply : March 30
Students who want to improve their French can apply for the French immersion option of the one year course-based master's program in applied sociology (deadline to apply French immersion - August 15)

Taiwanese indigenous peoples, Photo credit: 總統府 (

The School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies

The School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa offers a distinctive and innovative approach to culture and society, in both French and English.
Learn more about the school.

PhD program

PhD in Sociology

General information and program requirements - Doctorate in Philosophy Sociology 

Graduates of the doctoral program in sociology can pursue an academic career or research in a range of fields. The doctoral program at the University of Ottawa offers a unique education, with courses in French and English, professors from diverse backgrounds working on a wide range of topics in the discipline, and an ideal location for studying major contemporary social transformations. Our students conduct research around the world; participate in activities offered by campus research centres and benefit from the many resources available to them, such as teaching and research assistantships, spacious work areas and research funding.


Microprograms in Sociology

Advanced analysis of qualitative and quantitative data

6 credits

Combines the Advanced Quantitative Methodology and Advances Qualitative Methodology courses

The two courses can be taken independently as part of this microprogram or as an intrinsic component of the master’s programs in sociology.

Methodology applied to the professional context

9 credits

For students who need to improve their skills in identifying valid data sources, analyzing social research data and their communication.

Mariève Forest

Question and Answer with Mariève Forest

On 2 December 2013, Mariève Forest successfully defended her thesis before her supervisor and other committee members and became the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies’ first PhD graduate. A hearty congratulation to Dr. Forest for making history!

What was your research’s theme?

I wanted to better understand the role of MPs in our political system. We often have the impression that MPs have a tendency to follow the party line, corrupt institutions or simulate conflict. I wanted to move away from these ideas and research the more political role of MPs; their propensity to action. I am interested in how MPs participate in what I called the "processes behind the creation of political decisions".

Who was your thesis supervisor?

My thesis supervisor was Professor Stéphane Vibert. Stéphane is very competent in the field and so I was initially intimidated when I met him. However, his openness, his ability to simplify complex ideas, as well as his ability to understand my posture and my ideas - sometimes more so than I! - has proven most beneficial. Thanks to him, I was able to develop a realistic plan and progress at my own pace.

What is your academic background?

I completed both my BA and my MA in Sociology at the University of Ottawa. After completing my Masters, I sincerely believed that I would no longer step foot in classrooms or universities. In addition, I had my hands quite full with a second child. But, after working for a few years (and having a third boy!), I started to miss the research environment. At the time, I was working as a project management consultant with various Francophone Canadian organizations and missed working on projects of my own. It’s around then that I met Marie-Blanche Tahon, a professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, who told me that the Department would soon offer a doctorate in sociology. And so I decided to go back to school!

How was your Ph.D. experience?

I started my Ph.D. in 2007 and was part of the first cohort of doctoral students in sociology at the University of Ottawa. In the first year, we had two annual seminars and I thoroughly enjoyed my return to the academic life. Every week, I appreciated discussing new ideas with my colleagues and the teachers were very involved. However, the first year was challenging because of the demanding workload and the young age of my sons. After the seminars, I started the comprehensive exams (we had two at the time), which allowed me to research the themes I was most interested in. This second step also presented some challenges. This time, it was less to do with the workload and more with having to discipline myself to be independently productive. I was relieved once it was over!

While working on my thesis, I found it very stimulating to be able to shape a confused line of questioning into a gradually more and more specific research project. Throughout the undertaking, my supervisor supported me and ensured that my approach and efforts were relevant and consistent. At that time, I also greatly benefited from the activities organized by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM). I participated in the discussions and discovered new approaches from researchers in other disciplines. These moments were also times where I could share with colleagues who were going through similar efforts.

The last few months of my thesis were more intense, but were also the most enjoyable as I felt like I was living out my thesis. I felt creative and worked on themes I (finally!) mastered.

What's next for the first Ph.D. graduate from the School?

I'm lucky because everything has moved quite quickly since I submitted my thesis. I did a little research work for an organization located in Montreal and then found an immigration project management contract in Ottawa with the Consortium national de formation en santé. At the moment, I’m creating an online introduction to sociology course for the University of Ottawa - and am very excited to find myself once again in an academic environment. As I have been offered research contracts for the fall, I'm not complaining! I hope to continue my research while contributing to the common good.

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Contact us

School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies

Faculty of Social Sciences
120 University Private
Social Sciences Building
Room 10005
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5

Personnel (SOC-ANT) | Professors (SOC-ANT)

Tel.: 613-562-5720

[email protected]

Office Hours
Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(June to August: closed at 3:30 p.m.)


Supervisor of the Master's Program in Sociology
Willow Scobie
Social Sciences Building
Room 10061
Phone: 613-562-5800 ext. 3949
[email protected]

Supervisor of the Master's Program in Sociology with Coursework option
Brieg Capitaine
Social Sciences Building
Room 10021
Phone: 613-562-5800 ext. 2522
[email protected]

Supervisor of Doctoral Studies in Sociology
Elke Winter
Social Sciences Building
Room 10059
Phone: 613-562-5800 ext. 6274
[email protected]