Master’s in Social Science in the US

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A Master’s in Social Science in the US allows scholars to earn a graduate-level education in the various academic disciplines under the social science header. This includes any category of study that is concerned with society and how humans interact within that society. History, anthropology, political science and sociology are all included within the social science umbrella.

What is a Master’s in Social Science?

Master’s in Social Science programs in the US are often specialised to fit an individual’s goals. This allows them to focus on a concentration that they can develop into an expertise on their chosen area of interest. Common concentrations include international studies, community health science, gender studies, social justice, US history, politics, and global studies. Coursework within the program may include lectures and seminars regarding:

  • Reasoning and critical thinking
  • Social theory and economics
  • History of the US
  • Psychology
  • Global economics
  • World history
  • Archaeology
  • The US Supreme Court

A thesis is also commonly required. Graduates of a Master’s in Social Science are able to take the skills they learned in their baccalaureate pursuits and hone them into specialised areas of expertise. Following graduation, they should be fully prepared to competently and confidently engage in professions involving their specialties.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Social Science?

Students who are contemplating pursing a Master’s in Social Science in the US can look to previous graduates to see the benefits of the program. Students learn many of the most important educational skills under the tutelage of professors, including civic competence, historical consciousness and logical thinking. These skills then prepare them to be competitive in the workforce, particularly in the areas of education and social service.

As is true with many different career paths, a Master’s in Social Science often gives graduates a greater appeal over colleagues who have not pursued additional education. It also makes job candidates more likely to receive a greater salary when they negotiate their employment terms. For those interested in pursuing additional education opportunities, these programs can also be an incredibly beneficial stepping stone and preparation to earning a Ph.D. Graduates also apply the skills they learned to help them succeed in the often high-stress jobs to which some graduates are recruited. This includes social workers, Homeland Security Agents and analysts.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect with a Master’s in Social Science?

Social science graduates on the master’s level have extensive career opportunities, especially within the public sector. Many are already working in social science-related fields, such as education, social work, market analysis and research. Other graduates go on to work at universities as professors and researchers, while still others choose to enter public service as police officers, intelligence agents and public officials. Some of these positions may require licensure or other certification, depending on the country in which the job is offered.

A Political risk analyst is one career that graduates of a Master’s in Social Science in the US can pursue. They are responsible for assessing the level of political risk of an area. They look at government’s stability, land rights issues, currency convertibility, crime levels and other factors to determine whether or not potential investors are likely to receive a return on their money. They may gather information about a particular area of interest, make a determination of the causes and what the sources are, assess the level of risk and then pass all information and a potential solution to the decision-makers.

Social worker is another career that a large number of Master’s in Social Science graduates pursue. Their main responsibilities include protecting vulnerable individuals, including children and the elderly, from harm. They often help people deal with the difficult situations they may face, and occasionally may even diagnose and treat some types of mental illness. Social workers are needed in various situations, including adopting a child, dealing with a terminal diagnosis and overcoming an addiction. On a typical day, they often do the following:

  • Identify those who may need their help.
  • Assess client situations to see if they have the resources to help themselves reach their goals.
  • Create plans for improving clients’ situations.
  • Respond to crisis situations.
  • Advocate for clients.


It is possible for those who only possess a bachelor’s degree to be offered a job as a social worker. However, increased education and hands-on experience make having a Master’s in Social Science a great advantage over job competitors. These degrees are numerous across the US. Return to your education by choosing an area of study and begin to investigate your options today.

University Of California, Irvine

Irvine, United States

  • 77SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 28,000Average Tuition
  • 30%Acceptance Rate

The University of California - Irvine is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities with a campus in Irvine; a suburban area in California, U.S.A. Through its faculties, the university offers over master’s degree programs....

Arizona State University

Tempe, United States

  • 131SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 40,463Average Tuition
  • 84%Acceptance Rate

The Arizona State University is the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S. ASU comprises 16 colleges and schools that offer more personalized experiences for students, while offering opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and campuses....

The University of Utah

Salt Lake City, United States

  • 170SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 21,296Average Tuition
  • 81.7%Acceptance Rate

University of Utah (the U) is a research-focused university located in Utah, United States, with it’s Asia campus located in South Korea. The U offers a wide range of master’s degree programs across nearly a 100 academic departments. These departments include Architecture, Biochemistry, Computing, Environmental Engineering, and Philosophy....

University of Illinois, Chicago

Chicago, United States

  • 171SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 42,430Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States and has 15 academic schools through which it offers interesting master’s degree programs in a wide range of subject areas....

Illinois State University

Normal, United States

  • 193SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,465Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

Illinois State University is the first publicly-funded higher education institution in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. It offers undergraduate majors and graduate degree programs in a wide variety of concentrations including applied science and technology, arts and sciences, business, education, fine arts, and nursing. Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission....

Northeastern University

Boston, United States

  • 196SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 62,800Average Tuition
  • 32%Acceptance Rate

Northeastern University located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers 150 undergraduate majors of study and 125 graduate areas of study through its nine colleges and schools of Arts, Media & Design; Business, Computer & Information Science; Engineering; Health Sciences; Law; Professional Studies; Science; and Social Sciences & Humanities; as well as select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto....

Pace University

New York, United States

  • 199SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 22,000Average Tuition
  • 85%Acceptance Rate

Pace University (Pace) is a private institution located in New York, USA. Pace has two campuses across the USA, with the main campus in New York City and another campus in Westchester. Pace offers over 60 master's degree programs through its five academic colleges namely, College of Health Professions; Dyson College of Arts and Sciences; Lubin School of Business; School of Education; and Seidenberg School of CSIS. ...

Suffolk University

Boston, United States

  • 200SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 52,644Average Tuition
  • 84%Acceptance Rate

Suffolk University is a non-sectarian university located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It was named after its location in Suffolk County, Massachusetts....

DePaul University

Chicago, United States

  • 202SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 52,402Average Tuition
  • 70%Acceptance Rate

DePaul University is a private Catholic University located in Chicago, Illinois, US. DePaul University offers master's degre programmes in fields including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Social Sciences and more. DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant master's degree programmes. ...

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, United States

  • 210SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,000Average Tuition
  • 73%Acceptance Rate

Duquesne University is one of the largest and most comprehensive private Catholic universities located in the urban area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Duquesne offers a wide variety of master's degree programs....

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