Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Social Science [M.A.]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

The Master of Arts in Social Science is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to take Anthropology, Criminology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology courses. The program emphasizes flexibility, allowing students to tailor their coursework and research to their interests and objectives. Successful graduates of the program are prepared for various educational and professional opportunities, including additional expertise in elementary and secondary education, careers in the public and private sectors, and entrance to doctoral programs.

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • Have at least 30 hours of undergraduate courses in Anthropology, Criminology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and/or Sociology. 
  • Complete a personal statement of no more than 500 words describing your interest in studying Social Science at EMU and how the MA in Social Science will enable you to attain your career and/or educational goals.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Department Information

History & Philosophy 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018

Peter Higgins, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

John McCurdy, PhD, Graduate Coordinator, 701H Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0906

New students should arrange an early conference with the graduate advisor to plan their programs in detail.

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

The M.A. in Social Science requires completing 30 hours of course work distributed among major concentration courses, restricted elective courses, and elective courses.

Major Concentration: 24 hours

Required Core: 12 hours

Students must complete twelve credit hours at the 500- or 600-level in one of the following areas:

  • Economics (Any “ECON” courses)
  • Geography (Any “GEOG” courses)
  • History (Any “HIST” courses)
  • Political Science (one course from each of three groups, as specified by the Political Science department)
  • Sociology/Anthropology/Criminology (Any “SOCL,”“ANTH,” or “CRM” courses)

Restricted Elective Courses: 12 hours

Select twelve credit hours from at least two other disciplines listed above.

Elective Courses: 6 hours

Select six hours of any 500-600 level course not previously taken. Program faculty recommend students consult with their advisors before selecting courses.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.