Dear Prospective Student,
The application period for the Master of Arts in Sociological Practice (MASP) Fall 2023 cohort runs from Oct. 1, 2022 to March 1, 2023. We will not be reviewing applications until after the application period closes. Please note that we require you have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be admitted to the program. In addition, although having a B.A. in Sociology is ideal, a related undergraduate degree in one of the social sciences or in an interdisciplinary field along with some sociology experience, may also prepare you well for the program.
Please contact the MASP Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Richelle Swan, if you have questions before applying.
- Fall 2023 Basic Application Steps
- Applicants apply to the CSU and to the M.A. in Sociological Practice at CSUSM through
the CalState Apply system. Click on the tab for Graduate Programs and then click on, “Apply for Fall 2023”.
- As part of your application you will choose the CSU graduate programs to which you
want to apply. For our program, first click on Cal State San Marcos under the drop-down
menu for campus. Then click on Master of Arts in Sociological Practice and you will
see the MASP application and required attachments in Box 4 of the application (Program
The CSU Apply application requires that you answer questions about personal information (Box 1), academic history (Box 2), and supporting information--experiences (Box 3). Note that when you enter your former /current college names you need to spell them out fully in order to see them in the dropdown menu—e.g., California State University San Marcos, not CSUSM. There are help menus on CSU Apply to aid you with any questions you have, and you can email representatives as well with questions. Start these first three sections weeks before you need to in the event that you have any challenges filling them out.
Please note that in the Other Information section under the Personal Information box it asks if you have a Social Security number. Note that it is not necessary to have one or to be documented in order to attend graduate school in California. The CSU requests this information for some of their own requirements.
When you fill out the Supporting Information box, they ask you to provide a list of experiences. You can mark the box, "I am not adding any experiences." (But if you are applying to more than one program and one of them wants this, you will need to add some experiences to this box.)
Similarly, you do not need to submit GRE scores for our program, but if you are applying to multiple programs and one of them requires your scores, you should upload them in the standardized test section of the academic history box. You should click “I am not adding any standardized tests” if you are not adding the GRE to your package. In terms of the transcript entry section, you will see the following directions: Graduate and Credential Applicants: Only enter courses that are in-progress or planned. Select “I am Not Adding Any College Transcripts” if you don’t have in-progress or planned coursework.
Also note that the CSU charges $70 for each graduate program to which you apply.
- For the supplemental MASP application (Box 4, Program Materials) you will be asked
to provide the contact information for your letter of recommendation writers, answers
to our questions about your interest in the program and program fit, a statement of
purpose, a writing sample, and official transcripts from non-CSUSM undergraduate institutions
and unofficial transcripts from all colleges you attended (including CSUSM).
Statement of Purpose: In three double-spaced pages, we ask you to provide us with a narrative that tells the admissions committee about your biography, your educational journey, and how your research interests and professional goals relate to the MASP program. In this narrative, you might consider including:
- Your background as it relates to your experiences
- What about your social location and/or life experiences gives you a critical lens as it relates to the social world?
- Your academic path to getting to this point
- What aspects of your educational journey did you find fulfilling?
- Are there other aspects that you found lacking?
- Are there any areas of your academic record that you would like to discuss? Explain.
- If you have research experience (whether formal or informal), briefly describe the project and your role.
- What are you interested in and how do you envision connecting these interests to your
professional goals as a result of completing the MASP?
- Is there faculty in the department that align with your potential area of study/interest?
- Are there approaches/orientations to social problems that align with your professional goals?
Be sure to include your full name on this document. You will add the Statement of Purpose under the tab that says Statement of Purpose on the Documents page.
Recommendations: We ask you to provide the names, professional contact information and email addresses for the three people (a minimum of two must be from former or current professors) who have agreed to write you a letter of recommendation for graduate school. It is recommended that you waive your right to see this recommendation by checking the box on this page. After you complete this page, your letter writers will receive a link in their email where they can submit their letters. Be sure to write a message to your potential letter writers on the letter of recommendation webpage telling them that the letter is due on March 1, 2023
Questions: In addition to the letters, we ask you to answer two questions related to your interest and fit for our graduate program:
- The MASP program at CSUSM is very committed to issues of racial and social justice and takes a critical approach to studying social issues and problems. Please discuss your awareness of and experiences with these issues.
- As a program with a public sociology orientation, MASP values praxis (experience) as a tool to not just study, but to also solve social programs. Describe any relevant current or previous experiences with community groups, agencies, organizations, grassroots efforts, activism, employment, internships, service learning, and/or volunteering.
The CSU has set the blank answer boxes to use a character count of 9999 characters. (You can see character counts under the word count function on your word processing program, e.g., under Tools in Word)
Writing Sample: Your writing sample should be scholarly (and include in-text citations and references) and demonstrate your promise as a graduate student in Sociological Practice. We are looking at how you engage with literature and demonstrate critical thinking skills. Your polished writing sample can be a revised class paper or your own original paper. Add your writing sample under the tab labeled Writing Sample in Documents.
- Applicants apply to the CSU and to the M.A. in Sociological Practice at CSUSM through the CalState Apply system. Click on the tab for Graduate Programs and then click on, “Apply for Fall 2023”.
You will also need to upload the unofficial transcripts from all colleges that you have attended. Here are the official online instructions:
You will be required to submit (1) official transcript AND (1) unofficial transcript from each college or university attended in order to be considered for admission. No official transcript from CSUSM will be required.
To Submit Your Official Transcripts:
Electronic delivery is the preferred delivery method. Verify with your school if an electronic transcript is available. When ordering your electronic transcript, please choose California State University San Marcos as the intended recipient. If California State University San Marcos is not listed, please use email@example.com as the recipient email address.
If you select to mail your transcript, please ensure the transcript is in an envelope sealed by your school and addressed to:Office of Admissions & Student Outreach California State University San Marcos 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road San Marcos, CA 92096-0001
To Submit Your Unofficial Transcripts
Scan and save PDF copies of the unofficial transcripts from all institutions that you have attended (including CSUSM).
Add your Unofficial Transcripts under Unofficial Transcripts . To upload select Add Document.
After you have completed all four boxes of information on the CSU Apply application and you have paid your fee, you will be ready to submit your application.
- Financial Aid
We recommend that you fill out and submit a federal student aid application, either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act (CADA)application (specifically for AB540-eligible students) as early as possible in the application season (by the end of October is ideal). Students should include our school code (030113) on the application. The CSUSM General Scholarship has a similar application timeline and should be filled out early in the season if you are an undergraduate student applying to a graduate program. Complete and submit a scholarship application toward a variety of scholarships for the 2023/24 academic year. The university notes that financial aid funds are limited, and early applicants receive priority (those who apply by the end of October).