FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When does the MaSS Program begin?

The Fall 2017 Quarter begins on Monday, September 25th, 2017.

Classes begin on Thursday, September 28th, 2017.

What do I need to do to apply?

Applications to the MaSS program are made through UCLA Graduate Division. Click here to apply. For more information, see UCLA’s minimum requirements for all graduate program applicants.

Do I need to take the GRE or TOEFL?

All applicants are required to submit GRE or TOEFL scores. Please note that GRE scores are valid for a period of five years.

Applicants who received a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language and the medium of instruction are exempted from the TOEFL requirement. All other applicants must submit a TOEFL score to be considered for admission.

Why is there a minimum TOEFL score requirement?

We require a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL. The demanding MaSS curriculum does not allow sufficient time for students to enroll in additional ESL courses while completing the degree.

Do I need to submit a writing sample?

A writing sample is required for admission consideration. Examples of writing samples include course papers or a professional report.

Do you offer scholarships to admitted students?

Yes! The MaSS Program offers merit scholarships. Please contact us for further information about financial aid opportunities.

Can I enroll part-time? Can I begin in Winter or Spring?

Because the MaSS curriculum is based on a coordinated course sequence, you must enroll as a full-time student beginning in Fall.

Can I take elective courses?

Yes! You can take two elective courses selected from the graduate course offerings in the Social Sciences. For additional elective courses, contact the MaSS program Academic Director.

What can I do with the MaSS degree?

With the MaSS degree, you will be a strong candidate for competitive Ph.D. programs in the Social Sciences and for graduate degrees in professional schools at top-tier universities. You also will be prepared for professional research careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

We provide substantial advising and support to prepare you for the next step after the degree, whether you are applying to PhD programs or seeking professional employment.

If you plan to pursue employment upon completing the MaSS Program, our staff will work closely with you to identify career opportunities.

Where should I send my academic records?

All academic records should be mailed to:

Michael ONeill
University of California, Los Angeles
375 Portola Plaza
254A Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Please send your official/signed/sealed bachelor’s degree academic transcript. If your are still completing your bachelor’s degree, we still need to receive your in-progress transcript.

*Note that no academic records are required for masters or other degrees higher than your bachelor’s degree.

International students:
You must send your transcripts in the native language of your home institution as well as a version translated into English.

In addition, please send:
Degree Certificate in English AND native language of the home institution
Diploma (if you have graduated) in English AND native language of the home institution

Can I apply for fellowships/scholarships/financial aid?

Students in self-supporting programs such as MaSS are limited in their eligibility for certain types of fellowships and financial aid. In general, students are not able to receive any of the following:

1.    Graduate Division or University Foundation funding
2.    GSR or TA positions
3.    State-funded fellowships/scholarships

You CAN apply for:

1.    Extramural funding that will be awarded directly to you
2.    Federal subsidized and un-subsidized loans (if you are eligible)

You can find a list of extramural funding opportunities here.

How many students are in the program?

We are a small, highly-selective program. We expect to enroll approximately twenty-five students each year.

What can I do to prepare for the MaSS program?

Recommended preparation includes introductory statistics and other social science research methods courses. However, prior coursework in these areas is not required to apply.

What application materials are required?

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should tell us why you are interested in pursuing the Master of Social Science degree, your main areas of research interest, and what you plan to do after the degree. You may wish to discuss prior academic training and any relevant work experience. The statement of purpose should not exceed three double-spaced pages (approximately 750 words).

Personal History Statement

The Personal History Statement is intended as a supplement to your Statement of Purpose. This is the place for you to describe relevant aspects of your background, accomplishments, and life experiences that you would like us to know about in considering your application. Please Include any educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic goals. In addition, please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that will allow us to evaluate your contributions to the University’s diversity mission (Max: 8,000 characters).

Exams

GRE General

TOEFL (min. score 100)

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one letter, but ideally both, must come from an academic instructor. Please note that letters from graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) are welcome as long as they are co-signed by the course instructor. Applicants have the option to submit a third letter from an academic or non-academic referee.

Due to a technical error, you will be prompted in the online application form to submit a third letter of recommendation. To bypass this, please fill in the following required (marked with a red asterisk) information for “Recommender 3”:
First Name: MaSS
Last Name: UCLA
Email: mass@ucla.edu

Transcript

Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions in which the applicant has been enrolled.

Writing Sample

Applicants must submit a writing sample. Examples of writing samples include course papers or professional reports.

Letters of recommendation

The MaSS program requires 2 letters of recommendation only. Due to a technical error, you will be prompted in the online application form to submit a third letter of recommendation. To bypass this, please fill in the following required (marked with a red asterisk) information for “Recommender 3”:
First Name: MaSS
Last Name: UCLA
Email: mass@ucla.edu

Can I apply if I didn’t major in a social science discipline as an undergraduate?

Definitely.

When are acceptance notifications sent?

Applications received after May 1, will be reviewed in the order they are received, and notifications will follow shortly after review.

How long does it take to earn the MaSS degree?

Our intensive program is three-quarters long, running from September to June each academic year.

What courses will I be required to take?

The MaSS curriculum includes seven core courses especially designed for and exclusively taught in the program. MaSS students are also required to enroll into two elective graduate courses offered by departments in the Division of Social Sciences.

The MaSS core courses are:

  • SOC SC 400A & 400B: Social Science Research and Perspectives (4 units)
  • SOC SC 401: Qualitative Social Science Research Methods (4 units)
  • SOC SC 402: Quantitative Data Analysis in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • SOC SC 403: Quantitative Evidence and Analysis in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • SOC SC 410: Engaged Social Science (4 units)
  • SOC SC 420: Research Analysis and Writing (4 units)

What is the major research paper?

All MaSS students complete a Major Research Paper (MRP). This original research project is developed over three quarters under the guidance and mentorship of MaSS faculty.

Is housing available?

Yes. Students can either apply for UCLA-owned housing or choose from UCLA community housing to find off-campus apartments.

UCLA-OWNED HOUSING: The assignment of university graduate housing is lottery-based. Before applying for UCLA graduate housing, you must 1.) Be admitted to the program, 2.) Accept the offer (SIR), and 3.) Create a MyUCLA account.

After you have created a MyUCLA account, follow these steps to apply for UCLA Housing:

1) Go to the UCLA Housing page
2) Click on the “My Housing” icon
3) Click on “Access Housing Application & Offers” where you apply for housing and manage your housing preferences and offer
4) After logging in, you will land on the application page. Go to the top of the page, then click on the “Application” tab

To learn more about UCLA graduate housing click here.

UCLA COMMUNITY HOUSING: The Community Housing Office (CHO) provides non-university owned rental listings and rental resources to the entire UCLA community. Full-time UCLA students may search listings for free (you must have a MyUCLA account). The office also maintains additional resources to assist those searching for housing in the Los Angeles area. Click here to access listings.